Fathers need wisdom to be successful. First, Dads need to be there. We must be present to father our children. The problem is that when we are there, we risk exasperating and discouraging them. In part one we discussed what this means. We looked at three ways we typically discourage our kids. Today, I want to discuss how God wants you to raise your kids.
Thankfully, Paul moves on to that also. The first thing he tells us is to Raise Our Kids
4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up…
We are to bring our kids up, to raise them, to nourish them so they grow. What does it mean to Bring up? It means to feed. The word translated as “bring up” is the same word used in Ephesians 5:29 speaking of nourishing or feeding our wives as we would our own body.
29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, (from New International Version)
Be Strong and Godly
We need to feed and raise up our kids to be strong and godly. Dads, are to “bring them up.” Our kids are not going to get brought up correctly on their own. We have a responsibility to raise them and we need to take that seriously.
In this country we have so many absent dads. Either physically out of the home or Mentally out of the home. There are some dads who live in the home, but who have pushed off their responsibility in raising the kids to their wives and have mentally checked out.
Dads, you have a major responsibility in this. Now, I know that many dads reading this article have not done that. You have taken your responsibilities seriously in bringing up your kids. I applaud you for that and tell you that, while it seems to require great sacrifice now, there is great reward for your efforts, for you and for your kids.
A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son grief to his mother.
Every man knows that what affect his wife, affects him too. I will guarantee you that if your child is bringing grief to his mother, you will feel the effects of that grief as well.
25 A foolish son brings grief to his father and bitterness to the one who bore him. (from New International Version)
So take your responsibility seriously in raising your kids. The second thing he says is that we are to Discipline Our Kids
4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training … of the Lord. (NIV)
4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline … of the Lord. (NASU)
We need to lovingly discipline our kids.
24 He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him. (NIV)
Maybe you are thinking, I love my kids, so I won’t discipline them. But just the opposite is true according to the Bible and according to reality. Kids who have received no discipline are brats that society does not want to deal with later. If you don’t discipline your kids when they are young, they will suffer greatly when they are older.
Discipline vs. Punishment
Now as I was preparing for this, and researching this topic, I read an article from a pastor who was insightful in distinguishing between discipline and punishment. He explains it like this:
“The purpose of punishment is to inflict penalty and focuses on the past. The purpose of discipline is to promote growth by looking into the future.” (Brian Bill – Father’s Who Lead – sermon central)
We discipline kids to help them change behavior for the future. We correct their course so they don’t crash and burn. Our kids need discipline, and Dads, we are called to do it.
Lastly, God says that we are to Instruct Our Kids
4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. (NIV)
We need to teach our kids the ways of the Lord. We need to instruct them about the Lord. It is our job dads to help our kids have a relationship with the Lord so they will be equipped to go through this life, focused on Him and relying on Him.Our society teaches us to rely on ourselves, but there are plenty of people who relied on their own wisdom, or their own strength, to try and get through life, and while it may seem right for a while, it only led to destruction.
You see people like Howard Hughes, who relied on his own wisdom and knowledge and amassed great riches, but was a recluse without any true friends at his death. Man’s knowledge and wisdom doesn’t lead to true joy and it does not lead to the Lord.
12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.
Maybe you are a Dad who has received Jesus as Savior, but you haven’t done a very good job of living that way. That is the very thing that has driven many people out of the church, hypocrisy.
According to a 50-year study of Christian and non-Christian families, most young adults who follow Christ either come from non-Christian homes or from homes where they grew up in love with Jesus because mom and dad were in love with Jesus. Their parent’s passion for Christ permeated their lives and passed through their pores to their kids. Sadly, very few believers came from homes where there was a kind of indifferent, apathetic commitment to Christ.
It is scary to think that a person growing up in a non-Christian home can have a better chance of becoming a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ than someone who was raised in a Christian home where being a Christian wasn’t practiced.
Failing Our Kids
We fail our kids if we are not living our life in accord with Christianity and failing ourselves at the same time.
I am pretty sure that most of you reading this article are men who are trying to be good dads. Don’t give up. I know it is hard much of the time, but it is worth it. I want to encourage you with that. Keep up the good fight of faith.
When we have left a legacy of faithfulness for our kids and when they follow in our footsteps by being Faithful Mothers and Fathers themselves, we will be able to see some of the rewards of being the Dad god wanted us to be.
We will receive the rest of our reward when we stand in the presence of the Savior and here those words, Well done, good and faithful servant. I gave you kids to faithfully raise and you did well. Come share your masters joy.
Now go … and be a wise father!
© 2016 MANLY TRAINING
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