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Word for Today / Parenting and the Battle for Control

Staff Member
Parenting and the Battle for Control

‘Do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them.’ Ephesians 6:4 NLT

If your teenagers don’t like you telling them what to do, relax; they’re normal. And it’s not peculiar to teenagers; it starts much earlier. One psychologist tells about the mother of a tough little four-year-old girl who was demanding her own way. The mother said, ‘I’m your boss, I have the responsibility to lead you, and that’s what I intend to do!’ Little Jenny thought over her mother’s words for a minute, then said, ‘How long does it have to be that way?’ Already, at four years of age she was yearning for the day when nobody could tell her what to do. That’s a God-given instinct.

One of the first things God said to Adam and Eve was, ‘Take control over the earth.’ So the task for you as a parent is to hang on to the reins in the early days, and gradually begin to grant independence as maturity is demonstrated. This is one of the most delicate responsibilities of parenting. Power granted too early produces folly, but power granted too late brings rebellion. Knowing when to let out the rope, and by how much, requires wisdom; and God is the giver of wisdom (see James 1:5). If you pray, observe, and listen carefully, you’ll begin to see the critical milestones in your child’s life.

Paul writes, ‘Do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.’ (Ephesians 6:4 NLT) And as a parent, that’s some of the best advice you’ll ever get.

written by Bob Gass
Our best example of a proper parent is our heavenly Father. The more we become like Him, the better parents we will be. Our children are a very good reason not to wait to become like Him until it is already too late:

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." I John 3:2