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Provoke (3949) (parorgizo from pará = at point of, unto, implying movement toward a certain point + orgizo = to irritate or make angry) means to make angry, cause to be irritated or exasperate. It means to stimulate one to the point of a brooding, simmering anger that is nurtured and not allowed to die. It is seen in the holding of a grudge, in the smoldering bitterness that refuses to forgive. It is the anger that cherishes resentment and does not want reconciliation. To exasperate means to excite the anger of or to cause irritation or annoyance to. Paul uses the present imperative with a negative which can be translated stop provoking your children to anger, implying that it was going on in among the saved Gentile fathers. Not provoking them to anger involves avoiding attitudes, words, and actions which would drive a child to anger exasperation or resentment and thus rules out A few ways that can provoke rather than parent a child - How to provoke: favoritism, comparison, unrealistic standards, over-indulging, rescuing, discouragement, lack of rewards, unfulfilled promises, treating them like boarders rather than children, not admitting mistakes, ridiculing, neglect, abusive words, sarcasm, physical abuse. KJV Bible Commentary writes that parorgizo... means do not irritate, exasperate, rub the wrong way, incite. This is done by a wrong spirit and by wrong methods, i.e., severity, unreasonableness, sternness, harshness, cruel demands, needless restrictions, and selfish insistence upon authority. Such provocation would produce adverse reactions, deaden his affection, check his desire for holiness, and make him feel that he can’t possibly please his parents. A wise parent seeks to make obedience desirable and attainable by love and gentleness. Parents must not be godless tyrants. (Dobson, E G, Charles Feinberg, E Hindson, Woodrow Kroll, H L. Wilmington: KJV Bible Commentary: Nelson) The danger in the home is parents who are authoritarian but do not exercise loving spiritual authority. The only other NT use of parorgizo is found in Romans 10 Paul writing... But I say, surely Israel did not know, did they? At the first Moses says, "I will make you jealous by that which is not a nation, By a nation without understanding will I anger you. (See note Romans 10:19) There are more than 44 uses of parorgizo in the Septuagint (LXX) (Deut. 4:25; 31:29; 32.21" class="scriptRef">32:21; Jdg. 2:12; 15.30" class="scriptRef">1 Ki. 15:30; 16:2, 7, 13, 26" class="scriptRef">26, 33; 21:20, 22; 22:53; 17.11" class="scriptRef">2 Ki. 17:11, 17; 21:6, 15; 22:17; 23:19, 26; 2 Chr. 28:25; 33:6; 34:25; 35:19; Ezra 5:12; Job 12:6; Ps. 78:40, 58; 106:16, 32; Isa. 1:4; Jer. 7:18f; 8:19; 11:17; 25:6; Ezek. 16:26, 54; 20:27; 32:9; Dan. 11:36; Hos. 12:14; Mic. 2:7; Zech. 8:14). Most of these Lxx uses refer to the children of Israel provoking God to anger because of their idolatry. Here are some representative uses... Deuteronomy 4:25 "When you become the father of children and children's children and have remained long in the land, and act corruptly, and make an idol in the form of anything, and do that which is evil in the sight of the LORD your God so as to provoke Him to anger, (Lxx = parorgizo) Deuteronomy 32:21 'They have made Me jealous with what is not God; They have provoked Me to anger (Lxx = parorgizo) with their idols. So I will make them jealous with those who are not a people; I will provoke them to anger (Lxx = parorgizo) with a foolish nation, 1 Kings 15:30 and because of the sins of Jeroboam which he sinned, and which he made Israel sin, because of his provocation (Lxx = parorgizo) with which he provoked the LORD God of Israel to anger (Lxx = parorgizo). John Eadie writes that... The paternal reign is not to be one of terror and stern authority, but of love. The rod may be employed, but in reason and moderation, and never from momentary impulse and anger. Children are not to be moved to “wrath” by harsh and unreasonable treatment, or by undue partiality and favoritism. If they be uniformly confronted with paternal frown and menace, then their spirit is broken, and the most powerful motive to obedience—the desire to please—is taken from them...Chrysostom refers especially to the Scriptures as one source of this instruction. Such training leads to early piety, and such is ever welcome to Christ and His church. For the sun shining on a shrub, in its green youth, is a more gladsome spectacle than the evening beam falling dimly on the ivy and ruins of an old and solitary tower. (John Eadie, D., LL.D. The Epistle of St Paul to the Ephesians) Children can be provoked to anger when the father makes unreasonable demands, when he is constantly fault finding, when he neglects his children (as did King David - see 2Samuel 14-15), or when he is inconsistent. Here are some additional ways children can be provoked to anger... (1) Overprotection--never allowing them any liberty, strict rules about everything. They do not trust their kids and the child despairs & can lead to rebellion. Parents must communicate that they trust. (2) By showing favoritism, often unwittingly. (3) By depreciating their worth. Many children are convinced that what they do and feel is not important. One way to decrease worth is by not LISTENING. These children may give up trying to communicate and become discouraged, shy, and withdrawn. (4) By setting unrealistic goals--by never rewarding them. Nothing is enough so they never get full approval. Are you trying to make them into a person they are NOT? Some kids become so frustrated that they commit suicide. (5) By failing to show affection (verbally and physically). (6) By not providing for their needs. (7) By lack of standards (the opposite of overprotection). These children are left to their own. They cannot handle that freedom and begin to feel insecure & unloved. (8) By criticism. "A child learns what he lives. If he lives with criticism he does not learn responsibility. He learns to condemn himself and to find fault with others. He learns to doubt his own judgment, to disparage his own ability, and to distrust the intentions of others. And above all, he learns to live with continual expectation of impending doom." Parents should seek to create in the home a positive, constructive environment. (9) By neglect. David was indifferent to Absalom. (10) By excessive discipline. Never discipline in anger. (Adapted from John MacArthur - see MacArthur, J. Colossians. Chicago: Moody Press) BUT BRING THEM UP IN THE DISCIPLINE AND INSTRUCTION OF THE LORD: alla ektrephete (2PPAM) auta en paideia kai nouthesia kuriou: (Ge 18:19; Ex 12:26,27; 15" class="scriptRef">13:14,15; Deut 4:9; 6:7,20-Deut.6.24" class="scriptRef">20-24; Dt 11:19-21; Josh 4:6,7; Josh 4:21-24; 24:15; 1Chr 22:10-13; 1Chr 28:9,10,20; 29:19; 17-Ps.71.18" class="scriptRef">Ps 71:17; Ps 71:18; Ps 78:4-7; Pr 4:1-4; 19:18; Pr 22:6,15; Pr 23:13,14; Pr 29:15,17; Isa 38:19; 2Ti 1:5; 3:15; Heb 12:7-10) Ge 18:19 “For I have chosen him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice; in order that the LORD may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him.” Ex 12:26 “And it will come about when your children will say to you, ‘What does this rite mean to you?’27 that you shall say, ‘It is a Passover sacrifice to the LORD who passed over the houses of the sons of Israel in Egypt when He smote the Egyptians, but spared our homes.’” And the people bowed low and worshiped. Ex 13:14 “And it shall be when your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is this?’ then you shall say to him, ‘With a powerful hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery. 15 ‘And it came about, when Pharaoh was stubborn about letting us go, that the LORD killed every first-born in the land of Egypt, both the first-born of man and the first-born of beast. Therefore, I sacrifice to the LORD the males, the first offspring of every womb, but every first-born of my sons I redeem.’ Deut 4:9 “Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons. (Are you listening granddads? You may be old, gray and tired but your job is not over yet! I know, because I'm a granddad!) Ps 71:18 And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Thy strength to this generation, Thy power to all who are to come. Deut 6:7 and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. Josh 24:15 “And if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” But (alla = a strong adversative) - Always take note of this small but significant conjunction which is a marker of contrast. Pause and ponder the passage in the power of the Spirit (His teaching ministry - 1Jn 2:20, 27 [anointing ~ Spirit]), asking questions like... "What is being contrasted?" "Why does the author change direction now?" "To whom does this contrast apply?", etc. This simple discipline in inductive Bible study will force you to slow down and actively engage the text, rather than speed reading it without really engaging your mind. You will be forced to re-read the prior passage(s) which will help you establish the context, increase your understanding of the passage and aid your retention of the truth you have just read. You will always profit when you pause to ponder a passage! And as you engage the text, establishing the context, you are in effect also meditating on the passage, a spiritual discipline God promises will always pay spiritual dividends! (See Josh 1:8-note, Ps 1:1-note, Ps 1:2-note, Ps 1:3-note) Moses records the OT ideal for fathers writing... "And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. (Dt 6:6-7) Comment: Note that first the fathers have to deal with their hearts. The word in the head is not the same as the word in the heart! Then look for those teachable moments, instructing them but not beating them over the head with the Bible. In the past, an apprenticeship often began while the learner was still a young person and in his learning process, he moved in with his teacher and lived as he lived functioning with him in his profession "24/7" observing his every move and following his instruction. In so doing the apprentice learned much more than a profession, for he was being taught a whole way of life. This concept of learning a whole way of life is inherent in "bring them up". Through word and personal example parents will nurture their children and teach them what it means to live for Christ in a practical, daily sense. As someone has well said "Train up a child in the way he should go, but be sure you go that way yourself" which is what you are doing - making disciples (matheteuo) (Mt 28:18-20) AN EXAMPLE NOT TO IMITATE Scripture records the sad record of Eli who failed in this area of fathering his sons... And the LORD said to Samuel, "Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. In that day I will carry out against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. For I have told him that I am about to judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knew, because his sons brought a curse on themselves and he did not rebuke them. And therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever." (1Samuel 3:11-14) Comment: Rebuke in 1Sa 3:13 is translated in the Septuagint with noutheteo, the verbal form of nouthesia! Their crimes were actually capital crimes and, if the sons failed to repent and/or be corrected, it would have been Eli's responsibility to have them executed -- Dt 21:18-21. Eli questioned them but he did not truly rebuke them -- see 1Sa 2:23 -- but they ignored him, and Eli allowed them to continue. God therefore sharply rebuked Eli himself for honoring his sons more than the Lord-1Sa 2:29. Eli's descendants were eventually banned from the priesthood. Child rearing is clearly no small issue to God! Calvin translated bring them up as "Let them be fondly cherished". He then emphasized the overall ideas of gentleness and friendliness. 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