Lesson Focus: Good and Godly Parenting
1.Read Colossians 3:21, Amplified Bible
Fathers, do not provoke or irritate or exasperate your children [with demands that are trivial or unreasonable or humiliating or abusive, nor by favoritism or indifference, treat them tenderly with loving-kindness], so they will not lose heart and become discouraged or unmotivated [with their spirits broken].
2.Studying Colossians 3:21
In the animal kingdom sometime lionesses will eat their young, especially if there is something wrong with it, if there is only one and she has the opportunity to mate again, she will eat her cub and start over again. Of course this seems terribly cruel and heartless to us but that’s how it is in animal kingdom. Animals live and operate by a different set parenting rules and instincts. While some, like the elephants are nurturing and fiercely protective toward their young, others, like pandas, can be more ruthless and calculating, at times choosing the strongest of her children and abandoning the other when she has a set of twins. Thank goodness God gave humans a different nature, one that sets us apart from the animal kingdom. We are not supposed to eat or abandon our young because they are weak, sickly, or need extra care, and because we have been created in the image of God we have inherited his paternal and maternal instincts of being loving, patient, faithful, nurturing and protective; programmed to support and give life, not diminish or strip life.
In his letter to the Colossians Paul instructed fathers not to exasperate their children. The definition of exasperate is “to irritate or frustrate, to annoy, especially to the point of injudicious action such as provoking to anger or making someone discouraged. Paul writes they should show love and patience toward their children. If the opportunity arises for discipline to be administered parents are not to discipline so harshly they discourage their child or take away his or her heart for living. Good and nurturing parents made in the image of God are helpful and patient toward their offspring knowing children will make mistakes and need to be lovingly disciplined from time to time, which is part of growing up. And in the same way, we are children in God’s kingdom, needing our Father’s patience, protection, and patient instruction. God does not require we do or be any way with our children than he is willing to be with us.
3.Meditating on Colossians 3:21
Whether we are raising children of our own, supporting friends and family who are raising children, or realizing our place in God’s family, we can rejoice God has perfect parenting skills and there is so much we can learn from him. You don’t need to be raising children to take something away from Paul’s letter to the Colossians. What part of his message will you meditate on today as you go about your tasks?
4.Praying Colossians 3:21
Father, thank you for setting us apart from the animal kingdom. Because we have been made in your image may we be the kind of parents to our children as you are towards us, and when we have already raised our children we pray, heal the places and ways we have unintentionally been wounding or hurtful; bring healing to parents and children. Amen