The Dignified Mr. Walker

[A father] must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect.
1 Timothy 3:4

As a child, I (JCD) once spent the night with a mischievous friend who had an amazing ability to outmaneuver his parents. As we were settling down into our twin beds, Earl asked if I wanted to hear his father swear. Being a curious tyke, I naturally said yes. So at Earl’s direction we continued to laugh and talk for over an hour, with Mr. Walker repeatedly telling us to be quiet in increasingly hostile tones. “It won’t be long now,” Earl told me. Finally, Mr. Walker’s patience expired. He thundered down the hall, threw open the bedroom door, and leaped upon Earl’s bed, flailing at the boy who was safely buried beneath layers of blankets. Then Mr. Walker uttered a stream of words that had seldom reached my tender ears. I was shocked, but Earl was delighted. He yelled to me over the verbal and physical onslaught, “Didja hear ’em? Huh? Didn’t I tell ya? I toldja he would say ’em!”

Children can frustrate us to the core of our being. Some of them are motivated by nothing more than the sheer love of conflict and are overjoyed when they drive us to exasperation. When that happens, we have failed to manage our families well (1 Timothy 3:4). But don’t lose hope—parenthood doesn’t have to be this way! We’ll offer an alternative tomorrow night.

Before you say good night…

  • Do your kids manipulate you? How?
  • What can you do to change this?
  • How can you better support each other in managing your children?

Heavenly Father, so often we fail to manage our family well. We recommit ourselves tonight to searching deeper into Your holy Word for wisdom in disciplining our children, and we thank You for eternal truths we can count on. Amen.

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This devotional is taken from Night Light for Parents. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reservedUsed with permission.