Listen to this as you read through Ephesians 6 and the below devotional 🙂
4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
We’ve discussed a lot recently how we are at war. How Satan is attacking all areas of our life even when we aren’t aware. This is one of the areas that he is faithful in. He will cause a multitude of sorrow to overwhelm you so that you will begin to work with him to introduce sorrow to others. He especially likes to use this in our home life. He likes to push us into irritation. Make us forget our children cannot fully filter their words. Cause us to ASSUME everything they are doing is a personal attack. He wants us to forget that they are building their character and habits off of what they are seeing us model. He pushes us to the end and then instigates our anger to exasperate our children.
They push us, we push back. We begin to unleash harsh words we would NEVER speak to another human. We conveniently categorize all of this under “discipline” or “parenting” when in reality we are actually abusing our children’s spiritual walk. We preach “use your words” and then illustrate “this way.”
Paul says in Romans 7: 21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
This is where we are. It’s impossible not to become irritated and overwhelmed when our children or other people are pushing us to the point of no return. Or, perhaps, you’ve been pushed that far already and your children are simply adding to it. Rest in Ephesians 6:12: WE ARE NOT AT WAR WITH FLESH AND BLOOD! If we are not at war with flesh and blood do you feel you will win through that effort? Flesh and blood will never overcome the spiritual attacks of satan unless its Christ’s flesh broken and blood poured out for us bringing the Holy Spirit into power.
Paul continues in Romans 8 to say that it is through the Spirit we will overcome these struggles. This isn’t just in relation to parenting this is for all aspects of our life! We are at war with a spiritual force that is so efficient at attacks he is misleading most of the world! We cannot fight this fight in our flesh. We cannot overcome satan by “better self effort.” Instead we must realize we are but humans and the Spirit of God was given to us to utilize as a mighty weapon of God to extinguish the fiery attacks of our foe!
Wether it is your children or your friends… the Spirit is the source of victory. We must train our kids in righteousness and be aware that we will always fail if we aren’t counting on Him! In the same way we must always be aware that the only way we will consistently win the war with sin is through the empowerment of the Spirit.