November 19, 2011

Provocative Parents

Currently I'm reading a book by Lou Priolo entitled, "The Heart of Anger: Practical Help for the Prevention and Cure of Anger in Children." This work is endorsed by John MacArthur and Jay E. Adams, it's really very good and easily applies to every family. This is one of the best parenting works I've ever read. I highly recommend it to every parent.

Based on Ephesians 6:4, "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord," Priolo gives parents practical ways that they wittingly and unwittingly provoke their children to anger. After reading this I see how most every parent provokes their children to wrath, how I provoke my children and how my parents and grandparents provoked me. Now I understand better the phrase, " . . . visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and on the third and fourth generations . . . " (Ex 20:5, 34:7, Num 14:18, and Deu 5:9).

  1. Lack of Marital Harmony. (Gen 2:24 and Heb 12:15) Children can be angered when parents do not live in Biblical harmony.
  2. Establishing and Maintaining a Child-Centered Home. (Prov 29:15) "The child perceives that the entire family exists essentially to please and make him or her happy. Mother, Father and siblings exist only to serve and meet the child's needs and desires." (28)
  3. Modeling Sinful Anger. (Prov 22:24-25)
  4. Habitually Disciplining While Angry. (Ps 38:1, Eph 4:26-27 and Jas 1:19-20) When parents are angry, it is tempting to over-discipline. Your child might perceive this as a vindictive personal attack.
  5. Scolding. (Eph 4:29 and Mark 14:3-5) "To snort with anger" or it "is always an expression of a bad spirit and of a loss of temper . . . the essence of the scolding is in the multiplication of hot words in expression of strong feelings that, while eminently natural, ought to be held in better control." (34)
  6. Being Inconsistent with Discipline. (2 Cor 1:17-18 and Ecc 8:11) Either by differing parental standards or vacillating from day to day on what is punishable and/or how severe the punishment should be.
  7. Having Double Standards. (Phil 4:9) Hypocritical parents who do not practice what they preach.
  8. Being Legalistic. (Matt 15:8-9) Failure to discern for the child the difference between God's Rules and Parent's house/family rules.
  9. Not Admitting You're Wrong and Not Asking for Forgiveness. (Matt 5:23-24 and Jas 5:16) It's difficult for parents to admit when we're wrong, but we must swallow that humble pie and point our children to Christ as the perfect example.
  10. Constantly Finding Fault. (Job 32:2-3 and Prov 19:11) This is a "critical, condemning, accusing, judgmental attitude" where the child ends up believing that there is nothing he or she can do to win the parents approval.
  11. Parents Reversing God-Given Roles. (Eph 5:22-24) "Wives tend to become embittered over husbands not managing their homes as the Bible directs. Husbands tend to become embittered and lose respect for wives who are not fulfilling their God-given roles." In other words, male headship and wifely submission.
  12. Not Listening to Your Child's Opinion or Taking His or Her "Side of the Story" Seriously. (Prov 18:3 and 17) Parent and child may not agree but in order for the parent to correct the child, you need to understand his perspective to guide him to the truth.
  13. Comparing Them to Others. (2 Cor 10:12) Don't compare them to other children. You may compare them to Biblical standards of maturity in Christ or to their former manner of living to demonstrate 'how far they've come'.
  14. Not Making Time "Just to Talk". (Jas 1:19 and Ecc 3:7) Build your relationship with honest and open communication.
  15. Not Praising or Encouraging Your Child. (Rev 2:2-4)
  16. Failing to Keep Your Promises. (Matt 5:37, Ps 15:4-5 and Col 3:9)
  17. Chastening in Front of Others. (Matt 18:15) Some parents think humiliation helps modify their child's behavior, but over time, it will provoke them.
  18. Not Allowing Enough Freedom. (Jas 3:17 and Luke 12:48) Children need to demonstrate responsibility, faithfulness and trust.
  19. Allowing Too Much Freedom. (Prov 29:15, Gal 4:1-2, and Heb 12:6-9) Problems develop if children habitually practice sin, don't demonstrate appropriate levels of responsibility and maturity or live an undisciplined life.
  20. Mocking Your Child. (Job 17:1-2 and Ex 4:11) Teasing about "inadequacies about which the child can do nothing" and joking about sinful behavior are both unbiblical.
  21. Abusing Them Physically. (1 Tim 3:3 and Num 22:27-29) Children are not to be treated like animals and parents must control their anger.
  22. Ridiculing or Name Calling. (Eph 4:29)
  23. Unrealistic Expectations. (1 Cor 13:11) Children are not adults and need time to develop.
  24. Practicing Favoritism. (Luke 15:25-30)
  25. Child Training with Worldly Methodologies Inconsistent with God's Word. (Eph 6:4) This refers to man-made pop psychology, behavior modification and cognitive therapy techniques which replace Christ with human wisdom.

1 comment:

The Roses said...

Very good points.