Often I have heard the verse in Ephesians chapter six that states “do not exasperate your children” used to claim we should not cross children’s wills because that exasperates them.
Others say, not allowing children to be children, is exasperating. In other words, play and self indulgence are of utmost importance in a child’s life.
Recently, training was blamed for exasperating children. Instead, the fruit of the Spirit were to be left to the Spirit to build in the children’s lives, without the parents getting in the way.
Let’s look at that verse in completion. Ephesians 6: 4 “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; INSTEAD, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (emphasis added)
Exasperating our children comes when we don’t train and instruct them.
Even worse than not training, in my opinion, is being inconsistent in training. How frustrating to be able to do something one day and have mom flip about it the next.
Having expectations, without giving children the tools to meet them, is exasperating. Instruction is necessary for a child to wield the maze of our homes and more so this world.
Could the verse be written the other way around? “Fathers, do not bring children up in the training and instruction of the Lord, instead, exasperate them.” Obviously, this would not be a command of the Lord, but it does show how the two correlate.
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows” Gal. 6:7. If we listen to God and train and instruct, we will reap His rewards. If we listen to the world and refuse to train and instruct, we will reap chaos.