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Ephesians 6:4

Role of the husband.

The father is the parent responsible for setting the pattern for the child’s obedience in the family. Any discipling the mother does is an extension of the father’s authority in the home. The husband and father must take leadership in this area of the family, and the wife and mother must be in submission. The father’s responsibility is set forth in two ways: first, what the father is not to do—”do not provoke your children to wrath.” He is not to over-discipline them or reign in terror, with the result that the child can only react in a blind outbreak or rage. Second, what the father is to do—”but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” To “bring them up” involves three ideas:

1. It is a continuous job. As long as the child is a dependent, the father is to be responsible for providing for the child so that he becomes what God wants him to be.

2. It is a loving job. To “bring up” means literally to nourish tenderly; children should be objects of tender, loving care.

3. It is a twofold job involving nurture (lit., child- training)—all that a child needs for his development physically, mentally, and spiritually, and admonition (lit., corrective discipline) of the Lord.

The father is God’s constituted home authority who is to discipline the child when he does not obey as God intends. The father who does not discipline his children is a father who is undisciplined himself and disobedient to God’s will. A child’s disobedience is not to be tolerated.

See Ex 21:15-17; Deut. 21:18-21; Proverbs 13:24; 19:18; 22:15; 23:13,14; 29:15-17 New King James Version Notes, Thomas Nelson, p. 1200

Parental Balance

Every conscientious parent recognizes how difficult it is to exercise his God-given authority over his children. The delicate balance of being tough yet tender is not easy to maintain. Many parents intensify a rebellious spirit by being dictatorial and harsh. Others yield when their authority is tested. When a strong-willed child resists, the pressure to give in for the sake of peace and harmony can become overpowering. I am reminded of the mother who wanted to have the last word but couldn’t handle the hassle that resulted whenever she said no to her young son. After an especially trying day, she finally flung up her hands and shouted, “All right, Billy, do whatever you want! Now let me see you disobey THAT!”

Our Daily Bread, August 7


How to provoke: favoritism, comparison, unrealistic standards, over-indulging, rescuing, discouragement, lack of rewards, unfulfilled promises, treating them like boarders rather than children, not admitting mistakes, ridiculing, neglect, abusive words, sarcasm, physical abuse.

Nurture: positive teaching which is enforced.

Admonition: warning of the dire consequences if the path is not changed.

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