8th September 2012

The Encouragement Of The Family, Part 1

“And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”
Ephesians 6:4 (NKJV)

What sort of environment should a family provide?  That’s easily answered.  We only have to ask ourselves what sort of environment we would like to have in our family.  I’m sure we would use words like warm, accepting, loving, encouraging, enabling, forgiving and many similar words.

Such a family can be, but it will come at a price.  It will take effort, sacrifice and time.  It will also require determination and perseverance.  It will also require cooperation and right standards.

One of the wonderful things about families is the variety that exists within them.  Every member of the family is unique and each will have slightly different needs.  Sounds very daunting doesn’t it?  But it needn’t be.  In the scripture above are two important instructions to guide us.  We will look at one today and the other next week.

First, fathers (parents) are encouraged not to provoke their children.  We can provoke our children by not supporting them, not encouraging and enabling them in their gifts and abilities.  There is nothing more frustrating than being stifled and held back, not being allowed to develop what God has gifted us with.  This can certainly make one angry.  Parents should be sure to make the home a place of encouragement and enablement–a place where children feel free to express their abilities without fear of ridicule or discouragement.

It is therefore important that children should be viewed individually, seen for whom they really are.  Remember no two human beings are the same, and yet each is made in the image of God and is precious to him.  Comparisons are always odious, and lead to pride and/or feelings of inferiority, unacceptance, and failure.  We must give space to our children to allow them to become all that God intends them to be, and a caring, happy family is the ideal place for that to happen.

Father in heaven, thank you that we are all unique creations, each with our contribution to make.  Help us to encourage the development of that uniqueness in our children and young folk.

Study by David Stirk

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