“Subtle Ways Parents Provoke Their Children”

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Episode Summary

You may be contributing to the lack of peace in your own home, tune in to see why.

This is a vital season to be super intentional with your children, but there are a lot of obstacles that naturally arise in this season for parents making it challenging. The Tolpins cover important family dynamics, the realities of what’s happening to children in this age range, and practical insights on what to be doing.

Main Points From This Episode:

  • God’s word warns parents not to provoke their children
  • Way’s parents provoke
    • Have too high of expectations beyond current capabilities
    • Yelling and being harsh with their words
    • Being impatient or lacking gentle speech
    • Overwhelming with too much information at once
    • Creating competition between siblings or friends
    • Not listening 
    • Not valuing their thoughts and ideas
    • Keeping a record of wrong that lacks real forgiveness
    • Labeling them in their minds a certain way and not allowing them to grow
    • Interrupting
    • Overreacting
    • Broken promises
    • Shaming them in front of others
  • God calls us to confess and repent
  • Break the chains and create a new legacy

Scripture From This Episode:

Colossians 3:20-22 –Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.”

Ephesians 6:3-5 –that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ,”

1 Corinthians 13:11 – “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”

Proverbs 22:24-25 –Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.”

2 Corinthians 10:12 – “Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.”

Matthew 18:15 – “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.”

Matthew 5:37 – “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.”

Galatians 6:1-2 –Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

James 5:16 – “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working”

Proverbs 28:13 –Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”

1 John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

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Full Transcript:

Note: This is an automated transcript and misspells or grammar errors may be present.

Welcome to Courageous Parenting Podcast, a weekly show to equip parents with biblical truth on raising confident Christian kids in an uncertain world.

Hi, I’m Angie from Courageous Mom.

And I’m Isaac from Resolute.

Man, we’ve been married for 21 years and have seen the fruit from raising our eight kids biblically. Based on the raw truth found in the Bible.

We can no longer let the culture win the hearts of children. Too many children from Christian families are walking away from their faith by age 18. And it doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be this way. Join us as we start an important conversation about effective parenting and the following. Hey, welcome to the podcast. So glad to have you back. Hi, guys. We have a good topic today. I mean, I think I say that every week, but I get excited about them.

This one’s cool. I know. Well, I think that the Bible gives us so many opportunities to really dig deep.


And that’s something that we both really enjoy. We want these podcasts to be relevant to you and to be worthy of you taking time to listen. So we really appreciate you guys joining us on the podcast.

Yeah, and we’ve got a slew of scriptures today. It might be more of a Bible study. I wonder who prepared this one.

Anyways, I was inspired. It’s awesome. I just have to say, if any of the ladies from our church are listening, I just appreciate you. I had such a good time at our women’s Bible study last night and we kind of dug into this topic a little bit more interest just intimately. And so it inspired me to really think and study all the different ways that we potentially provoke our children, which is one of the reasons why we’re doing this today.

It is a big deal because God put us as their authority and we need we are that trusted authority. But when we provoke kids, we’re crossing a line.

We’re actually disobeying God’s Word. And he commands us not to provoke our children. If they become And.

It makes it challenging for children who don’t have the same capacity and maybe self control and experience in life. And so it’s it can be hard for them. So this is a really important thing to actually encourage a teachable heart, encourage obedience to parents by being good leaders.

That’s right. So we’re going to dive into some scriptures. But before we do that, we just wanted to say, hey, you know what, This this is November. If you’re listening the week that this comes out, thank you for being a supporter of the podcast and being with us for as long as you have. That’s just unbelievable. We’re really grateful. But here we are in November and in just a few weeks it’s going to be Thanksgiving and then Christmas and then the New year. Right? And right now we are gearing up to have our very last parenting mentor program of 2022. And the next one won’t take place until January of 2023. So if you would like to join us for a six week self paced program, we would love to have you in this next class that starts November 15th.

The thought is, if not now, then when? It’s never a perfect time to do these things. Whenever we do something new that would be like that, it usually happens after the kids are in bed. It usually happens when everything else is done and we have that quiet time in the evening and we’ll spend extra time. We’ll stay up a little later to have those discussions and to learn the things. And, you know, there’s there’s a way when it’s important enough. And so we encourage you courageous parenting. Not only can you find out about the Parenting Mentor program and security spot, but you also get all the free resources, show notes from this episode and so forth. And thank you so much for being part of the ministry. If you want any part of the ministry or everything that it offers, go to be courageous ministry dot org. And by the way, one of the if you listen to other podcasts, they’ll have every week, they’ll have other companies products they’re promoting or other things they’re promoting. We promote things that under the be courageous brand that actually support directly the ministry. And so one of those is the be courageous coffee. You can go to be creative coffee or through be courageous ministry dot org you can find it but it directly supports the ministry and it is exceptional. Everybody is telling us it’s it’s it’s wonderful and lots of people are loving it.

I really like the flavor. And hey, you know what has been really exciting? I even got Isaac to try decaf at night. And it’s.

Good actually. Really like their decaf.

It’s good. I don’t know if you guys knew this about the be courageous coffee. This is just a side note. We’re just.

Chit chat because I think of the ministry is not us now it’s be courageous ministry dot org.

That’s right which is going to be having some other kids rising up and having some ministry soon. Yeah but you guys the be courageous coffee I just have to say there’s like four different blends. I don’t know if you knew that. So if you got coffee yet or you’re thinking about it like there’s the courageous so I’m going to say it wrong.


Resolute. So the for Z. Yeah. And then the decaf.

Villarosa Decaf.

That’s right. And they’re all Italian names because it’s Italian artisan roasted.

Yeah. So let’s dive in. Okay.

All right.

So what does it mean to provoke? Well, that’s a good question.

Right? So we’re going to read a couple of scriptures with you guys. But before we do that, we thought that it would be just good to talk about what the word provoke means. The other night at the Women’s Bible, say, one of our friends said, When I think of the word provoke, I think of kids like poking each other, like, I’m going to get you. I’m going to get you, you know, and kind of that’s like annoying, right? It provokes the other person to be bothered. And that is actually one way of looking at it. When you look up, the definition of it actually means to irritate, right? Or. Exasperate when you look up exasperate. One of the definitions of exasperate is irritate and those are two of the words that are used in the translation. Different translations regarding these two scriptures we’re going to read. But if you think about it from this perspective, that the two scriptures we’re going to dig into are actually words that are directly commanding parents in how they should be acting or reacting towards their children. So when God says in his word parents or it says fathers do not, but that would apply to mothers as well, right? Sure.

And it commands us not to do something. We need to listen up. Right. If we’re expecting our kids to listen when it says children, obey your parents, we need to also listen up when it says, But parents, hey, listen up. And so let’s read the first one. It’s in Colossians chapter three, verse 20. I’m going to start at verse 20 because it says, Children, obey your parents in everything, not in some things. I added that, not some things. I’m just highlighting this. Children obey your parents and everything for this pleases the Lord. Fathers do not provoke your children lest they become discouraged. This is a declarative sentence. God is declaring something. He’s commanding something here. He’s saying fathers do not or parents. We could say parents in this because I look at this and I go, Well, that’s a warning to me. Fathers, do not do this. Do not provoke your children lest they become discouraged. That also is a warning to us parents What will happen if we provoke our kids? So like how how why is this important in parenting?

Well, it’s important because it makes it difficult for children to do what God has called them to do. And we have a part in this. It’s a relationship. Yes, There’s different roles in the relationship. We’re the leaders and they’re to follow us. But it’s really important, even as you look forward, because what kind of parents do you want your children to be? And they’re going to model much of what they learn, especially in intentional Christian homes. Sometimes if things are completely wacked, then they’re going to go a different direction. But if they’re being raised intentional Christian home, they could easily pick up some of these subtle mistakes and continue them into your legacy. And you don’t want that to happen to your grandkids. And so it’s really important that we are introspective when we look and we go, Hey, where might I be exasperating our children? Maybe asking your spouse, asking each other, where do I exasperate? And I think that’s a really important thing to think about.

That’s a huge you just brought something up that I think would be a really powerful exercise. I actually brought this up the other night when I was talking to some friends and I just said, like, you guys going on a date night and like writing down and evaluating like, how do I potentially provoke my different children? Because it may be different with different kids based upon how they’re wired differently or what their personalities like, or if they’re a boy or girl and you’re a female or you’re the dad, right? It may be different, The different friendship relationship dynamics that you have even regarding gender can sometimes and how you’re wired also are going to bring out different things. And so sitting down with a piece of paper and being introspective, maybe saying a prayer beforehand and going search my heart, oh God, if there’s any wayward way in me, will you let me know? And then sitting down and intentionally being humble and going, Hey, Lord, I really want to know, like, how do I exasperate or provoke my children, write each kid’s name down and maybe start doing that. And then at the end of that exercise, you look at your spouse and you go, Okay, this is what I wrote down. Is there anything that’s a blind spot that I don’t see? Like, that might be a hard conversation, really. People might not be ready for that, but it can be really powerful.

It could be really powerful. Ephesians six three through five says that it may go well with you and they may live long in the land. Fathers do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. So it says what not to do and what to do. Don’t exasperate, bring them up and the Lord in the instruction of the Lord. Well, that’s really awesome. And the more we bring them up in the structure in the Lord, guess what? The more we’re actually in the Bible too. It’s a it’s a double win.

Well, we can’t do it if we’re not in the word, right. Like we need the word open in order to.

Be in the.

More kids, more we’re.

In the word, the less we’re going to exasperate. It’s a sin. It’s it’s you might think about when is it that I do it, when I get interrupted, when I’m doing this certain thing. I know for me it’s really hard if I’m doing work in the midst of everything going on with the family and people don’t know that, or even if they do know that, it’s hard to remember that. And I don’t in the moment I forget to have compassion for and understanding for that confusion. And they interrupt me a bunch and then I can get upset about that. And so it’s just important to understand. What am I doing? There’s two mistakes I made. Maybe I shouldn’t be working right there right then, because it’s confusing. And the other one is I shouldn’t get upset about it because I kind of made that happen.

Yeah, no, I think it’s good.

Just an example of, you know.

Well, you know, while you were talking, I just even think about something that we’ve talked about in leadership roles many times. A good leader falls on the sword like they take responsibility. They understand their position of influence and their position of leadership and going, okay, hold on a second. So if people who are supposed to be following me are not following me with like genuine hearts or sincere hearts, like if they don’t want to follow me or they’re struggling to listen to me, they’re struggling to obey me, we need to step back for a second and go, What is it in my life that’s preventing them from being able to respect? Is there something like that is a really humbling, solid question that we need to ask. Like, why do my kids have a hard time obeying me? Well, obviously there’s the fact that we live in the fallen world and kids don’t need to learn how to sin, right? Because sin is for every man has fallen short of the glory of God. Everyone sins. It’s not something they have to learn is my point. But at the same time, like you always say, do we make it easy for our kids to respect us? Do we make it easy for them to want to obey us? Right.

And I think that that’s a really good question. Like, is there anything in our lives where we could be being a hypocrite that’s making it hard for them to want to listen to us? Right. And that’s a question you would have to ask. It’s interesting, these two verses are so similar, yet they’re different. And I just wanted to point out something that God highlighted for me as I was reading it the other night, both in Ephesians and in Colossians. The first verse that’s talked about is God’s command to children. And then right next to it is God’s command for parents. And I love that because one way that I think parents can provoke or exasperate their children is if they are constantly expecting them to obey them, obey them, obey them, obey them, but they’re not submitted to God to not provoke. Right. And then the scale, like if there was a scale and you have the first verse on one and then the second verse on another, the scale would be far outweighed to where the parents are authoritatively, maybe even harshly, coming down on their kids.

Obey, obey, obey, obey. But then there’s no accountability for them to not be provoking. Right. And so I just I just want to point that out and highlight how good is God that he loves us as his children and our children as his children equally. And there’s accountability for both of us, for our children and for us as parents. Like there’s commands for both of us. And when we’re living those out respectfully. And what I mean by respectfully is our children respect us. So they obey us. They love us, so they obey us. If we have respect for our children, we’re not going to come down harsh on them when it comes to their disobedience. We’re going to gently correct them and we’re going to lead them to the Lord. So I just wanted to bring that up. But let’s go to point two. What are all the different ways that parents provoke now? The reason why we decided to make a list this time, this is different than what we’ve done in other podcasts just to help like get you guys your minds, your wheels thinking, because sometimes we all have blind spots and it’s hard to like see what we may be.

Doing in relationships, have rhythms, and there might be just this little stumbling block in the rhythm of a subtle way you provoke that’s, you know, not bursts of anger or something, but it might be really causing it hard for your children to be obedient and so forth, or it might be frustrating them, right? So that’s really important to think about. I want to take a moment and give you something for free if you haven’t got it already. Is the date night one sheet? It is a beautiful document you can download that will have some key questions on it for your date night. Just get in alignment about what’s most important for your family. No matter what time of year, it’s always important to recalibrate. You can get that by going to Craig’s parenting dot com and subscribing to our mailing list. Also, you can get all of our show notes and everything at courageous parenting dot com. And I also just want to share real quick about the parenting Mentor program. So many families are being transformed by going through this. It’s the six week self paced program with live engagement from us and even direct interaction. So if you want to join us, here’s a little bit more about it. You can find out more at courageous parenting dot com.

Steve and I realized that we were getting too comfortable.

With the world’s vision of how to raise.

Our children. But Angie and Isaac have done in creating this is literally phenomenal.

This program provided awesome scripture based teachings and just some really great practical applications. This class has just really rocked my world.

It has given me a vision for not just. The different things that we might focus on as parents who are trying to raise our kids basically, like how our kids are behaving or what we’re doing with discipline, but also the things of the heart. We now have a game plan to how we want to raise our children, and we have so.

Many answers to the questions that have been.

In our mind. It’s not just these hypothetical situations or it’s not just this. Here’s what I think you should do. It’s let me show you where in scripture this is.

Do your legacy a favor and yourself a favor and just do it.

One of the best things that we’ve done this year, one of the best investments we’ve made this year, and I could not recommend it more.

We’re no longer fearing dark days ahead, but we’re so excited to raise the lights to be leaders for the next generation.

So the first one is that we were thinking of was having too high of expectations. And now I just want to preface this because you know that we’ve said multiple times, like children will rise to the level of responsibility you give them. We’re totally against society’s low expectations of teenagers or even children, right? Like we’re anti terrible twos, we’re anti terrible teens were labels like the labels. We, we in that sense that like we’re countercultural in our thinking and kids have more ability than we give them credit for. They’re smart right But sometimes parents can have too high of expectations on like even their capabilities of things that they can do. And that could be frustrating for a kid, right?

Well, yeah, Too high of expectations could come in like we have this thought in our head that we’ve already told them, taught them this two or three times, and here they are doing it again and it leads to you exasperating them. And the reality is repetition is part of parenting. You know, in the moment, kids forget the right thing to do sometimes. Sometimes it is intentional. And that would be bad. That would be disappointing the parents. But sometimes they just forgot. And so we need to sometimes that can be an expectation that could lead to exasperating.

Yeah. Like having just even expecting them to be perfect right when they’re human actually. Right. Just like how we’re human. And so having realistic expectations would be the cure of that.

And I just want to remind you that none of us in the Tobin family are perfect at all, meaning we all have things to work on. We’re all, you know, love God and trying to be more like him. But we’re humans. And and I just say that because sometimes you could be comparing to other families you see on Instagram or something like that. And it’s really important not to.

Yeah, it’s unhealthy.

And that can alter your expectations of something that you’re not seeing everything when you see just an image on Instagram or something like that of somebody’s family. Yeah, there’s more to it, right? There’s every family has their things they’re working on and reworking on. Frankly, how many times do we have marriage meetings where we’re re working on kind of the same thing again.

Over and over.

Again, you know, sometimes. So just realize that and having grace also for one another, which is really important. First Corinthians 1311 says, When I was a child, I spoke like a child. I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When it became a man, I gave up childish ways.

So I love that verse because it reminds us in my mind, like when I listen to that, like we need to be desiring to grow in spiritual maturity and we want that for our kids. But we do need to remember, like, and have realistic expectations of our children, because when they are children, we can expect children things out of them. Yeah, Does that make sense? And so yeah, we want to like we even had a podcast on this where we were talking about raising the bar of expectations actually, because that is needed in some cases, but in some cases it’s actually that you need to view your children with realistic expectations. Here’s another example of that. Like, do you expect your child to act as if they have the spiritual maturity of someone who’s been walking with the Lord and the Holy Spirit activate it in their life for five or 20 years? Like, do you expect your child to act like that when in reality maybe they just accepted Christ or they still need to? And so that’s what I’m talking about regarding like, what are our expectations? And if we have too high of expectations, we could exasperate our kids.

Another one is yelling coming down to hard on them being harsh. You know, one of our top ten all time podcast episodes over the last four years is how to overcome becoming angry with your children. And I think for a long time it was top five. And I think that this is that tells us that this is a real issue.

I think it’s an epidemic.

It’s an epidemic of losing patience and getting angry. And we want our children to have self control. But here we are losing self control in front of them, at them and getting angry. And I think.

We’re yelling have self control.

Most parents, including us, have made this mistake. But it’s a bad mistake. Like, you know, and I’m preaching to myself, too. Like it’s a bad mistake, Isaac, to get angry at your children. And we all need to kind of say that to ourselves, I think, so that we create change. Reality and not liking reality is sometimes the best motivator.

No, it’s wonderful. It’s a wonderful word that’s just hard to hear. I think that one of the things that was kind of catchy for me to remember as a mom is, am I really going to let my this three year old get me this upset? Like, think about that for a second. When you’re giving power over of your emotions over to the four year old or the 18 month old. And when you look at it in that light, you kind of go, well, that’s a little bit ridiculous. I should I’m the older one. I should be more spiritually mature. So, you know, step up and yeah, and that was kind of the thing that was super convicting. But, you know, when it comes to yelling and calming down Proverbs 22, verse 24 and 25, actually warn us about being around an angry man. And so here we are raising our kids to love the Lord and love his word. And yet if we are stuck in this sin or we’ve allowed a legacy of anger or a spirit of anger to be in our home, that can be.

That’s hypocritical. Let me just read it to you. It says, Make no friendship with a man given to anger. So if we’re teaching the word to our kids and we’re teaching our kids this, but then we’re struggling with anger, wouldn’t that be like we would need to also have wisdom and go, Oh, don’t be friends with your mom or your dad because I’m an angry person. Like, do you see the problem with this? Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a raffle man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare. And so this is. That’s why Isaac brought up the concept of legacy. This is something we’re going to talk about at the very end also. But this Bible verse specifically warns us that parents, from this perspective, if we are angry and we’re wrathful. Our children will learn our ways and be entangled in that same snare. I mean, that’s just what the Bible is saying, right? And this is God’s opinion. This is his warning to us. So this is a big deal.

The next one is impatience or a lack of gentle speech. It might not be anger, but it might be combative in the way it might be forceful. Now, there is a time where a change of tone is warranted, but it can’t be with us in an emotional, losing control state. It’s got to be like, I understand my children need a little more intense of a tone right now to really make a point for them.

To understand, not anger. Yes.

This is not yelling. Yeah. But to to make an impression that this is serious and you’ve affected someone else or you know this or there’s there’s a challenge, right? That’s okay. I don’t want you get us wrong here. But impatience or just on an ongoing basis, having rhythm of lacking that gentleness, snap, snapping, and you’re.

Like, Oh, you’re annoying me. If that is something that your kids feel like. If they feel like they’re annoying you by asking you something, there’s a problem on your part. And you can see it in kids when they’re afraid to go talk to their parents. You can see it. I can see it with kids that are like afraid to ask for something or they’re afraid to ask a question or. Now, I’m not talking about the selfish child. I’m not an advocate for a child centric home. I’m actually not. But I think that there’s a middle road, a balance of not being so consumed yourself with your own thoughts and your own agenda and getting things done that there’s no room for you to slow down and actually make eye contact with your kids and hear them out.

Yeah, we could give.

A difference between that and like having a child that’s so selfish that they’re constantly coming to you and and you just give in all the time, right?

I mean, we could give a podcast episode to kids saying why you should obey your parents, right? But that’s not what this is, is a parenting podcast on subtle ways parents provoke the children.


Right. So, yeah, exactly.


So overwhelming with too much responsibility. That one is important point, but a lot of parents actually don’t give enough responsibility. So I just want to say that first, even though this is an important point, is that a lot of times children can and want to handle more than they’re given, but they don’t even know how to talk about it. Right. But there are times where we can overwhelm them with too much responsibility. And a lot of times I find that situation would happen if a leader doesn’t give enough information.


What to do and just put it on their shoulders.

So actually, this is something that I had a testimony about that I wanted to share with you guys that might give you some insight, especially for you moms of sons, because boys are wired differently than girls and every person’s wired differently. And this is something that I learned as being a mom of seven sons. So hear me out here because this is something I’ve seen across the board. And this is when you’re giving delegation, right? Like my kids would definitely back me up and go, Yep, Mom is a master delegator. She is good at multitasking and did it to get it around right. I love getting things done. The problem, though, is that sometimes I would overwhelm my sons by giving them too many tasks and rattling it off. And that’s what I mean by this overwhelming them with too much responsibility. Let me give you an example. There was this one time where I was looking at one of my sons and I said, Can you go take this to the RV and then take this and start the washing machine and then I need you to do this. And then I got they got the glassy look over their face, and then the tears started welling up in their eyes and I went, What’s wrong, bud? And he was just like, That’s too many things.

I want to help. But it’s too many things. I already forgot what was the first one? And it just dawned on me like, I’m like that I have a memory where I can remember a long list. But not everybody is like that. And we can exasperate our children and provoke them to tears, provoke them to frustration, even anger if we don’t have a consideration for how they’re wired. And so like really studying your kids and understanding like, what are the ways that I personally can provoke my kids, that was one that I had to come to a realization of. And so one thing that was a great help for me was using dry erase boards. I got that from Isaac. And so I get a dry erase board out and I would literally put all the tasks we need to get done when we’re going on vacation. And then I would assign by putting their names and putting them in categories. And then then the kids could come up and just wipe them off or cross them out as I got them done. And there wasn’t mom micromanaging. There wasn’t any like mom coming back, going, Come on, we’re in a hurry. Why didn’t you do this? And being kind of lacking grace and compassion for the fact that maybe they just forgot.

So powerful because there’s a feeling of accomplishment, too, when you go check it off and there’s not that risk of forgetting. You have it right there and everybody is wired so differently. That’s such a good point and so appropriate information not causing others to have to rely on their memory for more than a couple of things is really, really important because we can become frustrated when in reality our expectation was too much for them. Remembering a list that’s so good.

Yeah. So you know, and on this, as far as overwhelming a child you had mentioned like when you taking a moment and going, okay, did I actually train them or teach them in this? And there have been many times as a mom of many and maybe I’m speaking this to you if you’re listening where I have like thought, I trained a kid in something, but it was because I trained the first six kids in it so many times that I just thought that the seventh kid got it, but I actually hadn’t stopped to teach them. So then here I am with an expectation of them to know how to do something when in reality it’s an unfair expectation because I haven’t taken the time to train them.

Some kids are more process orientated, the way their brain operates and some are more intuitive where they’ll take information and kind of connect them together and kind of guess and feel comfortable with that and want. The next thing is based on what someone said, but a process orientated person is not going to want to take that risk of trying to guess what the next thing is. They’ll find it extremely painful inside and they’ll want just the step by step by step, but then they’ll implement it like you wouldn’t believe. So that’s really important.

Yeah. The next thing that you may or may not have thought of, and this is super important, we actually have a whole podcast on sibling rivalry and not having a spirit of competition in your home because this can literally deteriorate and break down your family legacy. Like I’m talking kids not wanting to be in a relationship with each other when they’re older, when they have their own families, and I know you don’t want that. So this next point, please hear me out. Do not provoke your children to anger or to be discouraged by creating competition between siblings or friends.

So important. Here’s a scripture on a second Corinthians ten through 12, ten, 12 excuse me. Not that we dare to classify it or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves, but when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding. So if you’re comparing your children to other siblings or other people, the Bible actually says you’re without understanding. Yeah, that’s a big deal.

It is a big deal. There’s another scripture that talks about not having favorites, which could be in the same category, right? Like if you’re if you have And when I say favorites, like I know that no parents have like a favorite child, that’s like, impossible. But the truth is, is like if you are creating competition between your children, what your the reality is, is that maybe in your head you don’t have a favorite, but what’s perceived by your child is that your favorite? Is that child that you’re comparing them to when you’re saying, why can’t you just do this like so-and-so? It’s shining a light, a spotlight on that so-and-so as the favored child. Yeah. And even though that might not be what you’re meaning to do, what you’re meaning to do is say, Why can’t you just learn from them? It’s not hard. They can do it. That means you can do it too. Well, that’s not encouraging. That’s creating a spirit of competition among siblings.

Hey, we’ve got like seven more of these in a final point. So we’re going to do a little bit rapid fire here. Right. So how about not listening or not being consistent with the rules you yourself have set out or your spouse has set out? And that can be very exasperating. Definitely not listening to children, even though see, the problem is we actually a lot of times probably know what they’re thinking. They’re our children. We actually probably know what they’re about to say. But if a human being isn’t allowed to verbalize their thoughts, they don’t feel understood even if you knew what they were going to say. So this is really frustrating for.

People, and I think that the listening kind of goes along with interrupting, even though that’s way down in our list. Yeah, this was something that I personally confessed to the women in our church, and I don’t mind sharing that with you guys too. But interrupting has been one of those things where I don’t it’s not that I purposefully want to interrupt and I don’t like the fruit that it brings. It’s that sometimes I’m in such a hurry to get to the next thing in the day because things are taking such a long time that I try to interrupt to some things up or whatever it is. And it never goes well, literally never goes well. And you know, sometimes you have kids within your family, too, where you’re so much alike and something that you butt heads. And that has been the case in our family. There is one that for for me, there’s more interrupting that happens when there’s conflict with the specific child. And it’s something that has been it’s been hard in our communication. Of course, we’ve always come together in. For giving one another. But you guys, this is like a big deal that we need to evaluate in our minds and then have accountability and repent of it. We’ll get more into like, what does God call us to do next If any of these things we’ve been bringing up or something that you’re struggling with. But I think that listening and interrupting are kind of in the same category they are.

And it also adds to and this is a separate point, but not valuing them. But another aspect of that is kids are idea generators. They are conversationalists with this starting with Y, and sometimes we just fail to really give value to their thoughts and their ideas. Don’t you want your children when they mature and get older to believe that the things they say are valuable to the world and the people around them? If you want your kid to be an evangelist and whatever they’re doing and share the gospel, you’re going to want them to feel confident that when they say things, people think it’s valuable. Well, they are practicing right in your home. If you don’t think their ideas are valuable or what they’re saying is valuable, that is going to hurt potentially their confidence.

That’s right. And so that can actually provoke them into not trying. So because that would be provoking them into being discouraged. Right. Which is what the Bible warns us against doing. Another one that’s in here is being inconsistent with rules. So here’s a perfect example. When you have kids and you’ve parented a certain way and then you start getting maybe a little more exhausted and tired a.k.a lazy, and you’re not parenting as intentionally with the younger ones. And then the elders are like, Hello, this isn’t consistent. That’s so frustrating, right? And so that’s just one thing that comes to mind. Another would be like if you’re inconsistent where you have a rule and then you break the rule and then you then you break a different way and then you later on you bring that same rule up as if it’s this like written in stone thing. When you’re breaking that very rule yourself. I even think of the being inconsistent. There’s another word that comes to mind Pharisee modern day Pharisee hypocrisy is another word that comes to mind, right? Where if we’re inconsistent, here’s an example. If you have a standard of what you allow for your kids to watch in movies, but you yourself know, don’t have a standard, then there’s an inconsistency with the rules that you put out there, right? And when your kids are older, they’re going to be able to sniff that out. And so we need to be consistent and let our yes boys and our no be know.

Hey, just a caveat to that. There could be different movies you watch, but they shouldn’t be different than what you would expect or want them watching when they’re 18 or older. That’s the point. Yeah, right. So now keeping a record of wrong or having a grudge or any unforgiveness, this is a big deal. And a sign that you may do this is when you’re talking to your kids about something you’re disappointed in. You bring up a whole past list of things you’re also disappointed in that have already been reconciled or talked about or dealt with. And that’s just a sign that there might be unforgiveness and building identity that’s negative in an area for that children.

Child Yes, So that can be hugely discouraging because if the child has been really working at that thing, that was a problem a year ago, and then you bring it up as if you’ve seen it in the past year, but they actually have conquered that, Praise God, they can be super discouraged. Yeah. So this is I would say this is especially well, it doesn’t matter the age of the kid. It could affect a seven year old just as much as it could affect a 17 year old. So make sure you’re not keeping a record of wrongs. The next thing is labeling and not allowing your kids to grow. That could be hugely provoking of anger. I can see that happening Like.

Well, I think sometimes it’s like, where did the time go? We have these sayings. As parents, I can’t believe they’re already this age and those are innocent and normal. But sometimes when we are trying to preserve a certain season, we don’t allow our kids to go into the next season like we ourselves just want to freeze this time while they’re a certain age that we love and they grow older and we might actually inadvertently be not allowing them to mature or acknowledging the maturity in them that is, they’re or could be they’re just because we’re hoping things don’t change. We actually need to be parents that are excited about getting older ourselves, that are excited about our children getting older. Because when you have that paradigm, you actually are more likely to call children up into greater value and responsibility and capabilities. And this kind of thing doesn’t tend to happen.

So another one, another thing that might provoke your children is double standard, which, you know, we kind of already talked about this with inconsistencies or hypocrisy, that double standard that’s definitely there and. Overreacting about things for sure is definitely something like here. Let me give you an example. This one, I think goes with the next one on the list, which is shaming in front of people, but overreacting about something, maybe making a bigger deal. You know, there’s this saying that’s like don’t cry over spilled milk. I actually have done that. Can I just say that out loud? Like, yeah, I’ve cried over a baby toddler spilling milk because it had been one of those days. I actually can remember it. It was probably 17 years ago and I remember where I was standing. I remember how it happened and it was just like ridiculous. I was honestly, I was postpartum and had hormones going through my body. I was exhausted. I had many children under five, kids under seven. And you guys, sometimes you’re in those places where you are actually at a point, a breaking point and you’re provoked and it can provoke you. Right. The thing the mistake. But what we do next is what’s so important. And if we in our provoking end up turning it around and blaming the child. That’s not fair to them. And so in those times, we need to be really honest and we need to apologize and we need to try to make it right.

Be really careful about what you say yes to. I do say yes to my kids, but only when I know that I’m going to do everything I possibly can to make that happen. And so they do get a lot of maybes. We will see. It depends how today goes, those kinds of things, because I am not going to be a father who breaks promises because the Bible says in Matthew five, 2337, it says, Let what you say be simply yes or no. Anything more than this comes from evil. So when I say yes, I mean it. And when I say no, I mean it. And and if I can’t say yes, I will let them know when I can say us.

But oftentimes that broken promise could be something that provokes a child to get mad, right? Because if they’ve really been looking forward to it and then you don’t follow through, they feel like they don’t matter to you. And that could provoke them to be discouraged and be in total tears over it. Right now, when we are talking about overreacting, I just mentioned something briefly and that shaming in front of people, this is a really big deal. And this is, I think especially well, I take it back not especially parents of toddlers. I think that even parents of older kids could struggle with this and it could be extremely embarrassing. Right. When they when they look at them and they correct them in front of people, even if it’s something minor, it makes that person feel foolish and small. And that’s not okay. And I’m sure that you as a parent would never want your kid to feel that way, but that’s really what it actually does. And so we need to realize that our kids are humans, too, and they get embarrassed, just like you would get embarrassed.

Right. And so we need to have compassion on them. And when we do need to correct them, we pull them aside. I even think of Matthew 1815 that says if your brother sends against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. There’s the key is alone, Right? In fact, you know, I’m just going to be honest with you. If you’re correcting your child and you really want them to hear your heart, don’t do it in front of other people because they’re going to be concerned about what other people are thinking. And they may not even have their eyes on you, let alone hear what you’re saying. If you want them to hear you and you want real change and you want them to reciprocate, respect you, respect them by taking them to a different room and having a real conversation, regardless of how frustrated you are that it interrupted your conversation with a friend, you need to take the time and not shame them in front of other people, but take them aside and do it alone.

Okay, So our final point and we’re going to wrap this up, but hope this was super helpful so far is what does God call us to do next? So we’ve identified some things. By the way, how do you think we know about these? Because we’ve had to work on many of these ourselves, Right. And so what is God calls you next? We have to confess and repent. It’s super important. Proverbs 2813 says whoever conceals his transgression will not prosper. But he confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. What do we need to confess to our spouse about? What do we need to repent to our children about? How powerful is that, by the way, if in peacetime, when things are good, there’s no arguments going on, you proactively meet with your child and you go, You know what? I’ve noticed something as your father that when I’m working and you don’t always realize I’m working because I’m just in the living room, that that I get impatient with you and and I get upset that you interrupted me. And that would be something important to do, right? To to confess and repent of it. And what does that tell your little Johnny? It’s like, whoa, he’s human and he loves me and he respects me because he’s talking to me in these ways and humbling himself. And I want to be like him. Oh. Part of being like him is to be humble.

It’s beautiful to think that that could be a legacy that your kids learn from you. James 516 says, Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed. I’m sure that you, if you’re really honest, could have pinpointed some of the things that we talked about as being ways that maybe you’ve sinned against your kids and provoked them. And maybe those are the same things that you experienced as transgressions against you from your parents. And so I just want to point out that there is there is a generational sin that has been passed on. It was learnt just like we read in Proverbs 22 earlier today. And so I just want to encourage you, though, that this Scripture is saying that if you confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, you may be healed. This is a promise of God. And but we have to be humble enough, like Isaac saying to confess and repent and turn away from our sin and not do it again. Get accountability with your spouse or with friends. Share with women in your church if you’re a woman, if you’re a man. Right. And be honest, There is so much power in bringing sin into the light. First, John, one eight and nine says, If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. That is the bondage breaking grace of Jesus.

Opening up greater impact with the Holy Spirit, helping you in your family and husbands. Let’s ask our wives How can we help? Sometimes it’s a really big job with all the dynamics of children during the day and so forth, and they’re very well could be ways you could help, even though you’re not there during the daytime and how you approach it when you come home, how you back up and support your wife, how you ask her questions, maybe read scripture together in an area that she’s struggling with or that you’re struggling with. And I just think that’s beautiful.

You know, a lot of you guys, as you’re listening to, I know that there is a time when like when because I know scripture this these two scriptures have been on my heart for quite a while. There were times where I, in my sin and in my humanity of wanting to justify losing it or losing my temper, which I don’t know if you guys have done that. Maybe you’re you’re a better Christian than I am, but that’s been the reality as a mom and and and I’ve been very conflicted about it. But there was this one time where I thought to myself, But my child is provoking me to sin. I’m not just yelling or I’m not just doing this. They provoked me by what they did. It’s their fault. They did their thing first. And so I have a little word for you guys, if you’ve ever thought that to yourself, or if you’re even thinking that now, Galatians six one, it’s not it’s not my word. It’s actually God’s word says Brother. If anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself lest you also be tempted. And when you look at this scripture through the eyes of a parent and you realize, Yeah, those of you who are spiritual, why I would hope that I’m more spiritually mature than my child. I would hope you’re more spiritually mature than your child. God actually calls us that when our kids are caught in a transgression, when they are yelling, when they are not sharing, when they are being selfish or sinful, we who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness, keeping watch on ourselves so that we are not tempted to sin. How would we be sending by provoking? That’s why the first one says children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right. And then it says, Parents, fathers do not provoke your children to wrath, lest they be discouraged.

We need to lead. Well, hey, we hope this was encouraging and helpful and brought some good insights.

If you guys would really like to dig into these scriptures more, go to be courageous ministry dot org and find the podcast with all the show notes and scriptures.

Thanks for joining.

Us. See ya. Hey, thanks for listening to this episode. For more resources, go to courageous parenting and courageous mom dot com for free online workshops, blog posts, and best selling courses. Also, we wanted to quickly tell you about our six week online parenting mentor program. Isaac and I created a powerful biblical curriculum. Here’s how it works. Each week we release a video with a downloadable parenting packet to make it easy for you to incorporate those teachings directly into your parenting.

This is an incredible self-paced program where we cover everything from obedience training to overcoming mistakes most Christians are making. But more than that, it’s a supportive community. You’ll have access to our private online group, live Webcasts and the courageous parenting text message line where Angie and I can send you weekly encouragement straight to your phone.

If you’re interested in joining our next online parenting mentor program, secure your spot now at CourageousParenting.com

Written By Angie Tolpin
Angie has been married to Isaac for 19 years and together they have eight children, whom she homeschools. She is the Founder of CourageousMom.com, a doula, the author of the best-selling book Redeeming Childbirth, and the creator of the first ever Christian Postpartum Course. Angie loves ministering to Women and has created a few online Bible Studies on Biblical Friendship and Motherhood.

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