Benjie Correos, an artist and carpenter, was on an outing with his family on the Millennium Trail that runs alongside the Yukon River. He was fishing when his seven-year-old son Myles, playing nearby, slipped and fell into the river’s swollen, fast-moving water. He and his wife went in after him, and Benjie was able to grab on to Myles and hold his head up. However, the father could not get free of the undertow. Two other men jumped into the river and were able to pull Myles to safety but Mr. Correos disappeared (The Globe and Mail)
Parents live a sacrificial life for their children. The role of parents with their children is found in the powerful love that God has shown us in sending Jesus to give His life so that through faith in Christ we might live. Our children learn more from our conduct than from our words. It is not enough merely to say the right things. We must live out loud the life of a transformed heart.
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4, ESV)
God’s plan is for parents to help their children know Him and live according to His plan so that they experience the best in life.
1. Don’t provoke your children.
Paul called mothers and fathers in the church to protect the uniqueness of their children. He said, “Don’t provoke your children to wrath.” This wrath is the emotional and psychological disruption in their lives that can give the devil opportunity to make hay with our children. We need to understand our children and the uniqueness that God has given to them. We must avoid attitudes, words, and actions which drive our children to resentment and bitterness.
2. Direct their steps.
God has given parents the responsibility to direct their children in wisdom with warning and correction. We must lead our children along the path of Jesus Christ. We set their path by training them each day in the school of wisdom. We correct them and help them adjust their steps so that they become more like Jesus Christ. The content of this training and admonition is Jesus Christ Himself.
As parents, we want to lead our children to “fear of the Lord” (Proverbs 1:7-9). We teach them to learn and follow God’s will. If we don’t follow God’s will as parents while teaching our children to fear God, then we really are teaching them that fearing God is a good religious lesson but not important in living life. Parents, we direct the steps of our children toward fullness of life in Jesus when we show them a full life in Jesus by how we live each day, not merely by what we say.
So stop, take a breath, and pray:
“God, by Your Spirit, help me to nourish my children, showing them and teaching them the fullness of life in following Your will each day.”