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Have you seen any old movies about medieval knights in Europe? You know, the ones who rode around in heavy metal armor and had jousting contests? They lived in a very structured social order based on chivalry and honor. If you wanted to pick a fight with another knight, you simply rode up on your horse and threw your glove of metal armor on the ground. You were essentially challenging the other person to combat. The act was such an insult to the other knight’s honor, he was compelled to accept the challenge and fight. This practice is where we get the phrase “throw down the gauntlet.” It was the so-called “civilized” way to pick a fight.
Ephesians 6:4 says, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”(NIV) The word exasperate is often translated “provoke to anger.”
So, what does this mean? Does it mean fathers are never supposed to have angry children? Not hardly! Teens and children may be angry because they didn’t get what they wanted. Their selfishness may be the root of the anger, not the father’s actions. No, this passage is saying fathers should not pick a fight. Fathers should not “throw down the gauntlet.” They should not insult their children or intentionally irritate their children to anger.
Instead, dads, focus on teaching your children about God and how to live a godly life.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.