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)
As a parent and a grandparent, I have come to realize that there is no greater responsibility on earth than bringing our children and grandchildren up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Parents play a crucial role, a God given role, in the discipleship of their children.
One of the fundamental principles of parenting is that parents are to be to their children what God is to them. As we study the Scriptures, we find that God is many things to His children. Here are a few for us to consider.
God is our ROCK — “I love Thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold” (Psalm 18:1,2). Parents are to be a rock to their children. They are to provide stability for them and are to be a source of strength and protection for their children. Parents are to be a refuge, a safe place, for their children.
God is our SHEPHERD — “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1). Parents are to provide for the basic needs of their children. As their shepherds, parents are to guard their children from harm. They are to guide them and to correct them. They are to take care of their children as a shepherd takes care of his sheep.
God is our FRIEND — “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends” (John 15:13,14a). Parents are to be a friend to their children. They are to spend time with them and are to listen to them. Parents should enjoy being with their children and are to do all they can to enable their children to enjoy them. Parents are to love their children unconditionally and sacrificially.
God is our KING — “For the Lord is our judge; the Lord is our lawgiver; the Lord is our king, He will save us” (Isaiah 33:22). Parents have a kingly role with their children. They are to set the rules and boundaries for their children. They are to maintain a position of authority in the lives of their children. Parents are to discipline and protect their children.
We have a heavenly Father who will never fail us. We can always trust Him for He will never let us down. Our children must know that they can trust us for we also will never let them down. We have a responsibility to be to our children what God is to us.
Loving Father, You are my rock, my shepherd, my friend, and my king. You are a refuge and a safe place for me. You lead me, guard me, and correct me. You provide for me and protect me. Lord Jesus, You are my friend who loves me and who laid down Your life for me. You are the King of all kings who defends me, disciplines me, and fights for me. I love you, my Lord and my God.
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