From Chaos to Calm: Day Twenty-Two
Provoke Not Your Children
Scripture Memory: “Fathers [Mothers], provoke not your children [to anger], lest they be discouraged.” Colossians 3:21
Being a mom is rarely easy. Children seem born to test us! Patience is definitely needed on the part of mom if the household is to remain peaceful and a haven of love.
I have witnessed parents who, without good reason, yell at their children, speak harshly to them, or pick at the slightest wrong. The Bible tells us that as parents we should not provoke our children to anger. What does this mean?
Let’s say your teenage son has come inside and thoughtlessly forgotten to take off his shoes before walking through the house. You have a choice. You can immediately call him down, yell at him, and question his mental capacity. Or you can gently remind him, “Please take off your shoes.”
Or let’s say that your six year old has a bad habit about still sucking on his thumb. You can call him a “baby” and make him feel bad about it. Or you could seek out a way to enable him to stop with love and concern.
Children should never be put down, belittled, or snapped at. As your child grows from a toddler to an adolescent and beyond, he will want to feel understood. So many times parents don’t give their child the benefit of being listened to. A child that is frequently yelled at, may feel justified in being angry and disrespectful. However, a child that is treated with respect and dignity coupled with a firm, loving form of discipline will demonstrate the same love and respect toward his mom and dad.
It can be frustrating for parents when they feel that everything they have tried to teach their children is not getting through. If you have an angry child, it is likely that there is a reason. He may feel as though he can never live up to your expectations – so why try? Or, he may know that you do not stick to your resolve and if he acts badly enough you will give in to his desires.
Try approaching your child with tenderness, love, respect, and with a soft voice. Unjust harshness is not fair to either one of you. Rather than picking at every little thing you notice – try choosing your battles wisely so that only the most important issues are brought up. If it is important to you that your child wears certain styles of clothing, allow him the freedom to choose colors he likes. If you do not want your child to eat unhealthy snacks, provide healthy choices rather than complaining about his poor eating habits. Do not poke fun at your child or embarrass him in public on purpose. Sarcasm make be funny to a crowd, but it is rarely funny to the person being talked about. Uplift your child every chance you get. Really look and see the good in him instead of only the bad.
Remember that it is okay to admit to your child that you were wrong. They will learn a valuable lesson from you! If you realize later that something you said or did was unfair, as them to forgive you and make a promise to be better in the future.
In your prayer journal today, I want you to write about how you respond to your children. Be honest. If you feel you have been unfair to your child(ren) ask God to forgive you. Ask Him for wisdom when relating to your children in discipline and everyday activities.
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Here’s a free printable artwork that you can download and frame:
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