Scripture Reading:  Ephesians 6:1-4

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)

When my children were very young, I remember reading a book which was entitled, “Help!  I Am a Parent.”  Most of us who have raised children realize what a huge responsibility parents have in preparing their children for life in this fallen world.  I am a grandfather now.  I pray multiple times a day for my children to have the wisdom they need to parent my grandchildren.  And I pray for my grandchildren, first and foremost, that they grasp the gospel and follow Jesus.  Prayer is an essential duty for all parents and grandparents.

Fathers and mothers must first dedicate their children to the Lord and really mean it.  When we do so, we in faith believe the Lord God will take care of them and do what is best for them.  We must be willing to accept God’s will for our children and do all we can to encourage them to submit to the Lordship of Jesus over their lives.  We must entrust them to God’s care and we must believe that God loves them more than we love them.  We must not attempt to short circuit anything God is doing in their lives.  Sometimes He will take them through trials to strengthen their faith and build their character.

The single most effective way we can bring our children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord is by our own example.  Do our children see us praying and meditating on the Scriptures daily?  Do they see us trusting God in all our circumstances — especially during times of difficulty and trials?  Do they see us treating others with love and respect?  Do they see us serving one another in love?  Do they see us seeking forgiveness when we sin against one another?  We must never say to them, “Do as I say and not as I do.”  The way we live will greatly influence the way they will choose to live their lives.

I have read that the two greatest needs of humankind are the need for security and the need for significance.  Our children need to know that they are loved and accepted by us, that they are significant to us and most importantly that they are significant to God.  They must also know that they are safe, that they are protected.  This is where discipline comes into play.  Children need boundaries.  They need to be taught obedience.  They crave discipline, for it provides from them clarity and safety.  Our homes should be a place of refuge for them.

Parents need Christ’s wisdom.  They need His guidance and strength.  Being a parent is no easy task.  God has entrusted our children to us and we are to be good stewards over them.  We have a very limited time to bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.  We must love them, pray for them, be good examples to them, instruct them, and discipline them.  Then we can claim God’s promise — “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it”  (Proverbs 22:6).

Lord Jesus, I pray for my children and grandchildren.  I pray that You bless them with Your love and protection.  I pray that You guard their hearts from sin and evil.  I pray that You grant them the desire to serve You all the days of their lives.  Enable them to grasp the message of the gospel and may the power of the gospel bring salvation to them through Jesus.  Let them make a difference in the world for You.  Use them to be salt and light to those around them.  May they know how much You love and accept them.  May they know that they are safe in the palm of Your hand.


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