Father’s Do Not: Reflection #2

‘Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger…’ (Ephesians 6:4).  Military discipline is a great way to make children angry.  Military discipline is easy; father barks an order and the children obey.  It may work in a crisis or when our children are small.  But it will produce an angry reaction as our children grow.

The aim of military discipline is to train soldiers to obey without thinking.  In the heat of battle they must not question a command.  When the sergeant says ‘Jump’, soldiers jump – the only question might be ‘How high?’

disciplineThe aim of family discipline is to help our children become mature and responsible adults who can think for themselves.  Starting at the youngest age they need to understand why they do what they do – from brushing their teeth, to going to school, to avoiding wrong and doing right.

That means taking time to explain reasons and to answer questions.  We say we do not have enough time, but if fathers have no time for their toddlers, their teenagers will have no time for their fathers.