Posted by: ramonamom | April 22, 2008

Examining Ourselves First

Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?  Matthew 7:3

The biblical principle of examing our own actions and behaviors before criticizing another’s is absolutely vital to us as parents.  Even though God has placed us in authority over our children, we are still sinners in need of forgiveness and correction on a daily basis. 

In Lou Priolo’s book, _The Heart of Anger_, he very quickly encourages parents to examine themselves to see if there are any ways they might be provoking their children to anger.  A helpful list of 25 ways that parents can provoke their children to anger is given, for reasons of self examination.  From there, he proceeds to help parents understand and deal with their children’s anger in a godly manner. 

The authors of this blog feel strongly that this is indeed the starting point in dealing with a difficult child – examining ourselves.  Perhaps the problem does not lie with us, but it is unlikely that any parent is completely without fault of any kind.  Thus, I would like to briefly list these areas in which parents provoke their children to anger, along with the accompanying scriptures. 

1. Lack of Marital Harmony – Gen. 2:24; Heb 12:15 (see Recommended Reading for a book regarding this, also.)

2. Establishing and Maintaining a Child Centered Home – Prov. 29:15

3. Modeling Sinful Anger – Prov. 22:24, 25

4. Habitually Disciplining While Angry – Ps38:1; Eph. 4:26, 27; James 1:19, 20

5. Scolding – Eph. 4:29, Mark 14:3-5

6. Being Inconsistent with Discipline – II Corin. 1:17, 18; Ecc. 8:11

7. Having Double Standards – Phil 4:9

8. Being Legalistic – Matt. 15:8-9

9. Not Admitting You’re Wrong and Not Asking For Forgiveness – Matt. 5:23, 24; James 5:16

10. Constantly Finding Fault – Job 32:2,3

11. Parents Reversing God-Given Roles – Eph. 5:22-24

12. Not Listening to Your Child’s Opinion or Taking His or Her “Side of the Story” Seriously – Prov. 18:3; Prov. 18:17

13. Comparing Them to Others – II Corin. 10:12

14. Not Making Time “Just to Talk” – James 1:19; Ecc. 3:7

15. Not Praising or Encouraging Your Child – Rev. 2:2-4

16. Failing to Keep Your Promises – Matt. 5:37; Ps. 15:4-5; Col. 3:9

17. Chastening in Front of Others – Matt. 18:15

18. Not Allowing Enough Freedom – James 3:17; Luke 12:48

19. Allowing Too Much Freedom – Prov. 29:15; Gal. 4:1,2

20. Mocking Your Child – Job 17:1-2; Exodus 4:11

21. Abusing Them Physically – I Tim. 3:3; Num. 22: 27-29

22. Ridiculing or Name Calling – Eph. 4:29

23. Unrealistic Expectations – I Cor. 12:11

24. Practicing Favortism – Luke 15:25-30

25. Child Training With Worldly Methodologies Inconsistent with God’s Word – Eph 6:4

Personally, I cannot read through that list without being convicted of areas in my own life that need changing.  Mr. Priolo delves into each area in more depth in chapter 2 of this book, and then proceeds to lay out a plan for parents to deal with their own sin before addressing the sins of their child.  We urge each and every parent who is struggling with a challenging child to get their own copy of this book without delay and to make it a parental priority to read through it, as many times as necessary.





  1. It seems like all of us probably have several areas that need working on! I know I do! The great thing with children is that they are willing to forgive you when you seek it. I believe parents need to let their children know that they sin and seek forgiveness when needed. This teaches children what they should be doing through living the actions of the parents’ lives!

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