Paul wrote, “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

What are some ways we can exasperate (provoke) our children?                                  

  • Over-parenting (smothering).         
  • Showing favoritism: “Why can’t you be more like your brother (sister)?” Jacob made this mistake (cf. Genesis 37).           
  • Forcing our unfulfilled dreams on them.    
  • Over-criticizing and/or withholding approval. We can focus so much on what they aren’t doing that we don’t see what they are doing. One said, “A father needs to be on his child’s team—not on his back” (cf. Romans 14:19). 
  • Making them feel unimportant. Some parents send this message to their children: “I need career fulfillment now. Sometimes I have to choose between my kids and my work. The children just have to understand” (cf. Titus 2:4–5). Spending time with our children is the best way to show our love (Ephesians 5:16). Spending time says more and means more than spending money. Money can buy a toy, but without Mom or Daddy to play with them, toys are no fun. 
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