Ephesians 6:4 – Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
The Greco-Roman household was quite cruel and followed in the pattern of the emperor:
- single autocratic ruler who wields oppressive authority
- male dominance
- home also a place of business, used for negotiations and networking
- servants do much of the work, including the teaching of children
The Christian household is to follow in the pattern of our King of Kings. What pattern would that be and how would that affect each role in the household?
Specifically in verse 4, fathers (and parents) are to carefully and with much kindness and hands-on involvement, train and instruct their children about life and about the Lord. When such constant and warm care is properly provided, children won’t be left angry or embittered.
“It is assumed that he [husband/father] will continue to provide leadership to the household, but his role will be radically transformed into one of caring for the people within the household for their own sakes, not having them around to serve his own self-interests.” [G. Fee, Priscilla Papers]
Prayer: Heavenly Father, would you continue to grow functional families and households in the Agape Churches, where fathers and parents are servant leaders in the homes and there is much kindness, care, training and instruction provided for our children in the pattern and way of our Lord!