Reading in Ephesians the other day I had a run-in with these verses:
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”– which is the first commandment with a promise– “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:1-4)
A few observations here:
- Interesting that the Bible only says this to dads “Don’t exasperate your children.” In my experience, dads are more likely to do this than moms. Interesting.
- I know in my home, I’m more likely than Sherri is to aggravate “The Ladies.” I don’t mean to. Sometimes I don’t even realize it until they’re really upset.
- Don’t irritate them. Train them! You can’t train an angry child.
- It’s easier to have a relationship built on “goofing off” than it is one based on “building up.” The only way a “building up” relationship will exist is if I take the initiative. It’s easier to chase around the house, give zerbers, pinch buns, and make silly faces than it is to “train them up in the instruction of the Lord.”
I don’t want the essence of the daddy/daughter relationship to be goofiness. Oh I don’t mind silliness at all! In fact, I love it! I just don’t want that to be the defining characteristic of our relationship. I want our relationship to have substance based on respect and trust.
I’m thinking about some ways to take our relationship to the next level. A few of these include:
- Dating my daughters.
- Praying for my daughters.
- Making sure I have something of worth to give my daughters which means I need to be paying attention to my relationship with God and my bride.
- Having realistic expectations.
- Being consistent in discipline and reward.
- Apologizing when I unnecessarily make them angry and taking corrective steps to change my behavior.
What do you think?
Mom, who is most likely to “hack off” the kids in your house? You or dad?
Dad, have you realized this about yourself, or am I off base here? What have you done to adjust this behavior?