Colossians 3:21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
There are many broken children in this world, children who has lost the spirit for living , but more than anything they have lost the spirit for doing what is right. Many are brought up in Christian families, with parents bringing the children to the house of worship. Yet, there are many who would walk away from the Lord, and unfortunately totally reject the teaching of the Lord for their lives. Why do children get discouraged?
Notice the source… FATHERS… Fathers wield great influence in the lives of their children. God gave the father to the children for protection, provision, and for guidance in this difficult and confusing world. The father is also a source of comfort and love to the children. From young, there is the naturally inclination of love and tenderness of the child towards the father. Oh praise the Lord for such an arrangement .
But notice the cause: FATHERS, PROVOKE NOT your children… the word provoke means a quarrel, or strife. Paul teaches the Colossian fathers to be cautious not to provoke, literally irritate the children to anger. A stern look, an angry attitude or a careless word such as “ You are so fill in your words “ can slowly but gradually destroy the confidence and trust that the children have on their fathers. How many times have we fathers said a careless word like King Saul, who called Jonathan the son of a rebellious woman, or lived a life of non-involvement in the child’s life like Eli, that have caused a child to lose the spirit of love for the father but worse still, lose the spirit of love for GOD and to begin loving the world? Other ways that we might provoke our children to lose the spirit in their hearts include loveless actions, poor relationships between mum and dad, unreasonable demands, and exploitation . Is it possible fathers, mothers, that we are the reason why in which many children lose the heart for GOD? God’s admonishment for us to NOT quarrel with them, NOT argue with them, NOT insist that we are right, for it is better to lose the argument but win the child rather than winning an argument and then lose the child…
Notice the outcome: DISCOURAGEMENT. The loss of spirit in the child, the source of motivation to love GOD, the source of strength to sustain them in times of crisis for The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear? Pr 18:14. When the child, helpless in this world, and yet dependent on their parents for guidance and life, become discouraged by the actions, words and attitudes of their parents, the child loses the hope that God promises to everyone that is born into this world for not only eternal life but also the abundant life.
Fathers, are we loving and not provoking our children to discouragement ? Do the children know that we still love them even though at times, we need to discipline them? Do we discipline them out of anger or out of love? Let us not be guilty of discouraging our children, but rather may we be the light that helps them to find their way in this life for the glory of GOD.
Evangelist – Pastor Johnny Tan
Ambassador Baptist Church