Reviving Motherhood

Learning on the Journey

25 Ways to Provoke Your Children to Anger



(click on book cover for Amazon link)

*from Heart of Anger, Priolo, Lou, Calvary Press, 1997.

1. Lack of Marital Harmony

“For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh” Genesis 2:24

“See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled” Hebrews 12:15

2. Establishing and Maintaining a Child-Centered Home

“The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother” Proverbs 29:15

3. Modeling Sinful Anger

“Do not associate with a man given to anger; or go with a hot-tempered man, lest you learn his ways, and find a snare for yourself” Proverbs 22:24, 25

4. Habitually Disciplining While Angry

“O Lord, rebuke me not in Thy wrath; and chasten me not in Thy burning anger” Psalms 38:1

When you are angry, it is easier for you to over discipline.

“Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God” James 1:19, 20

5. Scolding

“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such (a word) as is good for edification according to the need (of the moment), that it may give grace to those who hear” Ephesians 4:29

One of the Greek words from which the term scolding was derived, means “to snort with anger”.

6. Being Inconsistent with Discipline

“Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil” Eccl. 8:11

As a rule, it is better for one parent to tighten up a bit and the other to loosen up a little to unify their approach to discipline.

Children ought to know that their parents “yes” means “yes” and their “no” means “no”.

7. Having Double Standards

“The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you” Phil. 4:9

A parent who uses the Bible to teach, reprove, correct, and instruct his children in righteousness, but is not willing to practice that same biblical righteousness in his own life, is not only a hypocrite but a provoker of his children.

8. Being Legalistic

Biblically Directed Rules vs. Biblically Derived Rules

“These people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men” Matt. 15:8-9

9. Not Admitting You’re Wrong and Not Asking For Forgiveness

“If therefore you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering” Matt.5:23,24

“Therefore confess your sins to one another and pray for one another…” James 5:16

10. Constantly Finding Fault

“Elihu’s anger…burned against Job…and his anger burned against his three Friends, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job” Job 32:2, 3

“A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression” Proverbs 19:11

11. Parents Reversing God-Given Roles

“Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the

Head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything” Eph. 5:22-24

12. Not Listening to Your Child’s Opinion or Taking His or Her “Side of the Story” Seriously

“He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him” Prov. 18:3

“The first to plead his case seems just, until another comes and examines him” Prov. 18:17

13. Comparing Them to Others

“For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves, they are without understanding” 2 Cor. 10:12

14. Not Making Time “Just to Talk”

“Be quick to listen, slow to speak” James 1:19

“There is a time to keep silent, and a time to speak” Eccl. 3:7

15. Not Praising or Encouraging Your Child

“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds…, let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the day approaching” Heb. 10:24-25

16. Failing to Keep Your Promises

“But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; and anything beyond these is of evil” Matt 5:37

17. Chastening in Front of Others

“And if your brother sins, go and reprove him in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother” Matt. 18:15

18. Not Allowing Enough Freedom

“The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable (easy to be entreated), full of mercy…” James 3:17

19. Allowing Too Much Freedom

“The rod and reproof give wisdom but a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother” Proverbs 29:15

“For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom he receives….” Hebrews 12:6-9

20. Mocking Your Child

“And the LORD said to him, ‘Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him dumb or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?’” Exodus 4:11

21. Abusing Them Physically

“A bishop (overseer), then must be…not violent…, but gentle” 1Timothy 3:3

22. Ridiculing or Name Calling

“Let no unwholesome word proceed out of your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Eph. 4:29

23. Unrealistic Expectations

“When I was a child I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child” 1 Cor. 13:11

24. Practicing Favoritism

“Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing….” Luke 15:25-30

25. Child Training with Worldly Methodologies Inconsistent with God’s Word

“And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” Ephesians 6:4

8 thoughts on “25 Ways to Provoke Your Children to Anger

  1. This is a great reference. We’re teaching a Bible study on Friday nights based on the book “Shepherding the Child’s Heart” by Tedd Tripp. It’s an excellent guide for parenting with the goal to lead your child to Christ.

  2. Hey,
    Just a little confused about #8. Are the parent laws supposed to be funny? Bad? Derived from the God laws that were directly across from them? I’m confused, guess I’d just better read the book.

  3. Kelly, thanks for pointing that out. It doesn’t make sense outside the context of the book, so I can see how it was confusing. I removed that portion of #8 avoid confusion. I appreciate the feedback! 🙂

  4. Hi Stephanie,
    I have been working on a post about “provoking your children to anger” and did a quick google search and found your post on the same thing. Great post! I’m going to have to go through your blog and read the “oldies but goodies”.
    Have a great day!

  5. Ha! How funny! You’re sweet…I’m glad you are blogging again! I’m glad I subscribed to your blog in my reader so I don’t miss any posts!

  6. Thank you so much for the content here. It helped me greatly in considering my biblical parenting.

  7. Aw, thank you! I appreciate your encouragement.

  8. This post will help the internet viewers for creating new blog or even a blog from start
    to end.

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