fbpx

Share This

Share on facebook
Share on email

Practicaly Holy Blog

Helping people help others in the name of Jesus Christ

Parents and children

By, Isam Itson III

Ephesians 6:4 – Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

In ancient Rome the father was seen as the head of the family. He lorded his authority over the members of his household. The whole purpose and value of his wife, children, and slaves, was to honor and enlarge his public reputation. Their goal as members of his family was to honor and increase his status no matter what it cost them.  

The Apostle Paul is encouraging the followers of Jesus Christ in a way of life that is completely contrary to the ideal of Roman manhood. He encourages the fathers within the church at Ephesus and in the surrounding region to not make their children angry in a way that leads to lasting bitterness and hatred. In the Greek language this is the word for anger that tempts people to sin. Instead they are encouraged to actively train their children for life with the awareness that God is in charge and to fulfill God’s purpose for creating them. 

As followers of Jesus Christ we are called to raise our children to live the way that God created humans to live in the first place. The discipline and instruction of the Lord is a bible way of saying that we are called to raise our children in the way that Jesus Christ lived in a broken world  and among broken people, for the glory of God. We raise our children within our way of life as followers of God.

Fathers are instructed to equip and train our children to follow Jesus in the same way that we follow Jesus. The apostle urges us to help them see that they are called and blessed by God to bless others. This means we hold them accountable to considering the needs and sensibilities of others as vital to their own integrity and authenticity as human beings made in God’s image. We help them learn to help others at their own expense. We show them what it means to love God with their whole being and to love their neighbor as themselves. We help them experience the fulfillment of helping people help others in the name of Jesus and to the glory of God the Father. 

Through our love and joy in them fathers help them experience the infinite depth of God’s love for them and joy in them. We are called to love our children and rejoice in them and value them the way that God loves us, rejoices in us, and values us. We pay the price for their life in the same way that God paid the price for our life. We hold nothing back from them that contributes to their well being and the fulfillment of God’s purpose for them. 

We raise our children to weep with those who are grieving and to rejoice with people in their happiness and accomplishments. We teach our children how to focus on their end goals and persevere through opposition and suffering. We meet them where they are at and help them grow step by step as responsible human beings made in God’s image. 

We acknowledge and celebrate their accomplishments along the way. While raising them, we prepare them and equip them to overcome the challenges at their next level of development.

And as fathers who follow Jesus Christ, we do this in cooperation and collaboration with our wives. Unlike the Roman ideal of manhood, God’s glory and honor expressed through the lives of our wives and children, is infinitely more valuable than our reputations at work and in the world at large. 

Ephesians 6:1-3 – Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”

This simple instruction to children seems self evident to some and archaic to others. The implications of this command point to the core of what all followers of Jesus Christ find most difficult. Submission to God given authorities. From a young age children are challenged to live within the boundaries their parents establish for their behavior. Ideally this will prepare them to follow the authorities that God has given for the equipping of the members of the church for a life of cooperative service to others in submission to God (Ephesians 4:11-16 and https://practicallyholy.com/one-goal/). 

In all humility the most important life skills we pass on to our children are the habits that embody grace, honor, and patience in relationship to our family, friends, neighbors, and enemies. Our daily example of humility in relationship to God and submission to one another makes the deepest impact in the hearts and minds of our children. As we walk with God and wrestle with ourselves  we prepare our children to walk with God and wrestle with themselves. 

Taken together, Paul’s instruction to fathers and children and husbands and wives in his letter to the church at Ephesus promotes an approach to domestic life oriented around the life, love, and glory of God. Paul highlights the fact that our private lives are meant to reflect our public profession of faith in Jesus Christ, and the way we treat people at church should be consistent with how we treat one another at home. 

For reflection

1. How do you purposefully and consistently honor God’s love, value, and purpose for your children?

2. If you are married, what does your spouse say about the example you are setting for your children?

Isam Itson

Practically Holy is a mentoring community dedicated to empowering people to help each other as a practical and sustainable expression of their faith in Jesus Christ. That’s what Practically Holy is all about. Pursuing our common humanity in Jesus Christ by honoring our God-given purpose and boundaries, as we follow Jesus Christ together, and help others do the same, as dedicated members of our communities, from generation to generation.

 Practiallyholy.com

Practically Holy | Blog

No justice, no peace

by, Isam Itson III Matthew 23:23 – “justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others”. Once our relationship

Read More »

God help us

by, Isam Itson III Matthew 22:36-40 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the

Read More »

Ripe fruit

By, Isam Itson III Matthew 21: 43-44 – “Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to

Read More »

Ask Jesus

By, Isam Itson III Matthew 17:24-27 – When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax went up to Peter and said, “Does

Read More »

Be righteous

By, Isam Itson III Matthew 15:17-20 – “Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? 18

Read More »

Enough to start

By, Isam Itson III Matthew 14:14-18 –When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

Read More »

Yield

By, Isam Itson III Matthew 13:23  –  “As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word (of the

Read More »

Mercy

By, Isam Itson III Matthew 12:1-8 – At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began

Read More »

As we go

By, Isam Itson III Matthew 10:14 – “And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your

Read More »

An open heart

By, Isam Itson III Matthew 9:10-13 – And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were

Read More »

Faith in action

By, Isam Itson III Matthew 8:5-10 – When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, 6 “Lord, my servant

Read More »

God is our dad

By, Isam Itson III Matthew 6:9 – Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Matthew 6:30-33 – if God so

Read More »

Let’s go

By, Isam Itson III Matthew 4:18-20 – While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew

Read More »

Trial by fire

By, Isam Itson III Matthew 4:1-4 – Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2

Read More »

Active patience

By, Isam Itson III Matthew 3:11 – “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I,

Read More »

Right this way

By, Isam Itson III Matthew 2:1,2 – Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise

Read More »

Finally

By, Isam Itson III Matthew 1:16 and 17 “…and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is

Read More »

All together now

By, Isam Itson III Ephesians 5:21 – Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Considering our relationships as members of our local churches,

Read More »

Rich and poor

By, Isam Itson III Ephesians 6:5-9 – Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, 6 not

Read More »

Married life

By, Isam Itson III Matthew 19:4-6 – “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and

Read More »

Overcoming evil

By, Isam Itson III How do we respond to the self righteousness, injustice, and immorality of our governing authorities, political opponents, and social power brokers?

Read More »

Stand strong

By, Isam Itson III How do we respond to the self righteous agendas of the powers that be in our societies? How do we deal

Read More »

Mutual respect

By, Isam Itson III Ephesians 5:21: Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. In addition to practicing the expression of gratitude, as followers

Read More »

Thank God

By, Isam Itson III People have been drinking alcohol as a way of coping with stress and loss for a long time. When we get

Read More »

Imitate God

By, Isam Itson III Ephesians 5:1-2. – Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave

Read More »

Stop lying

By, Isam Itson III Ephesians 4:25 – Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we

Read More »

Game day

By, Isam Itson III Proverbs 16:25 – “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”

Read More »

Showing up

By, Isam Itson III Ephesians 4:11-13, “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the

Read More »

One goal

By, Isam Itson III Sometimes people ask me, “Why do I need to join a church to make a difference?”  Because a group of people

Read More »

Changing hearts

By, Isam Itson III Recently I was listening to a lecture given by the British theologian, John Barclay. He told the story of a poor,

Read More »

What do we do?

By, Isam Itson III The greatest among you shall be your servant. – Matthew 23:11 “What can I do to make a difference and honor

Read More »

Love remains

By, Isam Itson III Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  8 Love never ends. – 1 Corinthians 13:7-8

Read More »

Forgiveness

By, Isam Itson III Love keeps no record of wrongs. One of the most difficult things that I deal with as a follower of Jesus

Read More »

Mindful

By, Isam Itson III Love is not easily angered – 1 Corinthians 13:5 Every time I have lashed out in anger verbally or physically, I

Read More »

Considerate

By, Isam Itson III Love does not insist on its own way, – 1 Corinthians 13:5 Being considerate acknowledges our awareness that for us to

Read More »

Polite

By, Isam Itson III Love is not rude, – 1 Corinthians 13:5 When the author of the text says that love is not rude, he

Read More »

Respect

By, Isam Itson III Love is not arrogant. A loving person sees others being just as worthy of honor and regard as themselves. They give

Read More »

Attentive

By, Isam Itson III Love conveys an attitude of value expressed in acts of respect and consideration for the needs and concerns of others. Love

Read More »

Generosity

By, Isam Itson III I remember watching one of my friends as she gave her two young sons a snack to share. She told her

Read More »

Kindness

By, Isam Itson III Love is Kind. My wife, Lori, is my superhero. Her example of God fearing love for others has taught me so

Read More »

Patience

By, Isam Itson III Love is an attitude of value expressed in purposeful and voluntary acts of respect and consideration for the needs and concerns

Read More »

Love is…

By, Isam Itson III Love the Lord your God with all your heart soul mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. – Matthew

Read More »

Stay True

By, Isam Itson III If you have ever felt trapped in your job or responsibilities keep reading. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the

Read More »

Stay Focused

By, Isam Itson III One aspect of embracing our cross in the name of Jesus is surrendering our self interest in obedience to God for

Read More »

Start Over

By, Isam Itson III Over the years I have met many refugees. People who immigrated to new countries fleeing disaster, war, or terror in their

Read More »

Eat What They Eat

By, Isam Itson III Philippians 2:5-7  “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form

Read More »

Replacing Pride

By, Isam Itson III Pride goes before destruction,  and a haughty spirit before a fall.  19  It is better to be of a lowly spirit

Read More »

God Help Me

By, Isam Itson III God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  2  Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives

Read More »

Growing Pains

By, Joe Worsham I read  Psalm 8, Psalm 88 and Psalm 23 in rapid succession and I think this is a really powerful illustration of

Read More »

Oh, God?!…

By, Isam Itson III “They devoted themselves to prayer.” Acts 2:42 “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Read More »

Get another chair

By, Isam Itson III “They also devoted themselves to the breaking of bread.”  – from Acts 2:42. I was at the grocery store during the

Read More »

That’s good

By, Isam Itson III “And God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:12. I love learning about creative people at the top of their field.

Read More »

Well, Jesus said…

By, Isam Itson III “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching,” Acts 2:42. In her last years before her death my 105 year old granny

Read More »

Need a light?

By, Isam Itson III In dark times God not only comforts us with his loving presence, he also encourages us with his light, which is

Read More »

Family matters

By Isam Itson III. In Luke’s gospel, Jesus called his disciples to live as members of the Kingdom of God. He called them to obey

Read More »

Passing the Baton

By, Isam Itson III Genesis 1:28 – “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it,…  ” God purposed that other people carry

Read More »

Hotel Elegante

Unable to read published form data

Unable to read published form data

Update Post

Syntax error, missing attribute: #user_meta (Expected: key)