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The Word for Today

by Bob and Debby Gass

Raising great kids in a troubled world (4)

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‘Fathers, do not exasperate your children, …’ Colossians 3:21 CSB

Another point of parental confusion is this:

Bitter versus better. What is bitterness? It is strong resentment or cynicism. How do parents create bitterness in their children? Consider the following triggers:

a) Inconsistency. This happens when you are autocratic and authoritarian one day and permissive the next. What brought a strong rebuke today brings a smile of leniency tomorrow. So, your child never knows what to expect.

b) Moodiness. Today you’re fun and enjoyable to be with; tomorrow you’re irritable and distant.

c) Unreasonableness. There is no room for discussion, no opportunity for children to explore their feelings. ‘Just do as I say because I say it!’ So, the kid is never given the chance to think through the reasoning process.

d) Abusive behaviour. It might be physical or emotional (withholding your love, the silent treatment, rejection). Or it might be verbal (yelling and using words that wound).

e) Failing to walk your talk – saying one thing but doing another! You profess certain beliefs but don’t practise them. You expect your kids to be respectful while you display disrespect to others. You expect honesty from your children, but they see you cheat and lie your way through life. Children are keen observers – they may not say anything, but not much that you do escapes their attention. They see your inconsistencies – when what you say doesn’t line up with what you do. All of these behaviours can make them resentful. ‘Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they won't become discouraged.’ (Colossians 3:21 CSB)

SoulFood: Deut 28-29 Mark 8:14-26 Ps 44:17-26 Pro 12:12-14

The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2024

The Word for Today

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