Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up with the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4 NABRE
Paul addresses relationships in the family, speaking about how spouses should love one another and then how the patriarch of the family is responsible for the up brining and training of the children. Scholars tell us that society had a very male tilted culture, women unable even to own property. But we also hear how children are raised by the mother and the father is the provider, hunter, home builder, though not much is said about his interaction with the young children. Paul points to the father and reminds them they are responsible, and they should focus on family life. It is interesting that Paul writing to share the message of Christ delves into the home life of community members. A life in Christ is not about attending a weekly service and then going back to life as it was before Christ. For Paul Christ’s message is life, and all life should be imbued with the message to love and care for one another.
In the family love should be the main ingredient and Paul realizes this means pointing to the father, so he does not live above the ordinariness of life but is in the day-to-day struggle of the children and their mother. For Paul, a father’s influence is particularly important in the family, and so fathers must live like Christ and be a witness to their family. I think modern psychotherapist would say the same, a father is important to the upbringing of children. Without a father’s influence a family is often dysfunctional. Men should not step away from doing small things for young people, rather they should prioritize being a good influence in the lives of young people. This is what Christ means when he says love one another.
Do you help the young? Can you be a father figure?Without a father’s influence a family is often dysfunctional. Men should not step away from doing small things for young people, rather they should prioritize being a good influence in the lives of young people. Click To Tweet
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