Ephesians 6:4 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Ephesians 6:4, NIV: Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Ephesians 6:4, ESV: Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Ephesians 6:4, KJV: And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Ephesians 6:4, NASB: Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Ephesians 6:4, NLT: 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.

Ephesians 6:4, CSB: Fathers, don't stir up anger in your children, but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

What does Ephesians 6:4 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

After three verses dedicated to how children should obey parents, one verse is given specifically for fathers. As the head of the household, the father is charged with ultimate responsibility for the way the children are raised. In practice, this instruction is meant for both parents, and would have been understood that way by Paul's readers.

Fathers are commanded not to agitate or irritate their children. The Greek word is parorgizete, which implies exasperation or frustration. In practice, this means avoiding unfair and cruel behavior, or blatant favoritism. Godly fathers are not to push their children toward anger. Anger can sometimes be a healthy emotion, yet can often lead to sin (Ephesians 4:26).

Instead, fathers (parents) are given a positive command to "bring them up." In other words, Christians are expected to be highly involved in raising their own children. Two areas are mentioned. First, Paul includes discipline. Discipline involved learning self–control and the ability to restrain from personal desires in order to do what is right. Second, Paul adds the "instruction of the Lord." We should be involved in teaching our children about God's ways through both education and example.

According to Scripture, a father trains the child he loves (Proverbs 3:12), instructs him (Proverbs 13:1), and provides for his children (Proverbs 19:14).