Angry children—we see them in the grocery store, in the schoolyard, on the news, and possibly in our own homes. While all of us, including our children, are responsible for our choices, as parents we’re warned not to provoke our children to anger. Two ways we do that are by living an hypocritical lifestyle, telling them one thing while doing another, and parental role-reversal. Both of which we’ll look at today.
We’ll also talk about the armor of God, what it is and how we put it on.
Isaiah 61 & 62
Angry Children, Hypocrisy & the Armor of God
Over the last few days we have been talking about Paul’s description of a Spirit controlled life from Ephesians 4 and 5. If you missed the earlier posts, you can read them here and here. In this chapter Paul addressed the parent-child relationship.
Children should honor and obey their parents (vss. 1-3). Parents should raise their children “in the discipline and admonition of the Lord” and not treat them in ways that would provoke them to anger (v. 4). Many of the ways we provoke them involve living a hypocritical life—teaching them to act one way while we act another. For example:
We can’t discipline our children for lying and then “call in sick” because we don’t want to go to work.
We can’t teach our children not to steal and then pilfer from our employer.
We can’t preach respect for authority while we disdainfully talk about “the cops” or brag about what we can get away with.
We can’t discipline them in anger or chastise them because they have “broken our law” by bothering or inconveniencing us.
In this week’s Mondays at Soul Survival I listed 25 ways we provoke our children to anger. The list came from a book by Lou Priolo, The Heart of Anger. Some of the other ways on the list are: marital disharmony, having a child centered home, being inconsistent with discipline, and parental role reversal. You can read the rest of the list here.
But I’d like to talk a little more about parental role reversal. In Ephesians 5 Paul said:
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.
And in verses 31-33:
31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
As wives we are to submit to the leadership of our husbands (v. 22) and show them respect (v.33). Husband’s are to love their wives with the same kind of servant love with which Christ loves His church (v. 25),
Submission is a concept that is often misunderstood and certainly not a popular in today’s world. But lack of submission is nothing new. It’s part of the curse of sin, as is, the failure of husbands to love and lead biblically.
To the woman He said:
“I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception;
In pain you shall bring forth children;
Your desire shall be for your husband,
And he shall rule over you” (Gen. 3.16).
The New Living Translation says, “you will desire to control your husband.”
As wives our sinful desire is to usurp our husband’s leadership and theirs is to rule over us harshly or to withdraw and refuse to lead at all.
When this happens, it creates all kinds of problems in the marriage. One of those problems is its effect on our children.
God’s command to submit has nothing to do with our worth as women. It has nothing to do with intelligence or ability. It has to do with God’s design. Look at verse 32 again, “This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” The design has been in existence since eternity past. It’s the same design He has for the church. The design is the Trinity.
In the Trinity, Jesus submitted to the Father (Matt. 26.39; Jn. 8.28) and the Holy Spirit proceeds from and glorifies the Father and the Son (Jn. 16.7, 14). In the church, the church is to submit to Christ and the congregation is to submit to and respect her leaders and Christ. In the family the wife is to submit to the husband. The children proceed from the mother and father and are to show them honor and respect. It’s God’s design.
Satan, as the ruler of this world and the enemy of God, hates God’s design. In the garden, he deceived Eve into acting independently, ignoring both her husband’s leadership and God’s authority. It should come as no surprise that he continues to attack God’s social institutions of marriage and the church.
If you’d like to read more about this subject, I’ll list some resources at the bottom of this post.
The Spirit’s Control in the Workplace
Our relationship with God should, also, affect our employer-employee relationships. If we work for someone else, we should be good, faithful employees. We should work hard, not just when the boss is looking, but all the time, out of a desire to please God, who sees everything (Eph. 6.5-8). Bosses should treat their employees and subordinates well, again out of a desire to please God (Eph. 6.9).
The Armor of God
Then in verses 10-17 we have the “armor of God” with which all believers should be equipped. We need to wear the “belt of truth” by getting rid of anything in our lives that will hinder us from having victory in the battle. Unforgiveness, bitterness, jealousy, and the like have no place in a believer’s life and will hinder your walk and spiritual growth.
We need to first have Christ’s righteousness given at the time of salvation and then we need to walk in righteousness—grace-powered obedience—which is the “breastplate of righteousness.”
We need to have “our feet shod with the gospel of peace” and completely trust in God and His Word as our “shield of faith.” Obedience to the Word and a good understanding of biblical doctrine will protect our head and be that “helmet of salvation.”
Finally, we need to have that sharp two-edged sword which is the “sword of the Spirit.” We need to read it, study it, memorize it and meditate on it!
Then we need to pray for one another, 6.18-20:
18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Only then will we be well-dressed for the battles we face in this life.
Today’s Other Readings:
Isaiah 61 & 62:
The Fulfilling of Scripture
Jesus quoted chapter 61 in Luke 4:
16 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written.
18 “ The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”
20 Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
This was not a case of Jesus simply knowing what the prophet had said about Him. This was a case of God having caused the prophet to speak what God had already ordained since the beginning of time. What an awesome God we serve!
Verse 13, “He will bless those who fear the LORD, Both small and great.”
Though we may seem “small” in the world’s eyes, we are our Father’s own and God takes care of those who are His!
“He who hates, disguises it with his lips … Though his hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness will be revealed before the assembly” (vss. 24, 26).
God is the true “heart-knower.” No matter how much we try to disguise our motives and intentions to others, we cannot hide the truth from God.
How has God spoken to you today? Did you see a passage in a new light? Did you see an area where you need to grow and change? Did you find a promise to hold on to? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
In the next few days we’ll talk about jellyfish, pain, heartache, how we grow in holiness and more.
Be sure to sign up so you won’t miss any of these upcoming posts.
This post may contain affiliate links, but I only recommend books and resources that I believe are theologically sound and beneficial to the reader. Thank you for supporting this blog and ministry by supporting my links!
The Heart of Anger by Lou Priolo
The Excellent Wife: A Biblical Perspective by Martha Peace
You can also Shop for Other Resources