“Fathers, do not exasperate your children, that they may not lose heart.” – Colossians 3:21 NAS
Most dads fear that they won’t measure up – that they will fail to be the kind of father they should be – or need to be.
Sadly, as guys, we often will skip the instruction manual, thinking we will just figure it out along the way. Yet, when things go wrong, it’s always nice to have that manual to go back to – isn’t it? Well, there IS a manual for life (the Bible) and we certainly shouldn’t skip it.
So, if you’re a dad looking for a little help in being a good father, one particular verse from the Bible really helps: “Fathers, don’t provoke your children, instead bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
- Don’t provoke your children. That means don’t make unrealistic demands. Don’t crush their spirit by being aloof or overly strict. Every child has a fragile psyche that needs to be built up, not torn down.
- Bring them up in discipline. Discipline should be fair and consistent. They need to know the boundaries and know there are negative consequences if they ignore them. This gives children security and helps them know they are loved.
- …and the instruction of the Lord. Discipline precedes instruction–any good teacher knows that. But discipline without instruction exasperates children. They need Dad to teach them right from wrong – and to do so with love.
It’s not easy being a good father or father figure, but we have a great model in our Heavenly Father, revealed to us through Jesus.