Life and Pleasure.
If you put pleasure before life you will sacrifice your children on the alter of pleasure but if you put life before pleasure you will train them up to do what is right before the Lord, the giver of life.
Training them up:
Writing to believers, Paul wrote: "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4 Don't deliberately make your children angry by ridiculing them, taunting them, or ignoring them for your pleasure (in your anger, at their expense), i.e., treating them as a "thing" of no worth instead of as your child, i.e., not recognizing them as someone who wants your love, rewarding or blessing them when they do what is right. Your children want your approval (that which is from above) or they will seek approval from the world around them (that which is below). While you can not approve of what they do that is wrong, you can approve them for being a gift from God above. While chastening is necessary, in order for them to learn to do right and not wrong, not allowing them to learn to control/discipline themselves (to mature), i.e., not loving them, recognizing and then encouraging them when they do what is right, discourages them to the point that they give up any hope of receiving your love. Show your love to them, not just because of what they have done that is right, but because you love them as your child, as God loves you as his child, showing His love to you first before you loved him. "We love him, because he first loved us." 1 John 4:19 If they reject that love, then that is another matter, which still does not justify your provoking them to wrath (which does not carry with it any intent or hope of reconciliation). Pleasure carries with it hate, hate of anything or anyone who restrains, i.e., inhibits or blocks it from what it wants. Life carries with it doing right and not wrong, with pleasure and pain, while being present, being subordinate to life, i.e., being subordinate to doing what is right.
"And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons." Colossians 3:17-25
© Institution for Authority Research, Dean Gotcher 2015