How To Provoke Your Children To Anger

Ephesians 6:4 – “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”

Some great thoughts here from Mark Altrogge for each of us parents to consider both prayerfully and humbly on ways that we  can provoke our children to anger (I know I was convicted on a number of them):

– By constantly criticizing them and not encouraging them.  When they feel they can never please us enough.
– By having double standards – Do as I say, not as I do.  Expecting them to do things we don’t do, e.g. ask forgiveness, humble themselves, etc.
– By anger and harshness
– By a lack of affection
– By telling them what to do or not do without giving Biblical reasons (e.g., Do it because I said to do it, or because it’s just wrong).
– By being offended at their sin because it bothers us, not because it offends God.
– By comparing them to others (Why can’t you act like your sister?)
– By hypocrisy – acting like a Christian at church but not at home
– By embarrassing them (correcting, mocking or expressing disappointment in them in front of others)
– By always lecturing them and never listening to them
– By disciplining them for childishness or weakness, not for sin
– By failing to ask their forgiveness when we sin against them
– By pride – failing to receive humble correction from our spouses or our children when we sin.
– By self-centered reactions to their sin (How could you do this to ME?)
– By ungracious reactions to their sin (What were you thinking?  Why in the world would you do that?)
– By forgetting that we were (and are) sinners (I would NEVER have done that when I was your age).

Just Plain Stupid

I heard a phrase recently, “There’s no cure for stupid.” That phrase came to my mind when I read about this:

Want your baby to resemble your favorite celebrity? A Los Angeles sperm bank is already one step ahead….

California Cryobank, a clinic that has been in the fertility business for more than 30 years, has launched a celebrity-inspired service called “Donor Look-A-Like,” which allows clients to search for potential donors who mirror certain “actors, athletes, musicians, or anyone else famous enough to be found on the Web.”

The list includes performers such as Johnny Depp, Tom Hanks, Russell Crowe and Justin Timberlake…. Athletes on the list include golfer Tiger Woods, tennis player Andy Roddick… quarterback Tony Romo and basketball player Jason Williams….

But, in an era when sex-selection abortion, in utero genetic manipulation and other techniques are raising concerns about a society that engineers and custom-designs children, Mr. Brown denied that his sperm bank’s service has anything in common with such “Brave New World” practices….

Read More.

Just how far will we go to reject God as our sovereign Creator? We are made in God’s image and we are to be like him, not like any actor, athlete, or anyone else famous enough to be on the web.

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:26-27

Raising Godly Children

Great thoughts here from the Resurgence website on how to raise godly children:

1. We are confident in our God-given parental authority.

God has set parents in place as the authority figures in the lives of children. Hebrews 12 speaks of how discipline is actually a privilege of being a son. Don’t fear that your child will resent your discipline. On the contrary, they will soon realise that it is a sign of your love for them.

2. We never count to three.

The counting-to-three routine undermines your authority and places your child in the driving seat. You are training them that, essentially, obedience is a negotiation and they can determine the timing of their obedience. Train them to think, “I must obey straight away.”

3. We model it ourselves to authority figures in our lives.

Several times a year there is a clash between what my “boss” is asking me to do and what my family and I would like to do. I always seize these opportunities to explain to my boys that I must obey my boss straight away and with a good attitude, and that although I would much rather spend Saturday morning with them, I must obey my “boss” and go to that meeting.

4. We try not to exasperate our children (Eph. 6:4).

Avoid petty rules. Pick your battles. Be merciful and compassionate. When you are in the wrong, say a sincere “sorry” to them. Also, make sure that you are giving them sufficient attention so that they are not compelled to rebel just to get some time and attention from you.

5. We use appropriate forms of punishment.

We discipline mostly for three D’s: disobedience, disrespect, and destruction (of property or your brother’s nose). Punishment must be proportional to the offense and also proportional to the child’s stage of life. If it is not then you will find that you exasperate a growing child. Also, the mode of punishment must be what will best help the child. Different parents have more “faith” in some forms of punishment than others, and different children respond differently to different forms of punishment. I acknowledge and respect that, although we have had continued success with the primary biblical form of disciplining children with a wooden spoon on their chubby bottoms.

6. We are convinced that it really is worth the effort.

The joy of parenting increases dramatically when you have obedient children, and most importantly, you are equipping your children with the vital life-skill of obedience, which will stand them in good stead in their obedience to God, life, at school, and in the workplace.