TUESDAY, JUNE 19
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
Ephesians 6:4 ESV
MISSION POSSIBLE: A DAD WHO PROTECTS
Years ago the Houston police department came up with a list of twelve rules to raise delinquent children:
1. Begin with infancy to give the child everything he wants. In this way, he will grow up to believe the world owes him a living.
2. When he picks up vulgar words, laugh at him. This will teach him that he is cute.
3. Never give him spiritual training. Wait until he is 21 and then let him decide for himself.
4. Always avoid the use of the word ‘wrong.’ It may develop a guilt complex. This will condition him to believe later when he is arrested that society is against him and he is being persecuted.
5. Pick up everything he leaves lying around the house. Do everything for him so that he will be experienced in throwing all responsibilities off on others.
6. Let him read any printed matter he can get his hands on. Be careful that the silverware and drinking glasses are sterilized but let his mind feed on filth.
7. Quarrel frequently in the presence of your children. In this way, they won’t be so shocked when the home is broken up later on.
8. Give the child all the spending money he wants. Never make him earn his own.
9. Satisfy his every craving for food, drink, and comfort. See that every sensual desire is gratified. Hold back nothing.
10. Take his part against neighbors, teachers and officers of the law. They are all prejudiced against your child.
11. When he gets into trouble, apologize for yourself by saying, ‘I never could no anything with that boy, anyway.’
12. Prepare yourself for a life of grief. You are likely to have it.
When we discipline our children in love we are protecting our children. The word “discipline” in Ephesians 6:4 means to provide instruction, with the intent of forming proper habits of behavior, of providing guidance for responsible living, of rearing and guiding a child toward maturity. A father should guide and correct his child. As a ship’s captain keeps his vessel on course, so a father is charged to keep his son on course. One of the privileges dads have is to prepare children to be mature responsible Christ followers. It’s not an easy task but well worth the effort.
What is one thing you wish your dad had done differently in helping you become a mature Christ follower? What’s one spiritual discipline you would like to impart to your kids or see grow in your own life?