Text: Colossians 3:20-21
Memory verse:
”Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.“
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3‬:‭21‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

It is well known that indulgence can have unimaginable negative impact in the life of a child, yet, the other extreme, which is, provoking a child to revolt will do much more harm. Let’s consider some ways that parents provoke their children to wrath.
Harshness is first on the list. This is a rigorous and demanding discipline that is never accompanied by love or understanding. It includes physical and verbal threats, yelling and hitting. Such rigid or military discipline will inevitably drive a child to revolt as he comes to adolescence. It will irritate, dishearten, discourage and embitter the child. “Parents, don’t come down too hard on your children or you’ll crush their spirits.“ (Col‬ ‭3‬:‭21‬ ‭MSG‬‬).
Secondly, parents provoke their children to anger when they set unrealistic goals for them and never rewarding their achievements. Such parents always compare their children with others and they impose the standards of such children on theirs, irrespective of endowment or other factors. They try to make them who they are not and their children never do enough to get approval. Oh, how many children have taken regrettable actions as a result!
Thirdly, by depreciating their worth. One way to do this is by not listening. They believe children should only be seen and not be heard. Such children may give up trying to communicate and become discouraged, shy, and withdrawn. In fact, the effects can negatively impact the future of such children. A young adult walked up to me some years ago to seek counsel on how he can talk intelligently. Knowing him well, I was surprised with his perception of himself and I asked why he thought he wasn’t talking intelligently. From his answer, I discovered that it was a wrong self-perception that arose from his upbringing. His aggressive father, always condemned his actions and verbally abused him as foolish and as a dullard. Over the years and unconsciously, he began to feel that way whenever he was in the midst of his friends. His father had damaged his self esteem!
‭‭Friends, before you continue binding the devil, think back to see if you actually opened the door for the devil into the life of your children by provoking them to wrath. Genuinely repent and win the children back with love and not threats.

Prayer points
1. I close every door I opened for the devil into my family in my time of ignorance, in Jesus’ name.
2. Father, in Your great mercy, please restore my family and my children, in Jesus’ name.

Today’s declarations
1. Good parents discipline with love but harsh parents discipline out of impulse, without love and without restraint.
2. It requires divine wisdom to stay out of indulgence and harshness in parenting.