What does the word “exasperate” mean? That was my question as I studied verse 4 of chapter 6 of Ephesians. Miriam Webster says this:

exasperate (verb)

to disturb the peace of mind of (someone) especially by repeated disagreeable acts (small children can exasperate their parents with endless questions about why this or that is so)

synonyms – aggravate, bother, bug, distress, gripe, put out

I looked again at the verse in question: Fathers {and mothers}, do not exasperate your children…

Yes, my children may exasperate me by their endless questions and repeated statements, but that is simply their curious minds at work. The way in which I aggravate, bother and gripe at my children has everlasting consequences. It takes very few words to “put out” my child and many more words to repair the damage done.

As a mom, I am in charge, but that doesn’t always mean that I am fully informed about the situation. I don’t always use my best judgment when responding to a frustrating circumstance.

There are days when I am impatient and unwilling to take the time to listen to my child’s explanation when I’d rather just correct the problem. Many times, I exasperate my children when I bug them about not doing something that they haven’t even been taught how to do!

But even when we feel that we’ve failed as a mom, we can have hopebecause God does not leave us there!

 exasperate (antonyms) –  delight, gladden, comfort, reassure, soothe

…..instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” 

Here is the encouragement, in the second half of verse four–that as moms we can gladden their hearts with the truths of God! Instruction isn’t always welcome, but in time, it yields “peaceable fruit” (Hebrews 12).

When we ask forgiveness, God gives us grace, time and time again, to respond to our children in a better way. When we spend time in God’s Word, the Spirit gives us the knowledge to teach to our children in such a way that leads them to an understanding of their need for a Savior.

Our words of comfort and reassurance to our children (instead of impatient and snappy answers) show the love of Christ, the love that we desire our children to embrace for themselves.


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13 Comments on Hope for the Exasperating Mom – Ephesians 6

  1. Oh man, I so needed this today. Thank you for linking up this older post to goodmorning girls – thats how I found you and I’m totally going to follow you.

    Thanks for opening your heart to us! I’m a young mommy who isn’t spared from the darts of the devil. I also write about my journey at http://www.fanta4two.com.

    May God bless you in your walk, Sister!

    • Thank you so much. It’s so good that we can encourage one another as moms on this fellow journey :)

  2. It is so easy to exasperate our children, and many times they are very quick to let you know just in case you miss what you are doing!

    God is good, and offers us grace to give to our children. Over time, the hope is that they will take up that banner, and be graceful to those in their lives as well. Sometimes, of course, it takes longer than others. :-)

  3. I totally caught myself exasperating my children as they were aggravating me on our recent trip – PTL – I stopped in my tracks and pulled out the Bible – we sat together and read scripture and prayed – ya know what? we all had better attitudes at that point! God is good!!!

  4. I’m being nailed on this all this week. Say less, pray more…be hospitable to your children…and now this. I definitely need to do more heart work than outward work – on me! Thank you for this.

    • “Say less, pray more.” Amen to that! The heart-work is painful, but necessary, isn’t it? Thank you!

  5. Great post. I’ve been dealing with this issue in my house all week. It takes conscious effort on my part to let God put words in my mouth and not just spew whatever’s in my brain.

  6. LOve, Grace and Hope…the depth of the Father’s heart…what he shares with me daily…what I pray he will shine to my children..through me! Thank you!

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