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Fathers exasperating their children

The feedback from the last couple of blogs on parents apologizing to their kids was good. A lot of us have struggled either as a misunderstood parent or a frustrated son or daughter. I love how the Bible is on the side of the kids. God knows we parents have all the power and tells us fathers not …
By Seth Barnes

The feedback from the last couple of blogs on parents apologizing to their kids was good. A lot of us have struggled either as a misunderstood parent or a frustrated son or daughter. I love how the Bible is on the side of the kids. God knows we parents have all the power and tells us fathers not to exasperate our children (Eph. 6:4).

Shane Vander Hart wrote me to share the following story:

“I’m a guy with clay feet and when God has convicted me of blowing it with them I apologize and ask their forgiveness.

“I remember once in the midst of disciplining my son, I realized I had crossed the line. I was yelling and I could tell I had crushed his spirit and he was crying out of frustration.

“I completely handled it inappropriately. I had exasperated him. The Holy Spirit showed me that while my son’s behavior before was not good, I was the one who had the problem at that time.

“I stopped and I said, ‘Morgan, I have hurt your feelings and I’m sorry. I want you to grow in Christ-likeness which is why your mother and I discipline you, but I’m being a lousy example for you right now when it comes to handling anger. Can you forgive me?’

“His continence changed and God softened my heart and he forgave me and gave me a hug. I let him know I loved him and nothing he did or will do would change that fact. This was right at bedtime, so we agreed to talk about his consequences about the previous behavior in the morning (which would have been the better approach to begin with).”

Have you ever been exasperated by your dad? You’re not alone – being a dad is tough, and our humanity shows through all the time. The point is to treat our own children with the love we wanted.

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