Monday, September 12, 2011

Fear and Trembling Transforms Parenting Part Three

If we know the LORD for who He really is in the greatness of His holiness and justice and wrath and grace, we will tremble in his presence. And this is our family as well! As a father I should be the kind of parent who helps myr children tremble with joy in the presence of God.

I will mention only one thing to us fathers,we should be the kind of father that our children delight to fear. And thus help them know God. We take our place as the special representative of God in our family and display the fullness of who God is so that our children will delight to fear us.

If they only fear me, and there is no delight in it, it’s wrong and dysfunctional. If they only delight in me and do not fear me, it’s wrong and dysfunctional. In both cases I have made it very difficult for the children to embrace the true God—the God of wrath and mercy.

On the one had, as fathers, we hear Proverbs 13:24, “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.” Why? Because that’s the way God is. Hebrews 12:6, “The Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” So when I discipline my child, I display God’s judgment and His love.

But on the other hand, as fathers, we hear this word from Ephesians 6:4, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” We are in the place of the Lord. We are doing the discipline of the Lord. Our children are learning what the Lord is like. And what is he like? Psalm 103:13-14, “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.”

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