Ephesians  ◦   Chapter 6

1 Children, obey the Christlike leadership of your parents, for this is healthy and right.2 "Honor your father and mother"–which is the first commandment to reveal some of the benefits of developing healthy relationships–3 "that life may go well and you may live long on the earth."

4 Fathers, do not mistreat your children; instead, raise them with God's principles of love and teach them to think for themselves, always searching for truth.

5 Slaves, be respectful, honest, and faithful to your earthly masters, just as you would be to Christ.6 Follow their leadership — not just to get their praise, but to reveal the high standard of character possessed by those who are Christlike–always doing God's will from a sincere heart.7 Serve lovingly and wholeheartedly, as if you were serving Jesus himself,8 because you know that character development and our rewards in Christ are the same, whether we are slaves or free.

9 And you, masters, treat your slaves in the same way: look out for their health and good, and do not abuse or mistreat them, since you understand that all humanity is infected with the same sickness of heart and mind, and he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven and distributes his healing Remedy equally to everyone, and without favoritism.

10 Finally, stay strong in your connection and devotion to the Lord and his mighty power.11 Arm your minds with God's complete set of armor so that you can join the ranks of Christ's soldiers and stand successfully in the face of the devil's schemes.12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, with man-made weapons, but against all individuals, entities and powers that misrepresent God and darken minds, and against Satan–the originator of lies about God–and his cohorts who also misrepresent God in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore arm your minds with God's full set of armor so that when Satan's grand deception comes and it seems the heavens are about to fall, you are able to stand; and when you have done everything to present the truth and expose Satan's lies–don't falter; stand!14 Stand firm, with the truth of God wrapped around you like a belt; with a righteous, Christlike character developed within–like a breastplate;15 and the peace that comes from accepting the good news about God–like track shoes providing good traction and a solid foundation.16 Also, hold fast the shield of trust, which extinguishes all the burning fear and insecurity brought by the devil's temptations.17 Take with you the helmet of a healed mind–a mind protected from the assaults of Satan; and attack the lies about God with the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God–the truth.18 And talk with God with an enlightened mind, intelligently, on all occasions, about all of your concerns, requests, plans, and issues. With all of this in mind, be alert and always keep praying for God's people.

19 When you talk with God, remember me also–that whenever I speak, God will give me wisdom and courage to speak clearly the truth of his character, methods and principles,20 of which I am an ambassador in chains; request divine assistance that I may declare this truth fearlessly.21 Tychicus, our dear brother and faithful servant of God, will tell you everything so that you may know all that I am doing, and how I am.22 I am sending him to you especially for this purpose so that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you.23 Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with trust from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.24 God's blessing to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.