“Loving God, Learning His Word, Living for Christ, Leading Others to do Likewise”

The Adult in the Room?

 In our parenting efforts, we might find ourselves burdened by responsibility and outcomes that seem too heavy.  We at any given moment may want to throw our hands up.  It is helpful to pause and consider what the alternative would be. 

As parents we can easily find ourselves frustrated and even bitter when our efforts aren’t producing what we expect.  Parenting isn’t something we get to try and see if we like it; we are signed up and in it for the long haul.  We would all agree that we do not want the alternative.  It is often up to us to change so that the relationships change. 

The Bible assures us that those who belong to Christ have the Spirit of God in them.  The Spirit of God then produces in us the fruit of God’s Spirit.  Galatians 5:22-23: “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”  Needed changes in parent and child interactions often are the parent’s responsibility.   

It is evident that there is a definitive difference in the expectations of an adult versus a child, as it should be.  Adults should have mastered many areas of relationship building that our children are just now learning.  We don’t have to teach our children to be selfish or care only about themselves; it is a natural component of all of us.  We are to model and train our children to “Honor the Lord with their lives and to “do unto others as you would have them to do to you.”

As parents, we must constantly evaluate if we are behaving like the “adult in the room.” Are we so easily provoked by childish behavior that we become the child?  Colossians 3:21: “Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged.”   The definition of aggravate is “to make (a problem, injury, or offense) worse or more serious.”  Do we choose to stay in the fight until we win, or do we demonstrate the strength and wisdom to walk away?  Do we pick at our children about everything?  When we can’t see anything good in our children or anything to compliment them for, the problem is often our problem. 

Paul says do not treat your children in a way that you cause them to become discouraged.  In Ephesians he says to not provoke them to anger.   To provoke someone means to “stimulate or give rise to (a reaction or emotion, typically a strong or unwelcome one) in someone.  The word used implies this is intentional.  Our motivation must be examined to make sure that we are esteeming our children in a way that does not provoke them.  Am I more interested in being righteous, or right?  Is my motivation as a parent to lord power over my children and to get my way?  If so, I will fail.  Our motivation in parenting is to teach them about the Lord and to model His character to them. 

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.”   

Ephesians 6:4

God’s Word is clear that “man’s anger does not work God’s righteousness.”  James 1:20:” Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.


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Anita Blake

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