Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bring Them Up in the Discipline and Instruction of the Lord

4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.  (Ephesians 6:4. ESV.)

I have heard girls are easier to raise when they are younger and boys when they are older.  Personally, I think of the teen years and cringe.  They were difficult enough when I had to endure them as a child on my way to adulthood.  But now, I have the challenge (or privilege) of pressing through them on the opposite side of the the disciplinarian and teacher! 

As a parent, God's word gives repeated instruction and promises regarding training up kiddos. 

21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.  (Colossians 3:21. ESV.)

Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it.
 (Proverbs 22:6. ESV.)

I have found the two areas in which I struggle most are: 1. Being consistent (regardless if I am dealing with a headstrong toddler, strong willed teenager, or everything in between). And, 2. Battling against outside influences--- whether it's advertisements, peers, other family members, etc.  It feels like a continuous fight to "train" them "up in the way they should go".  And then, when I have to let go and watch as an adolescent transitions into an adult, I just hold my breath and pray...with my whole heart.


And really, I should be praying the entire time!  Thankfully so, I have been entrusted with these precious, little lambs (even though they are ornery buggers at times), I desire each of us to be pleasing to the Lord, and to glorify Him in everything.  I take my roll seriously (though not without joy and laughter) and want to do my absolute best.  I never, ever want one of my kids to come to me one day when they are grown and ask why I let them down and did not do better.  And, even more importantly I do not want to disappoint God!

I know, I know...some will read that last statement and feel passionately about it one way or another.  However, I personally believe God takes a special interest.  I have faith His word is truth and it specifically says, "bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4).

25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
   and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
   and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
   and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
   her husband also, and he praises her:
29 "Many women have done excellently,
   but you surpass them all."
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
   but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
 (Proverbs 31:25-30. ESV.)

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