Counseling One Another

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Counseling One Another

RERUN – 25 Ways to Provoke Our Children to Anger

How much of the anger in my home is caused by me? That’s a painful question. As parents, fathers in particular, we must heed God’s Word from Ephesians 6:4. Of course, this is not to say that all of our children’s anger is caused by us! Each of our children is personally responsible for his or her own sin. However, this warning from God is here for a reason. One of the ways our sinful flesh rears its ugly head is by provoking others to anger. And the easiest place to do that is in our own home.

What are the most common ways we do this? Here’s a helpful list from 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

This list is from one of my Top 10 Recommended Counseling Resources and a great parenting book: The Heart of Anger by biblical counselor, Lou Priolo.

*Note Lou Priolo is an author, speaker, and biblical counselor at Eastwood Presbyterian Church in Montgomery, AL. If you would like to read Lou’s writing, visit him at this link:

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  1. When I read lists like this I wonder why my parents ever decided to have a family. It’s overwhelming when you see all the things you can do to mess up relationships. I’m so very glad they chose to anyway and even though I know they didn’t do everything right, they tried to be godly parents. Their example encourages me to trust God.

  2. I agree with Karolyn in wondering why my parents decided to have kids! As I read through this list, I saw areas where my parents did not do so well, and others where their successes bring sweet memories to mind. I am very thankful for my parents and they examples (both positive and negative!) that they gave me.

  3. What an amazing opportunity and experience to be married and have children. It sounds so repetitous, but there is no way I can do this in my own power. Thank you for the reminder of the goals but also our lack of ability to accomplish them without God directing my life.

  4. In my experience as a coach and a teacher (NOT as a parent) these are the most frequent ways I have seen children provoked to wrath, from the list:
    Lack of marital harmony- You hear that the divorce rate is over 50% but when I taught in a public school, divorce was so prevalent among my student’s families that it was astounding.

    Being legalistic- I have seen this more in the Christian schools I have been a part of. Also incredible how it can affect a child’s walk with God.

    Establishing and maintaining a child-centered home- in order to “make up” for divorce situations or to win children over to their side, many times you see this. Sets a child up for failure.