Summary: God commands us to train our children. We see in this command a blueprint and recipe for changing our families and our city. The Spirit empowers us to love and discipline our children as a loving Father like God.
Intro: A four-year-old boy was eating an apple in the back seat of the car, when he asked, "Daddy, why is my apple turning brown?"
"Because," his dad explained, "after you ate the skin off, the meat of the apple came into contact with the air, which caused it to oxidize, thus changing the molecular structure and turning it into a different color."
There was a long silence. Then the son asked softly, "Daddy, are you talking to me?"
Have you ever been on either side of that conversation? This morning we are going to do the best we can to learn Daddy Do’s and Don’ts. The first thing we have is don’t stir your children up to anger. Did you notice here in this passage it said fathers!! If we read this in context of what came before in chapter 5 we will find that if we are controlled by the Spirit this is one of the areas we cooperate with God.
We have in this passage written by Paul some clear and compelling commands and responsibilities for fathers. This is not a chastisement but a challenge and encouragement. God has done the commanding I am seeking to do the stirring of your hearts by the Word and Spirit of God. The way you change the direction of something is to begin turning. Cars, trucks, tactors, homes, churches and countries can change direction if only someone will have the courage to take the wheel and begin the turn. Dads, fathers we have a blue print, a recipe a possibility of changing our children, our city, and our county in this passage. If we as dads take up the responsibility to love but also lead our children and train them to love and obey God.
A) The Spirit filled life empowers us to not exasperate our children (remember Colossians 3:16)
The Gospel of Jesus Christ changed the way fathers treated their families and children. In Jesus time fathers could treat their family members however they wanted. The fathers could go so far as sentencing their children to death. We can still see this today in the honor killings that are performed by Muslim fathers.
Paul is commanding us you are different you have confessed Jesus as your Lord and master and He commands you to love your children. Love is not sentimentality it is strong decision that seeks the best for your children. Love is not a soft word it is a strong word! If we really want what is best for our children we will not stir up anger in them. We will instead stir up the desire to know and love God. How do we do this? We first look at how we stir up anger in them.
1) Overprotection – never allowing any freedom strict rules about everything. We must show our children that we trust them. The flip side is if they aren’t trustworthy they must understand trust is earned. Love is given but trust is earned.
2) By showing favoritism – sometimes unknowingly. Isaac, Jacob (joseph) and David showed favoritism and caused dysfunction and division in their families.
3) By devaluing their worth – This is done by not listening. This is hard to learn but profitable
4) By setting unrealistic goals – Don’t ever reward them and never appreciating their effort. Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way they should go.” That doesn’t say in the way you want them to go!
5) By failing to show affection – verbally and physically – Good job, I love you, hugs etc.
6) By not providing their needs
7) By lack of standards – Letting children be “free.” Children don’t only need standards and boundaries most of them long for someone to love them enough to set standards to meet.
8) By criticism – Childs learn what the live. Ongoing criticism teaches them to be condemn themselves and find fault in others.
9) By neglect
10) By excessive discipline. Discipline is never to be done in anger. (Testimony when John was very young.
Adapted from John MacArthur - see MacArthur, J. Colossians. Chicago: Moody Press
J Vernon McGee tells of a little boy being disciplined. There is the story of the father whipping the little boy and saying, “Son, this hurts me more than it hurts you.” The boy replied, “Yeah, but not in the same place!” The board of correction should be applied to the seat of education when children will not obey. But discipline is never, never an opportunity to vent your anger or mean disposition. The negative command is don’t anger your children. The positive is train your children.
B) The Spirit filled life empowers us to train our children to love God
How do we train our children? We train them the same way God told Moses and Joshua to train them. Tell them about God! Read Deuteronomy 4:4 – 9. You are not being called to be a pastor but you are called to tell them about God’s importance in your life!!