Ephesians 6:4 (NLT)
4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.

And you fathers, v. 4. Or, you parents, 1. "Do not provoke your children to wrath. Though God has given you power, you must not abuse that power, remembering that your children are, in a particular manner, pieces of yourselves, and therefore ought to be governed with great tenderness and love. Be not impatient with them, use no unreasonable severities and lay no rigid injunctions upon them. When you caution them, when you counsel them, when you reprove them, do it in such a manner as not to provoke them to wrath. In all such cases deal prudently and wisely with them, endeavouring to convince their judgments and to work upon their reason.' [Matthew Henry Commentary]



What is a family but a community of promises made and promises kept no matter what? A family is not just two or more people related by blood who happen to live under one roof. A family is not a management device by which two adults shuffle children around to the various experts who do the real rearing. A family is a community of people who dare to make a promise and care enough to keep it�no matter what.

A family is held together by promises: where promises fail, families fail. The rebirth of the family can begin only in the rebirth of promise keeping. The rebirth of a child of God can only happen through promise keeping.

A man was reminiscing after his father's death told of an experience from much earlier about the summer when his sister was looking for employment. She had two job possibilities. One she wanted very much and the other she didn't but would take as a second choice.

As you can imagine, the second-choice job came up first, and she was offered that job. She wanted to hold out for the other, but she didn't know if the other was going to come. So she went ahead and accepted it for her summer employment. A few days later, as you also could expect, the other job became available to her, and she wanted to quit the first very much and go to the second. So she went to her father.

She said, "Dad, I have a problem." And she portrayed it to him.

He looked her straight in the eye and said, "Did you take the first job?"

She said, "Yes."

"Did you promise you would work there this summer?"

She said, "Yes."

He said, "Why are we having this conversation?"

God has made a promise to save us through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For God to renege on his promise would be for him to have crucified his Son in vain.