by Charles R. Swindoll
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Thank You, Father, for being the perfect Parent. Thank You for those times that You've taken us to task, though the reproof sometimes seemed more than we could bear. Encourage us with the truth that whoever the Lord loves He reproves, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights. Forgive us, our Father, for our prodigal ways, for our selfish desires and self-willed decisions. Forgive us for our pride in wanting to look like winners as fathers and mothers when the truth is we have failed at every point.
Help us to be real with our children—authentic, loving, forgiving, firm when we have to be, strong when we need to be, gentle at all times. Help us, Lord. Help us with our grandchildren, to be there for them when they need us to be supportive and affirming of their parents, to be a part of the answer rather than a part of the problem. Enable us to come to terms with things that weren't dealt with in our own lives so that we don't pass them on to these precious, innocent children who follow us.
Lord, we give You thanks for the genius of the family. It's all Your idea. We pray we'll have very sensitive hearts as we grow in these areas of nurturing and discovery.
In the dear name of Christ. Amen.
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.