Lord, I thank You for the special people in my life, for their love and friendship. I ask that they might know Your blessing.
Read Colossians 3:18—4:1
Instructions for Christian Households
18 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
21 Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.
4 Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow is your Christ-life walked out in your family relationships?
Paul is nothing if not practical in his exhortation. Having focused on relationships within the church, particularly those which are under strain, he turns his attention to households. There is nothing new in this; we see a similar approach in Ephesians 5:22—6:9. This passage starts with a general verse (3:17) which is just outside the beginning of the section and it controls everything that follows.
Paul encourages everyone in the church to do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus before drilling down into specific relationships. He addresses wives, husbands, children, slaves and masters as equals. Each group has a mutual responsibility to each other as co-members within the church family. And there’s a beautiful symmetry at work. As each one serves the other they in turn will receive the same grace. And it’s all for Jesus, in the Lord (18,20), fearing the Lord (22) and for the Lord (23). Having exhorted his readers to do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus (17), Paul shows them how. There’s no pulling rank or hiding behind status. We are to serve the Lord in the way we relate to each other.
Think of the people you prayed for earlier. How can you best show them Jesus through the way you engage with them?
Father, help me to become a shining example of Christ’s compassion for all with whom I am in daily relation.
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