The way a child is parented affects who that child will become. If a child grows up in an environment of love, forgiveness, acceptance, and grace he or she will live with confidence, assurance, and a greater desire to love others. If a child grows up in an environment of tension, conflict, anger, and excessive demands, then there will be adverse results. The principle remains true regardless of religious affiliation. The words and heart of a parent toward their children fill them with their drive for life. Relating with high expectation, demands, guilt, and pressure only lead to a place of great frustration in a child.
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4
In place of the word, “exasperate”, the original language of the Bible is much more descriptive. It describes a way of parenting that provokes the child to a place of explosive anger. This way of parenting creates a hopeless tension with no seeming resolve. Parents can create this ticking time-bomb by how they relate. And to be clear, this passage is written to Christian parents. This dangerous form of parenting can, does, and often happens within the homes of well-meaning Christians.
And while it may seem right and righteous it is despicable and dangerous.
It is also the opposite of how God relates as a Father. Because of Jesus Christ, the law is fulfilled, rejection and condemnation are removed, and there is no exasperating set of demands from God! He does not hold guilt, pressure, and demand over us! Sadly, many Christians don’t know this freedom. As a result, they live and parent under the weight of guilt and pressure. They never feel they are doing enough and they pass the same on to their children.
Today we take a look at 15 ways that parents create frustration and exasperation in their children. Children who live in this environment have difficulty relating to others, have little motivation to live, and eventually boil over in rage and anger.
- Constantly compare them to other children whom you wish they would be like.
- Remind them continually of what you expect from them.
- Remind them of the good things you do and the bad things that they do.
- Use sarcasm, yelling, talking down to, and insults with them.
- Use guilt statements like, “You never…”, “You always…” to communicate with them.
- Remind them of their failures – often.
- Make grades, accomplishments, and chores what you talk about most.
- Point out your successes and their failures instead of humbly talking about your failures and encouraging their successes.
- Refuse to show them your favor until they have been obedient and successful.
- Only encourage them & tell them you love them when they do well.
- Be more interested in your life, hobbies, & career than in what they are interested in.
- Lecture them often about what they ought to be doing more than praising them for what they have done.
- Ridicule and make fun of their ideas and dreams.
- Never applaud and encourage too much out of fear of what it could create in them.
- Correct and discipline out of anger.
The essence of God’s love is one that fills His children with awe. It doesn’t fill them with pressure to have to be like Him, fear of His wrath, or guilt at not ever doing enough for Him.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! 1 John 3:1a
Be lavished in the love that the Father has for you! Out of the overflow of that love, release, and freedom, love your children!