Ephesians 6:4,And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord
What is the Father's responsibility in raising children? In our society, it is often given to the mothers to see after the spiritual rearing of their children. But what do we see in God's Word?
The Mother and Child
" If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:" (Deuteronomy 21:18)
"My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:" (Proverbs 1:8)
"My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:" (Proverbs 6:20)
"The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame." (Proverbs 29:15)
"A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother." (Proverbs 10:1)
Older women are to teach younger women (Titus 2:3-5)
A mother can instruct her children and give laws for them. We also notice that a wayward child brings shame and heaviness to his mother.
The powerful influence of mothers:
"Ahaziah the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned two years over Israel. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of his father, and in the way of his mother, and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin:" (1 Kings 22:51-52)
"When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also." (2 Timothy 1:5)
A mother has a strong influence over her children. This influence can either be good or bad; the children likely will follow in her footsteps.
The Father and the Child
-The father's responsibility to his daughter.
"But if the priest's daughter be a widow, or divorced, and have no child, and is returned unto her father's house, as in her youth, she shall eat of her father's meat: but there shall no stranger eat thereof." (Leviticus 22:13)
-The father's responsibility to remind his children of God's marvelous works.
"That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones? Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever." (Joshua 4:6-7)
"And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones? Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. For the Lord your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over: That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the Lord your God for ever." (Joshua 4:21-24)
"The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth." (Isaiah 38:19)
-The father's influence
"So these nations feared the Lord, and served their graven images, both their children, and their children's children: as did their fathers, so do they unto this day." (2 Kings 17:41)
"Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers." (Proverbs 17:6)
-Commands for the fathers
"And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." (Ephesians 6:4)
"Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged." (Colossians 3:21)
-Examples of a father
" Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him." (Psalm 103:13)
"As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory." (1 Thessalonians 2:11-12)
-The commands for children to their fathers
"Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding." (Proverbs 4:1)
"The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him." (Proverbs 23:24)
"A wise son heareth his father's instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke." (Proverbs 13:1)
"A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother." (Proverbs 15:20)
"A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him." (Proverbs 17:22)
"A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping." (Proverbs 19:13)
"He that wasteth his father, and chaseth away his mother, is a son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach." (Proverbs 19:26)
"Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father." (Proverbs 28:7)
Conclusion: while godly mothers who teach their children God's Word are a blessing and mightily used in God's kingdom, they were never intended to replace the fathers. How much we need godly fathers who will rear their children in the nurture and admonition of God!