13 Ways Dads Provoke Their Children

As parents, we sometimes find ourselves focusing on verses like Colossians 3:20:

Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. [Colossians 3:20 ESV]

Unfortunately, all too often we forget the very next verse which says:

Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. [Colossians 3:21 ESV]

As parents (and specifically as fathers), God commands us not to provoke our children.  This past weekend at church, our pastor preached on this and promised to share a list of 13 ways parents provoke and discourage their kids.  As I read the list today I was convicted by a number of those things:

  • Playing favorites (specifically comparing one child to another)
  • Being overly critical
  • Making them feel unwanted
  • Excessive discipline
  • Inconsistent discipline
  • Rules without relationship
  • Failing to adapts to their current stage of development

At some point in my parenting (maybe as recently as last night), I have been guilty to these to some extent.  I am grateful for God’s grace that forgives me and tells me that, in Him, I can do better as a man and as a father.  I would encourage you to read the whole list and grade yourself on each item.  If you feel led, comment below on where you’ve failed, and let’s begin to hold one another accountable to this command.  Here is a link to the complete listing.  Thanks to Pastor Steve Benninger of New Life Church Gahanna for putting this together.

1 Comment

  1. It’s wonderful to see someone address this issue. Parents seem to focus on the children obeying them part of it, but sometimes we forget that our children are human beings with needs and feelings. It’s so easy in the world we live in today to get lost in the middle of all of our stress and forget what’s most important.