Irritate Not…

Posted: May 24, 2013 in Colossians 3
Tags: , , , , ,

This can get a little confusing based on my previous posts. Children obey, do not spare the rod and then this…

Fathers, do not provoke or irritate or fret your children [do not be hard on them or harass them], lest they become discouraged and sullen and morose and feel inferior and frustrated. [Do not break their spirit.]

“Fathers” in this context means parents. The word “provoke” means to exasperate, to become disheartened and hence lack motivation. Parents are not to exasperate their children. “Provoke” carries the idea of bitter, irritate.
As a parent  I can provoke my children by continual censure. i may nag my children about inconsequential things. As a parents I possess authority in my role. God does not want me to exercise uncontrolled authority. Severe discipline may make my children bitter and exasperate them as a person. Poor judgment in exercising my authority hinders the development of my children.
This does not mean that i as a parent am never to do anything that might irritate my children. Discipline often irritates children. The word “irritate” is in the continuous tense in the Greek. “Do not keep on irritating your children.” If I as a parent nag my children it will dampen their spirits.

This verse may be better stated as, parents, “irritate not” your children by perpetual fault-finding.

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