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Be careful not to let your moods determine your parenting style!

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Don’t Embitter Children

Scripture Reading: Colossians 3:18-25

Key Verse: Colossians 3:21

Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

Our printed key verse for today has always left me wondering how a parent might embitter a child.  The Greek word the Apostle Paul used is “erechizo.”  It has a literal meaning of, “to stir or provoke.”  Paul was instructing parents to be careful in their parenting style to not cause their children to feel an inner turmoil.  I want to offer a few ways this could happen.  Inconsistent discipline is the first way that comes to mind.  This is when a certain behavior is dealt with harshly one day, and another day it is ignored.  The child never knows what is coming their way and/or for what reason.  Be careful not to let your moods determine your parenting style!  Write the rules down if that helps keep you consistent.

Another parenting style that causes a child to become embittered is angry outbursts.  This is when you don’t say anything for long periods of time, even though the kids are not behaving.  Then, when you can’t take it anymore, you blow up.  Learn to deal with the kids’ behavior as it comes; don’t get lazy dealing with it.  Discipline with a calm voice, not a screaming voice.  Let them know how many warnings they get and then follow through.  Try to operate your home like our society when it comes to laws.  We are told ahead of time what the law is and what the punishment is if we break it.  No need for losing your cool, you simply enforce what you set up ahead of time!

Father, give me strength today to do my job well when it comes to parenting!  I need your wisdom to guide them correctly.  In Jesus’ name, amen.