Bringing Them Up
Eph 6:4: Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord (NIV). Today's devotional focuses on the second part of this verse. Yesterday's focused on the first.
God entrusts kids to us so we can nurture them to maturity—Intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. Our goal is to help them find and fulfill God's design for their lives and to teach them about the character of Christ. We usually think of training and instruction as words, but words can end up exasperating our kids.
God's plan may involve some difficult times, and we should teach our kids that a strong character will help them through those times. The character we should be teaching them to adopt is the character of Christ. The choices they make and the consequences they face are opportunities to talk to them about the character of Jesus. They allow us to focus on internal—what is going on inside the child—rather than external behavior.
Chip Ingram calls this teaching your child "survival skills," as contrasted to spending most of your efforts ensuring their survival. Too often, we attempt to ensure survival by rescuing, nagging or micromanaging, and we end up with children unprepared to face the world without us.
Redefine what it means to train and instruct your kids about the character of Christ.