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Abuse destroys self-esteem leading to an inability to maintain future
responsibilities— Discipline strengthens self-esteem & aids future

Cell #15—

Colossians 3:20-21
20 Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord.
21 Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart. (NAS updated)

Cell #16—

III. Abuse Ignores God’s Instructions Colossians 3:21

1. The command for children to obey their parents doesn’t give parents the right to be rigid & harsh with their children. Children should be treated with love. They are not yet adults & shouldn’t be expected to have that level of maturity. They should however, be expected to obey. All of us at one time or another have observed a child who wasn’t made to mind & watched as the parents obeyed the child rather than the other way around. That is out of balance & reminds me of the statement about the "tail wagging the dog." Children need discipline, but it should be given with love.

2. The Greek word used for Fathers here refers to both parents, although Paul’s words seem to stress the discipline administered by fathers. Parents are not to make their children bitter by treating them as a nuisance.

Cell #17—
The command for children to obey does not give parents license for harsh treatment. Children must be handled with care.

3. When children are treated as a "problem," it destroys their self-esteem and ultimately does great damage to their hearts. Belittling children has no place in the parenting of the Christian mom & dad.

Cell #18—
The purpose of parental discipline is to help children grow, not to exasperate and provoke them to anger or discouragement.
4. I like the point the Life Application Bible Commentary makes about this passage. It says, "Parenting isn’t easy— it takes lots of patience to raise children in a loving, Christ-honoring manner. But frustration & anger shouldn’t be causes for discipline... Parents should act in love, treating their children as Jesus treats the people he loves. This is vital to children’s development & to their understanding of what Christ is like." 12

Cell #18—
The purpose of parental discipline is to help children grow, not to exasperate and provoke them to anger or discouragement. 12

5. Parents can take the heart out of their children by failing to discipline them lovingly and instruct them in the ways of the Lord. However, they can take the heart out of their children even more quickly by being harsh & inflexible. When parents are too harsh their children lose heart. This isn’t what God intends for us as parents. Our children need to know that although we don’t approve of everything they do, we do approve of who they are and what they are. We love them just because they are our children. Nothing more is required for us to love them.

1. I want to conclude with some reflections that I think are healthy for us as a church. In recent