Text: Ephesians 6:1-4
Memory verse:
”And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.“
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭6‬:‭4‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

In 1763, the 25 years old, Benjamin West was selected as history painter to England’s King George III. Recalling how his mother reacted when she returned home to meet the tables and floors stained with ink while he was trying to paint her baby sister’s portrait, he said, “My mother’s kiss made me a painter.”
Most parents are quick to quote verses 1-3 of our text. They speak about the responsibility of the children to the parents and the blessings that follow but rarely proceed to verse 4, which is our memory text.
The Greek word used for ‘fathers’ is sometimes used for both parents. ‘To provoke’ means, to irritate, exasperate or make angry to the point of resentment or bitterness. As a teenage boy, I once experienced this condition, with one who was in the position of a mother to me. While lifting a basin of water with the housekeeper, it slipped from my hand and the water poured on the kitchen floor. Assuming I did it intentionally, she rushed into the kitchen and whipped me mercilessly with a bunch of broom, that left stripes on my body. I was so bitter that I became hardened and I determined never to forgive her. Since I didn’t have a diary then, I opened a page of my biology textbook where I wrote her ‘unforgivable offense’! Unfortunately, I lost the ‘book of offense’ after few years! Above all, Jesus saved me, delivered me from this bitterness and I then saw it as a blessing in disguise and became grateful!
I know many teenagers and adults who have deep bitterness against their parents, arising from their childhood treatment. Some rebellious attitudes among young people today are reactions to their parents, even turning against their parent’s faith. A bitter adult once said to me, “My mother is a pretender and a wicked woman. She is abusive, unforgiving, selfish, a chronic liar …”.
The irony is that, rather than humbling themselves and looking inward, some parents see their children as being under satanic influence. They also consider it an abomination to apologize to their children when they are wrong.
It’s unfortunate how some parents even rain curses on their children or threaten them with it, for disobeying biblical command to obey their parents! How they curse and destroy their future!
Friends, humble yourself and mend the walls today to secure your old age and your eternity with God!

Prayer points
1. Father, open the eyes of all parents to areas where they have failed in their children upbringing and help them to make amends now, in Jesus’ name.
2. Father, in Your mercy, please encounter and save all bitter children and adults, in Jesus’ name.

Today’s declarations
1. As a parent, I apologize to my children when I am wrong, rather than cursing or intimidating them.
2. As a parent, I don’t provoke my children to wrath by demanding their responsibility to me but ignoring my responsibility to them.