Gloria’s father was abusive and mean. She recalls that as a child, her only emotion toward her father was fear. Today, as a forty-year-old woman, she still has trouble believing God could possibly want good for her. That He can truly be trusted.
As a parent, and especially as a father, you teach your children what God the Father is like. That’s why Ephesians 6:4 is such a big, important Flag. IF you “provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them,” they may forever be angry with you. And more importantly, they may forever be angry at God the Father and not be able to trust Him.
How then are you to treat your children? The rest of Ephesians 6:4 says, “Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.” There is a lot of instruction in Scripture about how to rear your children. The whole book of Proverbs is actually a Dad teaching his son to live a godly, worthwhile life. You would do well to accept this Green Flag and read it carefully, passing on its wisdom to your children.
As fathers and mothers, you carry a weighty responsibility toward your children. Watch out for these Red Flags! If you treat your children harshly, what picture do you think they will have of God their entire lives? If you are in a blended family and you treat your spouse’s children less lovingly than your own, what picture will that paint of God for them? Afterall, aren’t we as Gentiles “adopted” into God’s family? If you are too busy getting ahead to take an active role in the rearing of your children, will they believe God really cares about the details of their lives? Or will He be “the absent God”?
This verse not only gives important commands from God, they are actually Flags for you to determine whether or not you are filled with God’s Spirit. If you are treating your children the loving and careful way God the Father treats you, your Flag is flying green. Keep it up! But if you have to admit you are in one of those Red Flag categories listed above, then STOP before it’s too late. Confess and turn away from your selfishness and sin. Ask God to make you into the kind of parent He is. That’s exactly what He wants you to be, so He answer your prayer.!
For more help in parenting, we encourage you to read “Forgiveness – the Key to Peace,” (https://marriages.net/forgiveness-the-key-to-peace/) as well as watch these free Webinars: How to Nurture Healthy Relationships (https://marriages.net/webinars-3/healthy-relationships/) and How to Handle Differences (https://marriages.net/webinars-3/how-to-handle-differences/). We also urge you to watch our Anger and Conflict 6-part series which you can find in the GTO store for only $29.95 (https://marriages.net/blog/anger-and-conflict/). The way you handle your own anger is teaching your children every day how to handle theirs. How are you doing?