Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4
Men, it is not enough to just live a right life in front of your child, you must explain to them why it’s right. They need to know the why and the how behind what you do. Your words work wonders in their tender and teachable hearts. Your instruction means you care to coach and train them in truth. It’s Dad’s tutoring of his tribe that empowers his little ones for life. They may not act as if they’re listening, but they are. Teaching truth transforms.
Truth leaves your lips and lodges in their hearts. When you take the time to transfer truth to your child you are setting them up for success. Truth is transformational and freeing. It gives confidence, direction, and discernment. As they move into maturity you won’t always be there, but truth will see them through.
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ” (Ephesians 4:15).
Instruct them how to balance a check book, change a flat tire, mow the lawn, shoot a gun, dress appropriately, carry on a conversation, swim, fly a kite, book a plane ticket online, memorize poetry, journal, pray, study the Bible, grill burgers, and make homemade ice cream. Children crave being with their dad and learning his lessons from life. Tell them when you messed up, what you learned, and what you did right. Explain that their best motivations are love of God, and love for people. Teach lovingly and patiently.
Above all, teach them to know, understand, love, and fear Jesus. He is the truth. “I am the way and the truth and the life…” (John 14:6a). The more they go to Jesus, the more they will be educated in what matters most. He will reveal to them wisdom and understanding. Instruct your child in intimacy with the Almighty, and they will be inspired with a heart of humility, and they will aspire to know the mind of Christ. Lead them to sit at the feet of their Savior and learn from Him.
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…” (Matthew 11:29a).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I am desperate for your wisdom and grace to father well, in Jesus’ name, amen.
Application: How can I best instruct my child? What is their unique learning style?
Related Readings: Joshua 4:6-7; Proverbs 13:1; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:15