Friday, June 13, 2008


Fathers filled with grace produce children filled with love. That's why Paul told the fathers in Colossae and Ephesus not to embitter or provoke their children. The consequences are too much and the result is a child moving away from God instead of toward him. Children have quite enough influences to take them from God; they sure don't need their father s to inadvertently show them door.

The sense of "do not embitter" and "do not exasperate" (Col. 3:21; Eph. 6:4) is that, especially by demanding more than children deliver and being harsh when they don't measure up, we can discourage them. We can take the spirit out them; and lifeless children don't love. They won't love their own fathers. And it's likely that they won't love God.

When you bring a child up in the training and instruction of the Lord, you equip him and empower him to be like Jesus. A child brought up in the training and instruction of the Lord knows the difference between right and wrong. He knows there are consequences for choosing wrong. She knows there is love and forgiveness that matches the wrong choice. And our children know that just like dad, God loves me and forgives me through the sin and its consequences.

Grace doesn't make sinning OK. Grace doesn't remove all of the consequences of sin. Grace does keep us in relationship, though. Grace enables us to live confidently in the covenant promises. Grace provides warmth when the coldness of disappointment tries to move in. Grace provides joy when the thief called guilt attempts to break in. Grace prompts love in those who have received it. Love for fathers, love for other strugglers, and love for God.

That's Life at Work!

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