A helpful parenting article from Dr Peter Masters, pastor at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, London:
Long-term Resentment in the Young
Paul’s Teaching on Child Training
‘And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord’ (Ephesians 6.4).
It hardly needs to be said that parenthood is a tremendous responsibility, and we are glad of every word we have in the Bible showing how we should go about it.
In Ephesians 6.4 Paul gives direction to fathers. Mothers seem to be out of the picture, but obviously this cannot possibly be the case. Everything that is said here about fathers must apply also to mothers. However, the apostle avoids using the Greek word for ‘parents’, but puts the chief responsibility (and accountability to God) on fathers.
He begins by challenging fathers to think about how they may provoke their children to anger. This refers not only to immediate anger, but also to exasperation and resentment which may not emerge for several years. How, exactly, may we stir up anger and frustration in our children?
No parent should feel condemned by the answers given here, because every one of us has failed in so many ways. The purpose of this article is to help, not to hurt.
This caution not to provoke our children to exasperation, applies to children and young people of all ages. Do not frustrate and embitter them, says Paul. So important is this that he mentions it before giving any positive exhortation.
Clearly, bitterness can be provoked by ill-tempered and violent behaviour, but that is not the whole story. There are other mistakes of parenting that produce the same painful reaction in children.
Here, then, are seven ways in which we may anger and exasperate young people, both short-term and long-term.
Read the rest of the article here.