Doing Family God’s Way, Part 21 — Ephesians 6:4 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #45)

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A series of homilies on Ephesians 5 & 6

A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”


I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians 5 & 6 (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.

Ephesians 6:4:

4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

—–

Charles Spurgeon said, “Train up a child in the way he should go — but be sure you go that way yourself.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “Almost every Bible conference majors on today’s Church being like the Ephesian Church. We are told that, despite our sin and carnality, we are seated with Christ. Alas, what a lie! We are Ephesians all right; but, as the Ephesian Church in the Revelation, we have ‘left our first love!’ We appease sin— and do not oppose it. To such a cold, carnal, critical, care-cowed Church, this lax, loose, lustful, licentious age will never capitulate. Let us stop looking for scapegoats. The fault in declining morality is not radio or television. The whole blame for the present international degeneration and corruption lies at the door of the Church!”

—-

Please take note of these verses regarding fatherhood and children:

Proverbs 23:13-14: “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.”

Proverbs 29:15: “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”

Proverbs 29:17: “Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.”

Deuteronomy 6:6-7: “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”

Psalm 119:9: “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.”

—–

Today, we are going to continue looking at four principles regarding God’s command to Christian fathers from Warren Wiersbe’s Bible Exposition Commentary. These commands are especially relevant in a time when fatherlessness is described as an “epidemic.” Many men who have committed to staying with their families simply do not know how to be a good, godly father because they never saw that in their own young life. Thankfully, we can look to God’s Word for guidance. I am sharing the third of four powerful points that Warren Wiersbe brings out of this passage so clearly that it’s not worth the time to try to improve upon it. He states:

A father must discipline his children. “The word ‘nurture’ carries with it the idea of learning through discipline. It is translated ‘chastening’ in Hebrews 12. Some modern psychologists oppose the old-fashioned idea of discipline, and many educators follow their philosophy. ‘Let the children express themselves!’ they tell us. ‘If you discipline them, you may warp their characters.’ Yet discipline is a basic principle of life and an evidence of love. ‘Whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth.’ Proverbs 13:24 says, ‘He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.’

“We must be sure, however, that we discipline our children in the right manner. To begin with, we must discipline in love and not in anger, lest we injure either the body or the spirit of the child, or possibly both. If we are not disciplined, we surely cannot discipline others, and ‘flying off the handle’ never made either a better child or a better parent.

“Also, our discipline must be fair and consistent. ‘My father would use a cannon to kill a mosquito!’ a teenager once told me. ‘I either get away with murder, or get blamed for everything!’ Consistent, loving discipline gives assurance to the child. He may not agree with us, but at least he knows that we care enough to build some protective walls around him until he can take care of himself.

“‘I never knew how far I could go,’ a wayward girl told me, ‘because my parents never cared enough to discipline me. I figured that if it wasn’t important to them, why should it be important to me?'”

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