In this final section on "How To Have A Happy Home" I will finish with the Relationship Between Parents And Children. I have given you four essential truths on a happy home. A Happy Home has Leadership, Involvement, Security, and Relationships. This last thought will focus on Ephesians 6:4. The Bible states, "And, ye fathers provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord". The words "provoke not your children to wrath" suggest for us a constant pattern of wrong attitudes and practices with your child that slowly builds up resentment and anger. You can do this by being unloving to you child, unreasonable in your demands, unrestraint in your punish-ment, and unrealistic in your rules and regulations. Children have thoughts, feel-ings, fears, dreams, hopes, and likes and dislikes just like their parents. They are not simply objects for you to bully, ignore, or beat on all the time. They are children created in the image of God and therefore are to be treated with love and respect. They are growing up in a confused world and they need your guidance, discipline, and supervision. You can provoke them to wrath by several things that you do. (1) You can show favoritism to your children and provoke them to wrath. (2) A constant barrage of discouraging words that put them down and never lift them up. (3) By pushing them to achieve in things they don't like or enjoy. Encourage them but don't over pressure them to excel in things they fail to appreciate. (4) Failure to do what you tell them you will do. Breaking your promise. (5) Making them feel like an intrusion in your life. That you wish they had never been born. (6) Incorrect or overly harsh discipline. (7) By physical or verbal abuse. These are just a few ways in which you can provoke your child to wrath. Parents must model good behavior in front of their children. They must encourage them to memorize verses in the Bible and they must teach them how to pray. Of course, you must be doing these things yourself if you ever expect to impact your child with Biblical knowledge. The words "bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" suggest for us that a parent must be providing both discipline, correction, and education. A careful reading of Deuteronomy 6:4-9 will give you God's advice on the spiritual education of your children. The key to this is found in the phrase, "in the Lord". Everything you do for your child must be done "in the Lord" by keeping in mind that God is watching you, He holds you responsible, and that He will ultimately judge you on how well you conducted yourself with your offspring. You must do these things today. You never get a second chance with your child. You must do it right the first time. Susannah Wesley, the mother of Charles and John Wesley, who had seventeen children, had these words to say about raising children: "The parent who studies to subdue self-will in his child works together with God in the renewing and saving of a soul. The parent who indulges it does the devil's work, makes religion impracticable, salva-tion unattainable, and does all that in him lies to damn his child, soul, and body forever". Remember, if you would have A Happy Home then you must have the proper Relationship Between Parents And Children.
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