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The way of Encouragement

The way of Encouragement

Words of Faith 11-20-19

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Colossians 3

[20] Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. [21] Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.


       Paul gave some very practical nuts and bolts instruction about life in the family.  Children are to obey their parents in everything.  Okay.  That may not fit the images we see on sitcoms or in the movies, but then the way of the Lord is usually quite different from the way of the world.  But this is important.

       The word translated "obey" means to heed, hearken, comply, and follow the directions or instructions of some guide. When parents guide and direct a child, the child is to receive that guidance as an expression of love.  While a child is to obey "in all things," this, of course, does not include sinful or abusive instructions.

       Jesus set an example for children by obeying Joseph and His mother Mary (Luke 2:51). Obedience to parents pleases the Lord and reflects God’s design for order in the home.  As Paul wrote to the Ephesians— “It is right, just or proper for children to obey their parents (Eph. 6:1).

       Proverbs instructs— “Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching” (1:8).  There is wisdom in such obedience.  But fathers and mothers should not push this obedience so as to embitter, provoke or irritate their children by unreasonable demands.  

       Paul wrote to the Ephesians— "Fathers, do not exasperate your children" (Eph. 6:4). This will only make them discouraged. Praise for well-doing rather than constant criticism will, along with loving discipline, help guide children in “the training and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4).

       Parents are not to provoke their children to wrath. Parents are bound to upset and irritate their children sometimes.  We all upset and irritate people sometimes.  But we must avoid the sort of patterns that repeatedly or deliberately provoke children to wrath.

       Family relationships can be complicated.  Discipline, correction, and reproof can be especially tough.  The point here is to avoid "provoking" or arousing to wrath or anger. We must prevent exasperation and resentment.

       How are you doing in the family department?  Are you fostering good communication and open lines for listening?  Are you guiding firmly with love?  Are you setting boundaries while also avoiding petty demands that provoke exasperation?  Are you picking the battles wisely so that the strength of relationship can be preserved?  Are you building an atmosphere of encouragement rather than discouragement?  The journey is not an easy one—but it is one that we can navigate with the help of the Lord.


       Father God, give me aid in family relationships.  Help me to shape those that You have put into my care.  Help me to love and discipline without exasperation.  In Jesus’ Name. 


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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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