Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. – Ephesians 6:1-4 (ESV)

1. Children build heritage in Christ

  • Build through obedience
  • Build through honor

“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children – Deuteronomy 4:9 (ESV)

“Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” – Ephesians 6:2 (ESV)

2. Parents build heritage in Christ

  • Build by not provoking
  • Don’t provoke with expectations
  • Don’t provoke with anger
  • Don’t provoke with apathy
  • Don’t provoke with pride
  • Build by discipling them in the Lord
  • Train them by example
  • Train them all the time

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. “Did he [God] not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring.” – Malachai 2:15 (ESV)

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. – Deuteronomy 6:5-7 (ESV)

Grace, or the free favor that has been lavished on us through Christ, ought to make our parenting radically different from what unbelievers do. That’s because the good news of God’s grace is meant to permeate and transform every relationship we have, including our relationship with our children. All the typical ways we construct to get things done and get others to do our bidding are simply obliterated by a gospel message that tells us that we are all (parents and children) both radically sinful and radically loved. At the deepest level of what we do as parents, we should hear the heartbeat of a loving, grace-giving Father who freely adopts rebels and transforms then into loving sons and daughters. If this is not the message that your children hear from you, if the message you send them on a daily basis is about begin good so that you won’t be disappointed, then the gospel needs to transform your parenting too. – Elise Fitzpatrick

Joel Peabody

Joel grew up overseas watching his parents proclaim the Gospel in Morocco and Spain; at ten, he recognized his own need for Christ’s redemption. He met and married Deb in Bible College and God has blessed them with the joy of raising two children, Logan and Katie, who are now married and serving God in their own families. Through more than 30 years together, they have watched God faithfully care for and prepare them to in turn minister to others.

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