- Name calling or making fun.
- Excessive teasing
- Modeling sinful anger. Disciplining in anger.
- Double standards. Do as I say not as I do.
- Comparing one child to another. Why can’t you be more like your brother/sister?
- Finding fault.
- Not spending any time with them.
- Not enough freedom. Are you allowing your wife to raise your son a momma’s boy? Our country is currently full of them – we don’t need anymore!
- Being legalistic. Is it the Biblical standard or is it your own standard?
If this is the negative behavior that provokes our children to wrath we must put off this behavior immediately and put on Godly behavior. Ephesians 4:22, 24 “that ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
The Godly behavior to put on is nurturing and admonishing our children. How do we do that? Nurturing means to instruct, train, educate, correct. We must teach them! Deuteronomy 6:7 “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto they children and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” The writer is specifically speaking of teaching the word of God here but the application can be made to all of life. Dad, are you spending time with your children to nurture them and teach them what they must know to be an obedient Christian and a success at life? Our heavenly Father doesn’t ask us to be perfect just obedient to His teaching. Admonition is to call attention to by a (mild) rebuke or warning. There are times when a firm rebuke is warranted but when we rebuke too strongly in a matter that does not warrant it we can provoke our children to wrath. We need to be balanced. I have found that balance requires active thinking on my part. Give some thought to the rebuke before and don’t be off-handed. Not everything is matter of life and death! When calling attention to the negative behavior also provide your child with the correct behavior, take time to walk them through it. This will encourage right thinking on their part to think things through and come to the right (eous) conclusion.
I never wanted to take the approach of being my child’s friend. That is not God’s plan. I am the leader of my home, their dad and I have been given the charge by God Almighty to teach and train them according to His standard so they can become the person God wants them to be. I do like the team approach to leading my family. Everyone has a role to play on a team and that is easily understood. As life moves forward for young people their roles change and they take on more and more responsibility. All along the way I can come along side my child as a coach, teacher, or cheerleader would and provide instruction and encourage them in the right way. What a privilege and what a responsibility! I thank God that there are no perfect people, parents or children. In our own strength and in our own wisdom we are not sufficient for the task. But with God’s help and following his plan we can succeed as fathers and leaders of our homes.