The Dark Side of Relating
Exasperating – Part 1
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 6:1-9
Key Verse: Ephesians 6:4
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
Any discussion about relating to relatives must include a discussion about the “dark side” of relatives. In other words, we all have experienced trouble in relating to relatives. Relatives often have a way of pouring on guilt to get their way. Some can wear us out with their neediness and others are simply exasperating!
The Apostle Paul warns fathers not to exasperate their children. The Greek word he uses is parorgizo, which means to rouse to wrath, to provoke, to anger. The apostle wants us to be careful how we operate within our relationships. The modern terminology would be: Be careful what buttons we push. It is with our close relatives that we know best which buttons will rouse them to anger!
Of course, this is a two-way street when relating to our relatives; they know our buttons as well. It is my opinion that as Christ followers we must strive to rid ourselves of “buttons”! A Christ like goal would be to have not buttons that anyone can push! I believe God’s grace and power in us can help us not react to other people’s bad behavior with our own bad behavior. Jesus’ message was to love our enemies—turning the other cheek. Tomorrow we study how this works.
Father, help me to never intentionally push someone to anger. Work your grace in me so I can’t be pushed to anger. In Jesus’ name, Amen.