Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
I’m going to admit that this verse is easier to read rather than live. Walking the path of discipline and instruction while not provoking your kids to anger is a very fine line. I have failed miserably when it comes to this verse.
All 3 of my kids have very different attitudes and mannerisms. My oldest is very quick to listen and follow through with what I say. For the most part he makes correct choices that model pure moral character. With that said he does present some problems when dealing with perfectionism and bossing his siblings around, but he’s a great kid and I love him dearly.
My middle kid is very opposite when it comes to listening. He is extremely strong willed and isn’t afraid to voice his opinion. I say that’s a great thing because he’s not a pushover who will let people walk all over him, but this trait also presents many unique challenges. Telling him it’s time for bed is met with procrastination and why why why. Trying to teach him that it’s in his best interest to do as mom and dad say is somewhat tiresome, to say the least. He’s very mathematical in his thinking and will weigh consequences in his mind prior to making his decision. This also makes it extremely hard because sometimes he does the wrong thing and just takes the punishment. Don’t get me wrong, there are punishments and they are consistent, but he will still take them on. Like I said, fine line between discipline and anger.
Then there’s my littlest one. She’s only 2 and has already has developed a sense of sass. She’s always smiling when she’s not throwing a fit. She’s always happy when she’s not hitting her brothers. She’s always laughing when she’s not refusing to wear her clothes but rather her brothers clothes. She’s building her character and it’s fun to see how she’s developing.
Overall I’m a blessed man. I have 3 kids that I love immensely and a wife that backs me up in raising them.
Now comes the not so fun part. I want to discipline my children without causing them added stress, anxiety, or anger. It is very hard for me to do this. Not because I want to cause them to be angry, but because I tend to yell more than I should. Yelling was always a staple in my life when dealing with own anger. I found it easier to just yell and get my point across rather than take the moment to calm down and talk it out. But here lately I’ve noticed some things with my kids and how I father them. I tend to create more problems than solve them. Now my kids are yelling and I see the consequences of my actions. I want to fix it, but now I’m the dad yelling for his kids to stop yelling. Make’s perfect sense doesn’t it.
So I’m taking the step to stop the cycle. I am leaning on Christ’s guidance and I know that one day our family will stop the yelling. But it starts with me. And this dad is going to lean on God’s Holy word and start applying it. I am choosing to follow God’s commands and trust in his path of being a father that doesn’t yell. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to discipline my kids, just in a different manner.
So here’s to the dad’s that are still figuring it out or trying to, myself included. If you’re making the commitment to change your habits for the better welfare of your kids, I salute you! One step at a time, one battle at a time, one child at a time.
May God bless you Dad’s!