God’s model for parenting as outlined in the Scriptures presents the ideal way to raise a child. Too often when God’s expectations are ignored, parents can easily go from bringing their children good to causing tremendous damage. Instead of being built-up and encouraged, children can be exasperated. The warnings, which parallel a parent’s authority to train their children, are common in Scripture. Colossians 3:21 says, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart.” In Ephesians 6:4 we also read, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger.”
Listed below are twenty ways parents can commit the sin of exasperating their children.
1. Failure to be happy, hopeful and confident in God yourself.
2. Endless criticism and fault-finding.
3. Failure to listen.
4. Nagging and deriding their efforts.
5. Constant yelling.
6. Failure to spend time individually with children.
7. Unfair, harsh, inconsistent or nonexistent discipline.
8. Conflicting messages.
9. Unwillingness to admit personal sin and seek a child’s forgiveness.
11. An unapproachable disposition.
12. Deferred aggression.
13. Lack of encouragement and compliments.
14. Failure to listen (it’s so important I had to list it again!)
15. Partiality or favoritism between the children.
16. Setting unrealistic goals and expectations.
17. Failure to show love and affection.
18. Neglect either physically, emotionally, socially or spiritually.
19. Lack of standards or double standards.
20. Unwillingness to model the behavior you desire from your child.