Self Awareness for parents

In Christian circles I regularly hear a form of Ephesians 6:1 quoted, what everyone is told is, “Children obey your parents.” As with many other verses the people concerned only know a little of the verse, and usually not in context.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

I have never heard any of the “obey your parents” group talk about not provoking your children to anger (but as you see it is a command in the same passage, guess God thinks that is important too?) after all that might imply some failing on the part of a parent and we know such talk is inconceivable! I know I can be very annoying at times and so (honestly) I try not to be.

I saw the list below here – it lists the 25 most common ways to provoke your child to anger – and thought it was helpful not only for parents but in a very general way for maintaining anger free relationships – e.g. teachers might use it to think about how they relate to students – it is originally the work Lou Priolo.

Lou Priolo.

  1. Lack of marital harmony
  2. Establishing and maintaining a child-centered home
  3. Modeling sinful anger
  4. Habitually disciplining in anger
  5. Scolding
  6. Being inconsistent with discipline
  7. Having double standards
  8. Being legalistic
  9. Not admitting you’re wrong and not asking for forgiveness
  10. Constantly finding fault
  11. Parents reversing God-given roles
  12. Not listening to your child’s opinion or taking his or her ‘side of the story’ seriously
  13. Comparing them to others
  14. Not making time ‘just to talk’
  15. Not praising or encouraging your child
  16. Failing to keep your promises
  17. Chastening in front of others
  18. Not allowing enough freedom
  19. Allowing too much freedom
  20. Mocking your child
  21. Abusing them physically
  22. Ridiculing or name calling
  23. Unrealistic expectations
  24. Practicing favoritism
  25. Child training with worldly methodologies inconsistent with God’s Word

A few things of interest

Saturday morning is usually a time when I catch up on some reading of the blogosphere – I would like to read more and more frequently but there is so much and so little time. Anyhow after returning my my excellent cycle ride through the local tea plantations last Saturday a few things that caught my eye this morning:

Why we must fire boring preachers – Amen, Amen, Amen! Am I too enthusiastic there? It must be some latent Pentecostal urge within me – anyhow I do think preaching should be interesting and passionate – and I loved Truman’s line, “doctrine and worship go together” – it has long been an emphasis of mine within my theology teaching, good theology “makes” you worship.

The curse of the too long sermon. I love good preaching but, as the saying goes, “all good things must come to an end.” The problem is not only are some preachers boring, they don’t when to stop. Practical Shepherding offers a few insights to help you determine how long your sermons should be.

One for my students – Pronunciation Book offers simple help in how to pronounce words – worth subscribing to their YouTube channel for regular updates.

I have great admiration for young men and women who love and serve God – Ordinary Pastor seems to be just such a guy, trying to love Jesus in a way which is real and relevant. I really enjoyed his defence of what he describes as the “Young, Restless, Reformed folk” after an attack from John MacArthur. I am not anti John MacArthur, or any other man of God, but I was impressed by the winsomeness of his argument.

Luther explains repentance

Justin Taylor posts this Luthers “explanation” of his views on repentance, It is a great quote

In 1521 Luther wrote:

This life, therefore, is

not righteousness, but growth in righteousness,

not health, but healing,

not being, but becoming,

not rest, but exercise.

We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it.

The process is not yet finished, but it is going on.

This is not the end, but it is the road.

All does not yet gleam in glory,

but all is being purified.

—Martin Luther, “Defense and Explanation of All the Articles,” in Luther’s Works, Volume 32: Career of the Reformer II, ed. George W. Forell & Helmut T. Lehman (Fortress, 1958), p. 24.

Taking the practice of repentance a little further Tim Keller offers this helpful advice;

Ethics – is Jihad the same as slaughtering the Canaanites?

We talked in class about the “just war” concept. It is not necessarily easy to defend from a biblical point of view. On the thinking matters website I read this differentiation of Jihad and the killing of the Canaanites when Israel took possession of the Promised land.

Imad Shehadeh (Professor of Theology at Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary) puts forward several reasons why we should distinguish God’s OT command to kill the Canaanites from qur’anic Jihad:

  1. It is limited to one time, not all times.
  2. It is limited to one land, not all lands. It judges sin to fulfill prophecy, not to adhere to a religion.
  3. It shows God’s holiness, not his power. Its goal is to bless the whole earth, not subdue it. It is God fighting for his people, not the people fighting for God.
  4. It is according to God’s trustworthy nature, not according to a capricious nature.
  5. It prefigures God finally absorbing the deserved judgment and wrath on all nations in Christ’s death on the cross. Judgment deserved became judgment absorbed.

Luther says repent

Well actually it is a strongly biblical concept too – but indeed the first of Martin Luther’s 95 theses says,

Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, when He said Poenitentiam agite, willed that the whole life of believers should be repentance.

One translation renders it thus,

Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, when He said “repent,” willed that the whole life of believers should be repentance.

Repentance is fundamental to our life in Christ – I would suggest if we are not repenting it is doubtful that we are growing in Christ – God calls us to continually deal with our sinful nature through repentance.

What is God calling you to repent of today?

[By the way I recently watched the film Luther with my 2nd year theology students (the picture above is of Joseph Feinnes who played Luther in the film) – if you don’t know much about the Reformation it is an easy place to start – though if you are not European there might be the odd place where you wonder what on earth is going on!]

Leicester City 3 Southampton 2

At last – a home win for the boys! Three goals scored always sounds good – two conceded makes you ask questions about the gelling together of the defensive unit – but there is time for that as long as we score more than the opposition – and it is worth remembering that Southampton started the day top of the division and unbeaten in 11 games stretching back to last season, so their scalp is a positive move forward. The reports suggest that once again City started strongly but were under great pressure towards the end of the match, with last weeks bad boy, Kasper Schmeichel making some great saves to keep City in front.

Reports here and here – and the photos below are from

In the Carling Cup dreams of a draw against one of “the big boys” have evaporated being replaced with another away fixture, this time at Cardiff City. Leicester have a poor record at Cardiff in recent times – losing there in the Championship play off semi-final two seasons ago and then in the FACup last season. Time for a change I think.


I was reprimanded the other day for the use of the word hate on my about page. I am taking time to prayerfully think through the comment – I have to ask if it is inappropriate or insensitive. As I ponder this challenge, I read this story of William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army – and I laughed.

”In any event, he was clearly a man of profound insensitivity.  No other assessment of his character can account for his reaction to his children’s distress at the death of the family dog. It had been shot on his orders after it snapped at a servant who scolded it for leaping at bed linen which she was hanging out to dry. The dog was shot in haste and William Booth regretted his decision when he realised what he should have already known. The children were heartbroken. He decided, in an attempt to ease the pain, to retrieve the carcass and have the pelt made into a rug. When they reacted with hysteria rather than thanks, he was bewildered by their lack of gratitude.” – Blood and Fire, Roy Hattersley, p179
Tim Elmore suggests four daily checks for us regarding self awareness:

It seems we all have blind spots—and half the battle to overcoming them is simple awareness; admitting that they exist. Here are steps you can take to address them.




1. Invite friends you respect to hold you accountable for your conduct. Give them permission to reveal to you the quirks and habits that could sabotage your growth.




2. Capture yourself on video as much as you can. Watch the footage and evaluate how you come across to others.




3.  Ask your supervisor, at work, to clue you in on your damaging patterns. In fact, invite a 360-degree assessment from bosses, colleagues and teammates under you.




4. Invest time daily evaluating your performance and other’s reactions at the end of the day. Ask yourself: If you were your own boss, what advice would you give?