“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
Paul instructs us to bring up our children to love God and to know how to serve Him. He also cautions us not to exasperate our children. We need to discipline them fairly but not frustrate them.
To exasperate means to annoy, anger or irritate. The word has a sense of intensity. To exasperate means to infuriate.
In this Scripture, Paul is telling us not to push our children by nagging or purposely doing things we know irritate them. We should not show them personal disrespect.
Here are some of the best ways not to exasperate your children:
1. Listen to them. Do not interrupt them when they share their feelings with you, even if their thoughts are immature.
2. When you do have to discipline your children, explain why. Do not behave like a dictator.
3. Never shame or belittle your children. Treat them with the same respect you would treat a dear friend.
Kimberly Snider is a missionary to the Philippines.
From “Moments for Moms,” a free email subscription.
Copyright (c) 2003 Women’s Ministries of the Assemblies of God.