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The idea of provoking is the father abusing the authority and responsibility that God has given him. We can ask of our children what we are doing but only at the level they are prepared to accomplish. A teenager obviously can not be expected to be as mature as his dad. Nor can he be expected to have the discipline, concentration, etc that the parent has. We grew into who we are and make a mistake and provoke our children if we demand of them today what we took a lot of yesterdays to learn. We can not make rules and restrictions and just give them to the children or we will become only a hard master and they will serve and obey only out of a slavish fear. They need to know why they have to obey. They should be submitting to our rules, principles and standards because they are based on the Word of God and our great love and tenderness that we feel for them. Submitting to what we ask of them should be like submitting to God and His will. You will provoke your children if all they hear is you will, you will, and you will or rather you will not, you will not, and you will not. Our children are individuals and we must encourage them, not discourage them. We can’t let it happen that they look to us as a cruel master. We are fallen creatures and God well knows that and begins with this thought for us as dads. Unreasonable demands without showing love will cause them to be provoked to anger Remember that just like the pastor or the husband the dad should never take advantage of his position. We will not endure a dictator politically, nor should our children nor our wives. None of us what slaves for children! All of this comes from things that I am reading in books and on web pages obviously and here is a quote worth remembering: “Children are like tender plants; they must have a tender ruler. They must see tenderness in their father.” Psa 103:13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. Psa 103:14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. Being partial with your children will definitely provoke them to anger–Jacob and Esau have major problems in their lives because of the favoritism of their parents–that means the way we treat one or the other–the way we treat the oldest and the youngest–boy did I make this mistake. And last can I say that we must be willing to admit our mistakes and ask forgiveness of our children–by the way gentlemen–your wife if she will tell you the truth will really help you to see how you are failing with the children but often times my attitude has caused Betty to only want to tell me what she knew or thought that I wanted to hear but then ever so often she would just get so mad at me that she would just dump a whole load of my failures on me–that made me mad but it really helped me to see where I was a fool and needed to fix something.