Ephesians 6:4 – And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Colossians 3:21 – Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
Provoke – To make angry; to offend; to incense; to enrage.
Discourage – To extinguish the courage of; to dishearten; to depress the spirits; to deject; to deprive of confidence.
Admonish – To warn or notify of a fault; to reprove with mildness.
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
Fathers do not discourage your children from living for the Lord by an angry spirit. Fathers have a tendency to get frustrated with their children more so than their mothers. As a result, they can often provoke their children to anger through excessive condemnation. We need to train up our children in the way they should go. That involves correction and instruction. The problem is when you push so hard that anger and resentment set in.
When the charity and a sweet spirit has gone out of the relationship between father and child, it becomes difficult to correct properly. This then extinguishes or puts out any flame of courage or hope in a child. They become depressed because they cannot do anything right to please you. As a result, they can lack confidence and character to push through. It will also affect their spirit and they could become depressed and down hearted. Training and correction involves not just correcting bad behavior but encouraging good behavior through positive affirmation. You need to tell your children when they do right and encourage them.
It is so important that fathers control their own spirit so they do not become a city with broken down walls that is a ticking time bomb. Instead they need to nurture or cultivate the relationship with their children. That is not always easy. One thing that would help is regular family devotions with your children. Fathers need to teach their children the Word of God. It is not just your pastor’s job.
Fathers also need to admonish their children. You need to warn them of potential sin or problems in their lives. You need to be on the lookout for them. When you see faults, you need to reprove in such a way that we do not discourage but rather encourage them to make right choices. This is especially true as your children get older and can understand more. Your children need to learn how to make godly decisions based on the Bible on their own at some point.
Fathers, try not to discourage your children but rather encourage them in the Lord. Another generation serving the Lord is worth the effort. It is only the grace of God in the end that will produce a godly seed that will be pleasing to the Father.