Sunday, August 17, 2014

Enough is Enough

Enough is Enough
August 18, 2014
Ephesians 6:4  "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."

The Apostle Paul gives instructions to certain individuals, and at first glance, one particular instruction seems geared toward fathers.  But the Scripture is much more than that; it is a glimpse into the character of the Heavenly Father.  Paul writes that fathers should not exasperate their children, but instead train them and teach them in the ways of the Lord.  Seems pretty straightforward but if you unfold the verse, you can find hope for your own life, regardless of having children or not.

The verse's intended meaning for 'exasperate' is one of pushing a person to the point of anger or resentment.  It is easy to push a child beyond his or her tolerance level.  The child's immaturity must be developed and can be pushed over the edge.  A child can lose patience pretty quickly, and become emotionally exhausted.  As a parent, you must learn your child's tolerance levels in any area (work, play, academics, family dynamics, etc).  It is critical to know when enough is enough.  Sometimes enough comes sooner than later and a parent must back off.  Too much instruction in a day can be overkill.  Too much academics in a day can be overkill.  Too much working in a day can be overkill.  Too much playing in a day can be overkill.

This verse, however, isn't just about earthly fathers knowing when enough is enough for their children.  The verse tells you how the Heavenly Father works.  Starting with the creation of the universe, The Lord has always demonstrated His instructions and commands to us first, BEFORE He requires anything of us.  His very first demonstration was taking a rest on the seventh day after creating the Heavens and the Earth.  On the seventh day He rested, then instructed us to do likewise.  This is true for all the Lord's commands.  He does not require anything of us unless He is willing to do the same.  He wants us to be just like Him.  The same goes for the verse found in Ephesians 6:4, telling fathers to be patient with their children's tolerance levels.  If the Lord is asking a human father to know when enough is enough, then He also knows when enough is enough in our own lives.

Remember that the word 'exasperate' means to push to the point of resentment or anger.  The Lord is not willing to push you or take you to the point of resentment or anger.  He will allow you to be stretched and tested and pushed to your limits, but knows when enough is enough.  He is not too harsh, despite your opinion of your circumstance.  If you feel you are in a situation where the Lord is not coming to your rescue or putting a halt to the seemingly overbearing situation, then it means He knows you have the fortitude to make it through successfully.  If you are not making it through successfully, then you are not drawing upon all the endurance levels the Lord knows are deep down inside of you.  He will not treat you like a baby; He expects you to work hard through this emotional turmoil, but He has equipped you to come through it successfully, without resentment or anger.

He also knows when enough is enough.  The Lord will be sure to relent if He knows you are at the point of being damaged.  You are being refined in the fire and the He knows when that refinement is perfect.  He will take you out when you are pure gold.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Ex 20:10-12, Malachi 3:2-3, John 13:12-17, Rom 8:28, 1 Cor 10:13

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