Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
I’m sorry this devotion is getting posted a bit later than usual. And it won’t be as long as usual either.
In the Table of Duties in the Small Catechism, fathers are encouraged with a Word from Ephesians: “Fathers, do not provoke your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (6:4).
Fathers and mothers play such a critical role in the formation of children. Even more than pastors and Sunday school teachers, parents are called to hand down the faith. They are the best people to serve as examples for their children as to what it means to live a new life in Christ, a life of humility before the life, and faith in His promises. In serving as such an example, I fear that parents often times fall into the trap of trying to be the “perfect” example. In trying to be this “perfect” example for the children, they forget that being trained and instructed in the Lord means knowing your failures and faults. What is the best way to provoke your children? Carry on as if you know everything, and have no need to say, “I’m sorry, I overreacted.” Or, “Please forgive me, I shouldn’t have said that to you.” A parent that is able to confess, not only to God, but also to those little ones will be a parent that teaches his or her little ones what it means to be a Christian. And in the process, the children will learn to say, “I forgive you, mommy/daddy.” And that, my friends, is a sound pleasing to our Lord’s ears.
Have a blessed week…I’m off to go spend the evening with my own family.
Peace in Christ.