Throughout the Bible parents are given many instruction as to what we’re supposed to teach our children, how we’re supposed to raise them and discipline them, etc.
The verse that our focus word comes from today is Ephesians 6:4, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
I often tease my husband with the first part of this verse since it states “fathers”, but God honestly is speaking to both parents.
It is important to know the definition of the words that we’re studying. So what do admonish and admonition mean?
The definitions of both words according to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary are as follows.
Admonish: To warn or notify of a fault; to reprove with mildness.
Admonition: Gentle reproof; counseling against a fault; instruction in duties; caution; direction.
Anyone who has been a parent for any amount of time knows that direction, counsel and instruction happen every day and sometimes all. day. long.
Two words caught my attention in the definitions, and I know that in the midst of my days I struggle with using them at times….
When we’ve given our children the same instruction for the 3rd…..5th…..or even the 10th time……how are we giving the direction? Mildly? Gently? For myself honestly I know I am not…..at least not all the time…..probably not even most of the time.
In thinking of how God admonishes me I know that though some of the directions, cautions or reproofs from the Lord have been difficult and at times painful.Yet I have never doubted that He loved me or that He wanted the best for me. I’ve never seen God angrily deal with my stumbling or failures. His gentle hands have always been there to redirect me and have even picked me up after falling on my face, time and time again.
In Matthew Henry’s Commentary I read, that as parents we’re to bring our children up “….in the discipline of proper and of compassionate correction…..” and as Christians with a “…religious education. Instructing them to fear sinning; and inform them of, and excite them to, the whole of their duty to God.”
How we raise our children must first point them to God, teach them of His ways and how to serve Him daily with their whole lives.
If our actions and words do not resemble the Lord’s then how can we expect our children to desire a relationship with Him or to even want to begin to seek Him?
Humanly speaking we will fail, over and over again. Yet when we pursue the Lord and His ways, He will give us the desires of our heart.
His gentle nature, His mild responses, His compassionate spirit, His unending love, and His everlasting forgiveness can be ours through Him!
Admonish your children gently….mildly…..in doing so you will teach them the ways of their Heavenly Father. They will see Him in you!