From Limited Church: Unlimited Kingdom by Rob Rienow:
In… Ephesians, God gives a Great Commission calling to fathers.
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” - Ephesians 6:4
Fathers are to take the lead in passing faith and character to their children. What is God’s primary plan for children to be evangelised and discipled? Fathers. God did not create the institution of the local church to take over or replace His calling for fathers to disciple their children at home. Rather, the early Christian churches trained and equipped fathers for their “disciple making ministry” at home. Ephesians 6 is a specific example of this training. Ephesians, along with the other letters of the New Testament, were read as sermons in first century churches. These words were spoken from the pulpit to fathers: calling, challenging, and instructing them how to embrace their mission to disciple their children.
God gives men two vital words here if they want to impress the hearts of their children with a love for God. Fathers are to bring their children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
The word discipline here means far more than correcting wrong behaviour. It is a word that connotes systematic training and action. One might think of teaching a child the “discipline” of karate. The child engages in wide variety of training activities, which in the end lead him toward becoming an expert in karate. In the same way, God calls fathers to take the lead in the spiritual training of their children. Fathers are to pray with their children, worship in church with their children, and serve their neighbour with their children. Fathers are to practise the disciplines of the Lord with their children.
But fathers are not only commanded to practise their faith with their children, they are commanded to bring them up in the instruction of the Lord. Echoing the Great Commandment in Deuteronomy 6, God calls fathers to talk with their children about the things of God. Where can a father find the “instruction of the Lord?” There is only one place: in His Word. Fathers are to lead regular family worship in the home: reading, studying, and discussing God’s Word at home.
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