Last week’s Gospel Advocate Foundations course (Adult Bible Study) discussed Ephesians 6:1-9.
This section of scripture includes the admonition to fathers which says,
“… fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4 NKJV)
After asking the provided question in the booklet for this verse, the class teacher followed up with his own question. I believe his question was/is a very important one. He asked, “What are some of the ways a father can ‘provoke his child to wrath’?”
There are several valid answers that can be given to such a question, but my answer in particular (especially because I had already made some notes on that very topic in my booklet) is what I wanted to share with you.
I believe a surefire way to provoke a child to wrath is to physically discipline them (I don’t care if you’re talking corporal punishment, timeout, grounding, revoking privileges, etc.) without explaining to them why they are being disciplined. Nobody (not even small children) likes to be strong-armed. But that is exactly what physical discipline without education is. Physical discipline must serve a proper purpose or it is abuse! And for a child to understand the purpose, the purpose must be explained. To do otherwise helps to create resentment and a rebellious mindset within a child.
“My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother; for they will be a graceful ornament on your head, and chains about your neck.” (Proverbs 1:8-9)