"Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so they won’t become discouraged."
- Colossians 3:21
I would like to share with you the five types of fathers that exasperate their children. The word exasperate means to irritate strongly and to do so repeatedly. Let me share a few statistics on fatherless children:
· 90 % of all youth who run away from home had no father at home.
· 85 % of youth/children with behavior disorders have no father.
· 80% of all rapist had no father at home.
The Bible places a particular emphasis on fathers in the raising of children, but this post is helpful for anyone who is raising children. Here are five types of Dad that strongly irritate their children which provoke them to anger:
1. The Proud Dad- this is a father who will rarely admit he is wrong. You will never hear him these words, "I am sorry" or "Please forgive me." There is a need always to be right. This type of father demands repentance from his children, but he rarely gives it to them. His motto is "Do as I say, not as I do." He provokes his children because they see no justice!!
2. The Angry/Controlling Dad- These are fathers who are rigid and inflexible, having a short fuse. These fathers are quick to speak and slow to listen. His motto is "Do this because I said so!" This father has forgotten that the anger of man will not produce the righteousness God requires. (James 1:20) He proves his children by the constant turmoil in the home.
3. The Inconsistent Dad- This type of father is always moving the boundaries for the home. The house rules are fluid and always changing from day to day. His motto is "I know I said that yesterday, but this is what I want today!" He will provoke his children because they never know what can or cannot be done.
4. The Religious/Perfectionist Dad- This type of dad sets out standards that are too lofty to be met by any child. No behavior or performance is good enough for this Dad. They are often churchgoers, who drive their children to make the necessary behavior changes to fit a church culture. This type of dad doesn't aim for the heart of his children(Matthew 15:8-9) and will raise either a rebellious or religious child like themselves. Often their children are worse than their fathers were on them. (Matthew 23:15).
5. Submissive Dad- These are fathers who regularly cave to the temper tantrums of their children, especially in public. They fear conflict and are afraid to correct. They want to be their kid's friend, not their child's parent. These dads provoke their children to anger because there are no boundaries, setting them up for failure as an adult. There have been many business meetings where 60 and 70-year-old men throw temper tantrums to get their way, many churches caving to them. Sadly these men never outgrew their manipulation tactics.
We need to love our children with gospel-centered love, discipline, and investment. We must affirm our love for them, and be honest about the reality of sin in their lives and ours. Fathers and parents, we will never make a more beneficial investment of time, money and energy, than in our children! I would like to give special thanks to Dr. Steward Scott for helping me to think through these matters.