“…bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
The verb Paul uses that is translated “bring them up” doesn’t do justice to the notion of nurture and care the apostle intended. “Bring them up” doesn’t communicate the loving and intimate relationship that’s a critical part of raising our kids. He uses the exact same verb earlier regarding the relationship between husbands and wives in Ephesians 5:29. And there it’s translated “feed.” “No one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the Church.”
The command is to nurture our children.
The idea is to feed them in the ways of the Lord.
Holy Scripture explicitly places a high value on our children; a value that should not be taken lightly. And the clear commands from the Law of Moses to the Letters of the Apostles to teach our children cannot be relegated to back-burner status. And the job can’t be left for someone else to do. Our children are not to be merely tolerated, but cared for and instructed about life in Christ Jesus.
If stewardship is the proper management of assets, Christian stewardship should focus first of all on nurturing our children. We don’t have any asset more valuable than our kids.
“Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him.” ~Psalm 127:3