You are a shepherd, not an enforcer!

Posted on March 12, 2015 · Posted in Parenting

Sometimes the deceitfulness of the world, the flesh, and the devil entices us to feel good about our anger. So when a child, a teenager, a spouse, or a friend crosses an arbitrary line we feel totally justified in letting them “have it.” We cover our sin by saying, “I know I shouldn’t be angry, but sometimes you just have to say enough is enough.”

Here is one way to tell the difference between righteous anger and man’s anger. Righteous anger does not result in frustration, but in the energy needed to follow God. Your anger results in bitterness, upset towards others and alienation. These are not the marks of a shepherd.

Parents, God calls you to be shepherds, not enforcers. You may feel regret at your anger, but until you repent and embrace the role of a servant / shepherd you will be aiding and abetting the enemy.

Letting someone “have it” is easy. It requires no courage, just pride, to let loose and give others what you foolishly think they deserve. This is why love is the most effective weapon in fighting for the spiritual lives of your children.

Ephesians 4:31& 32 are seldom used as parenting guidelines. This is unfortunate. There is a powerful put off / put on dynamic in these verses to help shepherd your children towards Christ.

4:31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Don’t capitulate!  Join the war of love waged by shepherds led by our King, Jesus Christ!

Shepherding a Child's Heart DVD 2014

Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.