NOT RULED BY EMOTIONS
Today's Scripture: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4, ESV
Theme: Raising kids in a godly way means controlling our own emotions so that they can in turn control theirs.
At times, parenting can be the most wonderful gift. At other times, it can be the hardest and most frustrating job. It’s so easy to lose your cool and let anger take over when the little people in your life don’t obey, or they act rudely, or disappoint and embarrass you. Your feelings may be valid. However, the Bible says, “In your anger do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26a, NIV). When we act on our anger and let it control us, we lose our power over the situation, and we lose the opportunity to train and teach our children.
When our children become bitter, angry, and discouraged, they become unteachable. No one thrives, listens, or learns well in those conditions. If our children learn anything at all when we respond out of anger, it is how to lose control. I like the King James Version of today’s verse because it says “…provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4 KJV).
Instead of responding in anger to our children, God instructs us to nurture and admonish them. The word “nurture” comes from the Greek word “paideia,” meaning the whole education and training of a child…their spirits, their souls, and their minds... in the ways of God and in His truth. When our children disobey, we must take the time to teach them why they should obey, as well as how they should obey. Every mistake is an opportunity for growth and training.
Secondly, we are called to admonish our children. This word originates from the Greek word “nouthesia” which means to warn, to correct, “to set right.” We must teach our children what is right and then hold them accountable to that standard. Loving discipline is not given out of anger but is used gently as a guide to “set to right” the desires of the sinful nature.
Make it Personal: Today, God wants us to take back control over our tempers. Feeling frustrated and angry isn’t a justification to act on those feelings. Ask God to help you take captive all your thoughts and emotions, bringing them under the authority of Christ. Make a list of the characteristics you long for your child to have. Write down what you want them to know about God, and what type of person you want them to be when they grow up. Then stop and pray for your children and the things on your list. Ask for God’s help as you seek to train, teach, and guide the heart of your child.
Pray: God, You know I mess up all the time. I let my anger get the better of me. Instead of setting an example of self-control for my kids, I often demonstrate what it looks like to be ruled by my emotions. Please forgive me. I need Your help. I want to parent my children as You parent me. You always forgive me. You nurture, teach, warn, and correct me. Thank You for always lovingly pursuing me. Help me to do the same for my children.
Read: Ephesians 4:26; Hebrews 12:5-11; 2 Timothy 3:16; Romans 15:14
Weekly Memory Verse: “Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14 (ESV)