Fathers are given the responsible for the proper training of their children. Ephesians 6:4 “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” This is not to say that mothers don’t have a responsibility and role in training of the children, but fathers appear to have the greater responsibility. Some fathers may provoke their children since they have the power to do so. This problem is also addressed in Colossians 3:20-21 “Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.” True love for our children should motivate us to refrain from provoking them and instead training them to be disciples of Jesus. Provoking of our children can cause them to be angry, resentful, and even rebellious. The apostle Paul treated the Thessalonians like a loving father would treat his children. 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 “As you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.”
Before a man can become an overseer/elder or deacon, he must prove himself in how well he trains his children. 1 Timothy 3:4-5 “One who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?).” Titus 1:6 “If a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination.” 1 Timothy 3:12-13 “Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.” We are told that the father is to rule his own house; the training of his children should include submission with all reverence. He should train them to be faithful so that they cannot be accused of dissipation or insubordination – in other words, not wild and unruly.
In the Old Testament, parents were instructed to teach the commands of God. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” How much more should fathers teach and train their children in the ways of the Lord today?
The book of Proverbs provides instruction on training and disciplining of children. Proverbs 19:18 “Chasten your son while there is hope, and do not set your heart on his destruction.” Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 13:24 “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.” Proverbs 22:15 “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of correction will drive it far from him.” Proverbs 23:13-14 “Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell.” Proverbs 29:15 “The rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.” Proverbs 29:17 “Correct your son, and he will give you rest; yes, he will give delight to your soul.”
Fathers, step up to the responsibility of training and disciplining your children in love.