Fathers - Bring up your Children in the Lord




a) Honour is essential in developing and maintaining relationships.

Ro. 1:21 When you fail to honour and appreciate, your relationships deteriorate.


b) Honour - a decision to place high value, esteem, worth, importance upon a person and giving them a place of priority and value in your live.


†††† Dishonour - despise, remove value, make nothing of, treat lightly.


      People are dishonoured when you treat them as having no value, despise and look down on them and refuse to make them welcome in your life.

      Jesus excelled at expressing honour and value to people.† Those with Him were made to feel special, valuable to him.

      An essential part of evangelism is the ability to value people and cause them to feel accepted and welcome as they are.




a) 2 Tim. 3:1 - 2† In the last days family break down will be widespread.


      In the end times Godís spirit will move to change heart attitudes of Fathers to their children and children to their fathers.† (Mal. 4:6).

      Changed heart attitude is expressed by family members beginning to value each other.

      No direct command is given to parents to honour their children but it is implied.


b) Key concepts - Law of First - when mentioned in the Bible whatever comes first is first.


i.    Man created before woman - man given head-ship function and responsibility (1 Cor. 11:3)

ii.   Marriage was ordained before children came - husband/wife relationship higher priority than parent-child.

iii. Children eventually leave home - key role of parents is to prepare them for this.


      Whenever Godís principles and ways are rejected confusion and troubles occur.

††††††† e.g.††††† Mother consistently gives higher priority to her relationship with her ††††††††††††††††††††††† children.

††††††††††††††††††† Illegitimacy - children come before or outside marriage.

††††††††††††††††††† Mother/children dominate the home.

††††††††††††††††††† Father neglects responsibility to lead the home.




      Eph. 6:1 - 4† Godís Word sets forth his plan for parents raising children.

      Col. 3:21





a) God places responsibility on Fathers

†††† Why?


i.    Fathers often neglect their responsibility either by ďleaving itĒ to the wife as ďher jobĒ or by being preoccupied with work, hobbies or church Ďministryí.


      When a father abdicates his role he dishonours both his wife and children.


ii.   God has set fathers as the head of the home


      1 Cor. 11:3 : Man is head of the woman - He is responsible to God for marriage and home.

      1 Tim. 3:4 : A requirement for church leadership is that a man can manage his home properly.† Home and family are a priority.

      As head of the home fathers are held responsible to God for authority, guidance, provision, direction, training and raising the children.

      If a man is unsaved he is still head of the home - except in spiritual matters.


b) Parents share responsibility for Child raising


      Eph. 6:2 - 3 : Children are to obey and to honour both father and mother.

      Prov. 1:8 : Hear instruction of father, forsake not law of mother.

      Husband and wife are a team - common goal is proper raising of children.

      Husband is the team leader - together they must work with common vision and goals.

      When there is agreement between husband and wife there is authority and strength.

      The most important resource a father has in accomplishing the task of child raising is his wife - he must honour and value her and be aware of what she does.




a) Eph. 6:4 :† Donít provoke (negative) bring them up (positive)


      Provoke (3949 Strongs) = enrage stir up to anger, frustration.

      Does not mean we should never do anything that upsets or crosses their will.

      Means donít handle them in such a way they are dishonoured, devalued, made to feel of no value and grow up rejected, angry and resentful.

      Col. 3:21 : Donít provoke, irritate, stir up, be hard.

      Discouraged (120 Strongs) = without spirit, disheartened, inferior, frustrated.


b) Practical Keys


      Give responsibility but donít expect more than they are capable of.

      Careful how you correct - attitude, tone, belittling scornful words.

      Avoid double standards - practice what you preach.

      Make quality time with children, happy memories, shared experience.

      Freely communicate love and appreciation - hug, touch, note, gift, listening.

      Allow them room to fail, make mistakes.

      Make boundaries, expectations known clearly (as well as consequences).



      Make it easy for them to approach you with their struggles.

      Admit your mistakes.




†††† Eph. 6:4 ďBring them upĒ - This is a command and not a suggestion!


a) Children do not automatically grow up to be what God wants them to be


†††† Prov. 22:15 - Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child but the rod of †††††††† correction.

†††† Prov. 29:15† A child left to himself brings his mother to shame.


      Children cannot bring themselves up - they have a tendency to sin and selfishness

      A child left to make all his own choices, express himself freely, given no boundaries and training becomes self willed and self centred - a shame!

      Training = instruction and obedience.† Children should be trained in making right choices and actions.


b) ďBring upĒ is a command God expects parents/fathers today


      As long as children are under your care you must ďbring them upĒ.

      ďBring upĒ (1625 Strongs) = rear to maturity, cherish and train.

      It does not mean put them down, hold them back, smother them.

      Smothering is almost as disastrous as permissiveness - insecurity, dependence.

      It means prepare children to assume responsibility.


c) Bring up implies discipline


      Mt. 20:18 - 20† Make disciples - teaching them to obey.

      A primary place for the great commission begins in the home.

      The objective is to train attitudes and behaviour to be godly.

      This requires a work of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

      It also requires discipline.



†††† Eph. 6:4


a) Admonition = to put into the mind, confront, call attention to (3559 Strongs).


      Godís Word has something to say about every area of life.† It gives Godís values and perspective and keys for success.

      Parents are responsible to bring childrenís attention to Godís perspective. On a regular informal way.† Church and school are not ultimately responsible.

      Parents need to develop their own knowledge of the Word of God and work on shaping the thinking attitudes and behaviour of children.

      Training involves confrontation.





b) Nurture = discipline, correction (3809 Strongs)


      Godís Word says children must be disciplined to help them make right choices and learn to do right things.

      Discipline = learning with teeth (consequences) in it.

      Reinforce good behaviour and correct wrong or unacceptable behaviour.

      Make it wise for children to obey.


c) Practical Keys


i.    Give boundaries/guidelines


      Set clear boundaries so understood by child what is expected

      Donít give too many rules or rules they canít keep.

      Make boundaries appropriate for age level.

      Donít make rules you canít or wonít enforce.


ii.   Make sure consequences are understood and followed through


      Expect obedience and be alert to disobedience

      Administer consequences so child associates consequences with disobedience.

††††††† e.g.††††††††††††††††† Literal rod - not hand

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Explain why

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† In love not anger

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Enough to make it advisable to obey

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Follow up with prayer, hug and affirmative

      Be consistent - inconsistency frustrates and angers children


N.B. There is a great difference between disciplining and punishing.† Discipline has the motive of love and the goal of future obedience.


When parents love and train their children they give them a place of honour and value.




















Note: † Do not attempt all the questions.


1. What aspect of the study challenged you the most?† Why?

2. What aspect of the study stirred up a reaction the most?† Why?

3. Read Eph. 6:4 and Col. 3:21

      Why does God speak directly to fathers and not to mothers?

      What are some of the possible consequences if a father fails to do actively involved in leading his family?

      Why is it that men so often are unwilling to assume this responsibility or if they do to be dominating and controlling.

      How can husband and wife work best as a team in training children?† What helps?† What hinders this?

      Can you identify ways in which children in your care might be being provoked to anger/frustration.† What changes could be made.

      Can you identify areas of responsibility that need to be assigned to your children or are currently being neglected by them?† What changes could you make?

      How were you disciplined as you grew up?† What changes could you make that would improve the discipline process in your home?

      Suggest ways in which you could express value and appreciation to your family members.


4. Read Heb. 12: 4 - 12


      How does God discipline us when we need to be corrected?

      What is the immediate consequence of discipline? (v9)

      How does God view us if we refuse correction? (v8)

      What is the impact of discipline on our life? (v10 - 11)