“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4 NASB 1995) Fathers, what are we doing to bring up our children in the Lord? We have a solemn responsibility placed before us, and if we neglect our duty, the sad truth is that our children will likely not remain faithful to God when they grow up. There are many who have deep regrets that they did not place nearly enough emphasis on the spiritual education of their children when they were young. Now their children have drifted away, and their souls are in grave danger. Don’t let that be you! Let it not be said of us that we didn’t give our all to bring up our children in Him!
What is the discipline of the Lord? It is education and training in the ways of God. It is not merely correcting and reproving our children when they do something wrong—although that would be included—but it is teaching and showing them who the Lord is and what He expects from us. Fathers, you have a charge from the Lord to provide education and training that places Jesus Christ at the very center of your children’s lives.
What is the instruction of the Lord? It is counsel and warning about stopping or avoiding improper behavior. Children can easily get on the wrong track in life. Fathers it is your role to steer them back onto the narrow path of righteousness.
Are you providing for your children’s spiritual education? Are you training them in the ways of the Lord? We place a lot of emphasis on our children’s secular education—learning to read, write, do math, etc. As fathers, we place a lot of emphasis on teaching our children how to do household chores, or throw a football, or cast a fishing line. But are we neglecting the far more important things? The eternal things? What are we doing to teach our children to pray, to worship, to serve others, to love God and His word? What are we teaching and modeling with our example? Do our children see our love for God and His church in us? Do we make spiritual things a priority in our families, or do much lesser things take precedence? Our children certainly see what is important to us and it teaches them volumes.
Fathers, the souls of your children are in your hand! This goes for mothers, too. Let us not neglect our duty as parents. Let us not look back with regret. Our number one priority as parents should be to lead our children to the Lord! May God wake us up and help us in this all-important endeavor.
— Scott Colvin