- Lorie Hedgepeth
Parenting With Purpose
“And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”
Years ago, the father was regarded as the bread winner with his primary focus being that of providing for the family while the mother of the house took care of the house and children. That model of the family may represent tradition but, it misrepresents biblical truth regarding the role and responsibility of the father. The words written in Ephesians 6:4 are directed directly to dads. Notice the instructions are simple and to the point: One Thing Not To Do and One Thing To Do.
One Thing Not To Do: “Do not provoke your children to wrath”. That doesn’t mean that fathers are to make sure and not do anything or say anything that would upset the children. If that was the case, children would be allowed to do anything they wanted and never corrected about anything. What this does mean is that fathers are not to parent in such a way that results in a child being driven by anger. Sons and daughters MUST know they are loved by their dad. Sons and daughters MUST know their dad is proud of them. Sons and daughters MUST not be abused, neglected or constantly condemned and criticized. Children that are provoked to wrath grow up angry and go into adult relationships full of anger. Angry, wrathful sons and daughters grow up to be angry husbands, wives, and parents…and so the cycle continues. The love of God breaks those cycles. We live in a world full of angry people. That’s why in today’s church we MUST let God’s love flow through us to others and allow the Holy Spirit to move in the church-touching, healing, helping and changing hearts and lives.
One Thing To Do: “Bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord”. Dads must parent with a purpose. That purpose is not self-determined—it has been pre-determined by the Holy Spirit: Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Bring them up…don’t bring them down and put them down…. children must be brought UP. God has a high purpose for their life…. bring them up. An unsaved, wayward, broken world will bring them down but dads, we must bring our children up in the things of God! Bring them up in such a way that they are nurtured… they are nourished by…. the timeless truths of God’s Word. Sons and daughters can grow up to be amazing, productive God-filled adults without a lot of things—but they will never do that WITHOUT fathers bringing up their children to know God and His Word.
If you are a father or you are soon to be a father - I URGE you to walk closely with God, love your children and parent them with divine purpose!