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3 things fathers shouldn't do and three things they should
October 12, 2023

Four Things Fathers Shouldn’t Do (and Three Things They Should) 

How can we avoid provoking or alienating our kids? Pastor Adam Brock delves into Ephesians 6:4 where Paul addresses fathers with a crucial command. 

Although applicable to everyone, this admonition is particularly directed at fathers: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” 

At the core of the Christian message lies the gospel, the good news of what Christ has done for sinners. The Gospel is the good news that, despite our sinful nature, God has provided a way for us to receive forgiveness through Jesus’ finished work on the cross. As believers, our lives are forever transformed by this truth. 

In Ephesians, Paul offers three key applications of the gospel: 

  1. Transforming marriages 
  1. Transforming home life 
  1. Transforming work life 

It’s important to understand that Paul’s teaching goes against the cultural norms of his time. In the Roman era, fathers held absolute power over their households, even having the authority of life and death over those under their roof. However, the gospel introduced a new way of life centered around Jesus, influencing family dynamics significantly. 

Four Things Fathers Shouldn’t Do 

In Colossians 3:21, Paul urges fathers not to embitter their children. How can we avoid provoking those entrusted to us? Here are four things fathers shouldn’t do.

Do Not Be Severe 

First, we must avoid being severe. Parenting is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, we should consider our children’s individuality and how God has uniquely wired them. Discipline is essential for raising disciples, but it should be coupled with kindness and grace. Our children need to witness God’s compassion in us. 

Do Not Be Selfish 

Second, we must avoid selfishness. The home is where selfishness can thrive, but fathers are called to reflect the beautiful and selfless nature of God’s authority. Our role as parents, guardians, or mentors is to demonstrate God’s patient, guiding, protective, rescuing, and forgiving authority. 

Do Not Be Inconsistent 

Third, we should strive for consistency. In a world full of instability, our children need to find stability and reliability in us. By being consistent in our words and actions, we reflect something of the faithful consistency of our heavenly Father. 

Do Not Be Shallow 

Lastly, we must not be shallow in our spirituality. The depth of our home’s spiritual atmosphere often reflects the spiritual depth of the father. It’s essential for fathers to cultivate a deep relationship with Jesus Christ, allowing their faith to permeate every aspect of their lives. A shallow spiritual life often results in a shallow home environment. 

So, what can we do to uphold these principles and avoid provoking our children? 

Three Things Fathers Should Do 

Here are three ways: 

  1. Be immersed in God’s Word and let it shape your life. Prioritize the Scriptures and let them guide your actions and decisions. 
  1. Be present in your home and actively engage with your family. Show love, speak love, and be love. Your role as a father is crucial, so embrace it wholeheartedly. 
  1. Cultivate a deep spiritual life. Invest time in nurturing your relationship with Jesus, as your home. 

This article is adapted from a sermon by Adam Brock entitled Do Not Provoke.

Written by Adam Brock

Adam serves as Teaching Pastor in the North Venue. His prayer for Trinity is that we would always be a place that God uses to rescue people and transform lives.

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