Father's Day is a time of expressing appreciation to dads. That's a good thing. Happy Father's Day! But this post is about presenting a challenge that the Holy Spirit gives to fathers every single day. Paul issues a two-pronged challenge directly to fathers:
"Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord." (Ephesians 6:4)
First – don't provoke your children to anger. Why does Paul make such an obvious point? Surely everyone knows fathers should not be angry. That’s true, but anger is one thing that most fathers struggle with. Anger too often accompanies leadership. This is a sign of weakness, not strength.
Anger may come when a child disobeys and rejects authority. There is pressure to have the home run smoothly. But when chaos comes so does anger. Fathers are supposed to be respected. So disrespect brings anger. But anger will not produce obedience, order or respect.
Dads this is where we miss the point of Paul’s challenge. If you become angry, you provoke anger. Of all the warnings that the Holy Spirit could have given to fathers, he chose this one: Don’t provoke or encourage your children to anger.
How can fathers avoid encouraging anger?
This is where the second part of the challenge comes in:"bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."