The command to be Spirit-filled and the evidences of the Spirit’s filling are found in Ephesians 5:18-6:19. Men especially are to treat their wives as Christ cherishes the church (Eph. 5:25,28), to be husbands worthy of honour, respect and authority (Eph. 5:22-24,33). Men are to be faithful in the area of the servant/master relationship (Eph. 6:5-9). Today this would be imaged in our employer/employee situation. They are to be dedicated Christian soldiers in the battle against evil and the evil one (6:10-19). Men are to wear the armour of God and stand against principalities and powers.
Men also are to be godly dads and granddads; men who encourage rather than discourage the next generation coming behind them. Ephesians 6:4, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Colossians 3:21, “Fathers provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.”
Let’s look first at what fathers are not to do.
1. Do not provoke your children. The word provoke means to vex, irritate or exasperate. It means to bring up and bring out wrath, anger and frustration. It means to stir up their flesh rather than their spirit.
2. Do not bring them to the point of wrath/anger. The word wrath means deep feelings of malice, leading to deep roots of bitterness. Don’t cause children to be emotionally and spiritually scared for life.
3. Do not discourage them.The word discourage means to bring disappointment, despair and depression. This will produce children who are crushed and broken in spirit rather than in will; children who lose heart and lose hope.
Now let’s look at what fathers are to do.
1. Raise them (bring them up) – to nourish and rear. The idea is to fertilize them so they will grow to maturity, morally and spiritually.
2. Nurture them – to train, discipline and chasten them in love and godliness. It is to train children to resist evil and battle against the world, the flesh and the devil.
3. Admonish them – this refers to instruction, exhortation and encour- agement. It refers to motivating children to do right and to invest in good works and good decisions.
Fathers have a great influence upon their sons and daughters, especially in their teen years. Be wise in raising up children rather than putting them down. Treat your children the way God treats you!
Post by: Dr. R. Barry Beebe
This article appears in the June 2011 Open Bible Bulletin.