"I was reading in Colossians 3:16-25 today, and noticed two "E's" that a husband / father ought to pay close attention to:
1. (v.19) - for the Husbands - "...Husbands, love your wives, and do not be embittered against them..."
2. (v.21) - for the Dads - "...Fathers, do not exasperate your children, that they may not lose heart..."
Embitter & Exasperate. Just by reading these words you know they don't sound good. Let's define them:
- Embitter - to allow bitter feelings to exist; "...to excite bitter feelings in..." (Merriam-Webster's dictionary online)
- Exasperate - to cause to react in such a way that suggests acceptance of a challenge / arouse / provoke
What would cause me to become bitter against my wife? That sounds really harsh! It must be a common thing for husbands to experience, because the Apostle Paul addresses it. I think many times in the marriage relationship, there is frustration in the fact that the wife doesn't "think like" the husband - therefore leading to some real communication issues. Just because our spouse may be "wired differently" doesn't mean she has no valuable input. Differences in opinion may be a cause of excited bitter feelings. [...]
If you have teen-agers you may have experienced this already in your home. But it can happen at younger ages as well. "Provoke to anger" may also be a good translation. When we refuse to parent the child's heart and simply attempt behavior modification for our own ease in life, often we can stir up feelings of anger in our children. We cause them to choose to accept the challenge of authority. We do this as dad's because we have idols in our own heart we refuse to deal with: Comfort, Acceptance, Appreciation, Respect, etc. [...]
Definitely worth the read. Thanks Mark!