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Children and Parents May 25, 2012

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Ephesians 6:1-4.

Summary: Paul begins by exhorting children to obey their parents – as this:

  • is the will of Christ
  • stems from the nature of the parent-child relationship.

He bolsters this point by quoting from Deuteronomy 5:16, which is:

  • the most important commandment in terms of their social responsibilities
  • connected with a promise of prosperity in this life.

Paul concludes by exhorting parents to not excite sinful feelings in their children; instead, they should instruct and discipline them according to the teaching and authority of Christ.

Thoughts: In verse 4, we see that Paul exhorts parents to educate their children according to the teachings of Christ. Hodge offers some interesting thoughts on this point:

Where this means is neglected or any other substituted for it, the result must be disastrous failure. The moral and religious element of our nature is just as essential and as universal as the intellectual. Religion, therefore, is as necessary to the development of the mind as knowledge. And as Christianity is the only true religion, and God in Christ the only true God, the only possible means of profitable education is the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Now when I first read this, I was taken aback by Hodge’s warning of “disastrous failure.” I have several non-believing friends who are well-adjusted members of our society. Moreover, their parents are generally nonbelievers. How, then, could Hodge deem their upbringing to be a “disastrous failure?” Perhaps my friends’ parents, by teaching them the difference between right and wrong, were implicitly inculcating in them the Judeo-Christian system of ethics. Also, when Hodge is referring to “profitable education,” perhaps he is considering its eternal benefits and consequences; in that case, the upbringing provided by unbelieving parents would be ultimately unsuccessful in terms of bringing their children nearer to salvation.

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1. Rules for Christian Households « Ringing In - October 21, 2012

[…] The analogous passage in Ephesians is Ephesians 5:22-6:9, which I’ve blogged about. Now this passage is relatively brief, yet it does delve into the nature of the master-slave […]


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