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Life in Christ

537

2223

Parents have the first responsibility for the education of

their children. They bear witness to this responsibility first by

cre-

ating a home

where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and

disinterested service are the rule. The home is well suited for

edu-

cation in the virtues.

This requires an apprenticeship in self-denial,

sound judgment, and self-mastery—the preconditions of all true

freedom. Parents should teach their children to subordinate the

“material and instinctual dimensions to interior and spiritual

ones.”

31

Parents have a grave responsibility to give good example

to their children. By knowing how to acknowledge their own

failings to their children, parents will be better able to guide and

correct them:

He who loves his son will not spare the rod. . . . He who

disciplines his son will profit by him.

32

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring

them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

33

2224

The home is the natural environment for initiating a hu­

man being into solidarity and communal responsibilities. Parents

should teach children to avoid the compromising and degrading

influences which threaten human societies.

2225

Through the grace of the sacrament of marriage, parents

receive the responsibility and privilege of

evangelizing their children.

Parents should initiate their children at an early age into the

mysteries of the faith of which they are the “first heralds” for their

children. They should associate them from their tenderest years

with the life of the Church.

34

Awholesome family life can foster in­

terior dispositions that are a genuine preparation for a living faith

and remain a support for it throughout one’s life.

2226

Education in the faith

by the parents should begin in the

child’s earliest years. This already happens when family members

help one another to grow in faith by the witness of a Christian life

in keeping with the Gospel. Family catechesis precedes, accompa­

nies, and enriches other forms of instruction in the faith. Parents

have the mission of teaching their children to pray and to discover

their vocation as children of God.

35

The parish is the Eucharistic

31

CA

36 § 2.

32

Sir

30:1-2.

33

Eph

6:4.

34

LG

11 § 2.

35 Cf.

LG

11.

1804

1939

1656

2179