Father’s Day Message – Gospel in Life

Father’s Day Message

Tim Keller |  June 20, 1999

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  • Family and Relationships
Ephesians 6:4
IS 298


Paul tells fathers in particular, and parents in general, to raise their children in the instruction of the Lord, without creating anger and bitterness. It’s possible for parents to create in their children a sort of settled anger, or a disposition of being frustrated and resentful in an abiding and permanent way. What do parents do to create that, and how can they avoid it? According to Paul in the book of Ephesians, parents must do three things: 1) Balance nurture and discipline, 2) Raise children to be independent by degrees, and 3) Raise them to know God.

Understanding Ephesians 6:4

Ephesians 6:4 gives us three important tips for fathers on how to raise their kids in a godly way: teaching, coaching, and spiritual growth. Following these tips can help a father build a strong, loving bond with his children. This way, fathers can inspire, challenge, and guide their children in living a life that pleases God.

1. Finding the right mix between teaching and coaching

Parenting requires a blend of discipline and patient guidance to avoid making kids feel upset or rebellious. Discipline means setting and enforcing rules firmly, while guidance involves taking time to talk, reason, listen, and persuade. Parents need to both set clear rules and also show kids that they care by spending time with them, listening to them, and showing them love.

2. Guiding kids towards independence at the right pace

The goal of raising children is to help them become independent adults who can make good decisions on their own. This involves trusting them, allowing them to make their own choices, and letting them learn from their mistakes. But it’s important to guide them carefully, so they don’t try to become independent too quickly. They need to learn at their own pace, with enough support along the way.

3. Being open about your faith

Even though many people today hesitate to share their faith, it’s crucial to teach children about God and his role in our lives. Balancing truth and love, dependence and independence can be tricky, but the gospel can help us find the right balance. The gospel liberates parents from the pressure of trying to be perfect or always seeking their children’s approval. It also gives them the tools they need to courageously guide their children towards God with hope and confidence.



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