Fun Times with Dad: Nolan and I took in a Purdue/Illinois baseball game on a chilly April evening. Purdue ended up winning 4-2 and Nolan never did get a foul ball but we had a great time enjoying some baseball!
Bring Them Up
In his book, Strengthening Your Marriage, Wayne Mack discusses a key verse found in Ephesians 6:4 – Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Among the points he talks about with this verse, he calls out the phrase “bring them up” as of particular significance. He notes, “In the Greek text the verb translated ‘bring up’ is in the active voice, imperative mood and present tense.” I’m no English major but I think it means it is imperative that we are present and active in the raising of our children.
So the question may be, what do we need to bring our children up to? The study question portion of this chapters lists 20+ verses and asks the reader to look up the character traits that God wants our children to have. I came up with the following traits:
Obedient (Eph. 6:1)
Respectful of Authority (Eph. 6:2)
Loving of others (1 John 4:7)
Selfless, esteeming others (Phil. 2:4)
Love God with all heart, soul, mind (Matt. 22:37)
Generous (Acts 20:35)
Truthful (Eph 4:25, Prov. 12:22)
Regard what is honorable (2 Cor. 8:21)
Faithful (Hebrews 11:6)
Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)
Wisdom (Luke 2:52)
Seek wise counsel (Prov. 1:5)
Receptive to Instruction (Prov. 23:12)
Growing Spiritually (1 Samuel 2:26)
Not wrathful (Eph. 4:26-27)
Kind (Eph. 4:32)
Diligent (Prov 12:24; 13:4)
Good words (Prov. 13:3)
Humble (Prov. 16:5; 17:19; 18:12)
Friendly (Prov. 17:17)
Slow to anger (Prov. 16:32)
This may not even be an exhaustive list but if your child developed these character traits, they would turn out pretty well.
Where Do I Start?
Pick one or two of these traits and talk with your spouse about how to approach it with each of your children. You may want to work on different things with different kids. One thing it will take is consistency, speaking truth and patience.