Exasperating Your Kids
Ephesians 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 first part of this verse. Tomorrow's focuses on the second.
This verse is packed with parenting instruction. It immediately follows the passage instructing children to honor and obey their parents (Eph 6:1-2), and it helps us see how to make it easier for our children to obey us. The key is to avoid exasperating them.
The Greek word translated "exasperate" means to provoke to anger or to enrage. And, the fastest way to exasperate a child is to micromanage every move, correct each misstep, and point out all the areas he needs to improve. Kids who are nagged and lectured soon become frustrated and often respond by rebelling, withdrawing, or "losing heart." We are so inclined to over-correct, we often end up fighting about small things that aren't important. We may win the argument, but lose the war as we find our kids disconnecting from us.
Instead, try walking beside your kids as you lovingly allow them to experience the consequences of their choices. This is a far better way to create an environment in which a child can understand and embrace God's design for his life.
Pick your battles and avoid exasperating your kids.