Kenneth Maresco from Covenant Life Church preached on parenting (from Ephesians 6:4) a while ago:
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
The sermon was part of their series on Ephesians. In it, Maresco shares that children are wonderful gifts from God and parents should not tempt/provoke them, but “bring them up in the Lord” always keeping the gospel in mind. But what does it mean to “bring them up in the Lord?” The following sermon and application questions can help us answer that very important question…
1. In what ways do you tempt your children to anger through your words (harsh, critical, angry, belittling, etc)? Are there any ways you have been inconsistent in your example? Are there any areas of unconfessed sin? If you have sinned in these areas, seek to repent and apply the grace of the gospel for change.
2. How can you continue to cultivate with each of your children a relationship characterized by love? Do you ask them regularly, “Do you know that I love you and want the best for your life?”
3. As a parent, is your biggest concern for your children that they know and follow the Lord Jesus Christ? How often are you praying for your children’s salvation? How often are you talking to them about the good news of Jesus Christ?
4. In what specific ways do you need to be more diligent and faithful to bring up your children “in the instruction of the Lord”?
5. Where do you need to grab hold of God’s grace in Christ Jesus to receive complete forgiveness of all your sins and His power for this important task of parenting?