As a parent trying to become a good father, the words you choose can either ease tensions within your home or you can be part of the problem. In my earlier years as a dad, I was often quick to respond, sometimes scaring my children with harsh words. Instead of trying to resolve an issue, I was actually making the situation worse.
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, Ephesians 6:4.
During the first century, parents had a similar problem. One translation in the Bible uses the expression, “fathers do not exasperate your children.” Timing, tone and words will either console or enrage young people. Thus, when you do address a concern, interject an opinion or correct an improper behavior, be cautious that you don’t become part of the problem.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it, Proverbs 22:6.
There’s a saying, “you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.” American evangelist Lorenzo Dow used this in his teachings on the theology of election in the early 1800’s. Depending upon his audience, Dow found himself in a catch 22 situation, appeasing some while offending others. The same applies today to parents. Though its vital to train children to discern right from wrong, the method you choose influences the final outcome. Therefore, be wise in your spoken words or else you will remain part of the problem.
by Jay Mankus