Week 52 Day 3
Finding God in the Mysteries of every day
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Ephesians 6: 4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
You know the look. It cuts you to the soul when your child is upset with you. Children take a long time to develop the sort of emotional filters that supposedly keep adults from lashing out at each other. Whether you subscribe to one side or the other of the nature or nurture argument you will admit that the process of developing these important filters is an essential part of growing up. If parents are not able to teach through demonstration and instruction the application of these kinds of filters, the likelihood of a child ever being able to move beyond the sort of “concrete” thinking that sees everything in terms of risk and reward is virtually non-existent. The consequences of such a failure I have come to realize are strife, conflict, and very often the destruction of family.
The original language of the text above would best translate “…do not provoke your children to anger”. Sometimes when dealing with a petulant child or adolescent we need to learn to look beyond the moment and see the far reaching consequences of our choices at this moment. Something that requires prayer and understanding.