If you do, they won’t let you forget it:
Eph 6:4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. NIV
My youngest daughter loves to quote the highlighted part to me (“You’re exasperating me”).
All kidding aside, that verse has important commandments. There is a proper way to treat children such that you don’t lead them to anger. That doesn’t mean never making them unhappy, of course.
We must discipline and guide our children but not crush their spirits. And we must live consistently with our professed beliefs. We’ll all slip at times, but consistently acting one way at church and another at home will lead our kids into cynicism and away from faith. Do your children see you acting one way at church and another outside it?
And you also must bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. How are you doing to do that if you don’t know what the instruction of the Lord is? How do you learn the instruction of the Lord? In the Bible, of course. If you aren’t studying God’s word how can you possibly teach it to your children?
It is our jobs to teach our children about Jesus and his message. Sunday School classes and youth groups have a role but not the primary one.
Some other translations of this verse:
Eph 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. ESV & NASB
Eph 6:4 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. NLT
Eph 6:4 And fathers, don’t stir up anger in your children, but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. HCSB