Fathers make a difference! The Bible gives them a lot of credit by assuming they can bring their children “up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

Christian parents must wake up to the emotional side of rearing children. The parallel passage (Colossians 3:20–21) warns against exasperating children, causing them to “be discouraged.”

Someone said, “Soft is the heart of a child. Do not harden it.” In 1 Thessalonians 2:5–11, Paul compares himself to a father with his own children (and to a nursing mother) when he describes his emotional interaction with new Christians. He speaks of gentleness, tenderness, affection, and comfort. He tells them they are dear to him. It is important to express as well as to feel these emotions.

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