Towards the end of his letter to the church in Ephesus, Paul gives instruction to parents and children, using the relationship between Christ and the church as an example. For a strong family, the husband must love his wife. Just as Christ loved the Church so much that he gave up his life for it, so a husband must be willing to put his wife before himself. Within a loving marriage, a wife must respect her husband. It is within this framework that children are to be brought up.
Husbands are instructed not to exasperate their children. They are to encourage the children to do well, to develop their gifts and talents, but they are not to push them excessively. It is important that parents recognise what gifts their children have, that it may be developed, as well as not expending too much effort on pursuing excellence in which the child is not gifted.
Parents are responsible for the training of their children, to ensure they grow physically, through good diet and exercise. Through being good examples in the way they live.
Parents are ultimately responsible before God for the education of their children, whether it is through the school system, or by direct instruction. Both secular and spiritual education are the responsibility of the parents, and should not be left solely to schools, whether state or church.
Children should be instructed in the word of God and to respect their parents.
As Christians, we can take comfort that our salvation is not of ourselves, but is of Jesus Christ from beginning to end. For Jesus is the author, the pioneer of our faith. Before we were even born, God had chosen us to be his people, and it is the Holy Spirit who works in us, opens our minds and hearts and enables us to have faith in the Son.
Once our faith is in Jesus, that’s not the end, for he is the perfecter of our faith. He gives us the Holy Spirit to work in us, to renew our minds, to change us from within, conforming us to the Son that we might be presented before the Father, sinless, without spot or blemish.