Lord Jesus, help me to have an open heart and mind as I read the Bible today.
Read Ephesians 6:1–9
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.
9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat difference does Christ make to home, work and church life?
As Paul writes these instructions for Christian households he is maintaining the priority relationship as being with the Lord Jesus. He challenges the prevailing cultural norms in the fact that he addresses wives, children and slaves directly. This would never have happened in other writings of the time, as women, children and slaves were not regarded as worth addressing.
I often hear children referred to as the “church of tomorrow.” But here Paul addresses them very clearly as members of the church alongside their parents. They are very much the church of today.
How are children treated within your church community? There is an ancient African proverb that says “It takes a village to raise a child.” Paul might say: “It takes a church to raise a child” as, along with the adults, they learn to become like Christ.
Slaves are addressed before masters and are reminded of their new loyalty to Christ. This relationship is to transform how they perform their duties. To what extent is your attitude and approach to work transformed because you love Jesus?
Think of practical ways that you can share the example of Christ’s love in your home, relationships and work today. See our resource page for ideas of ways that you can impact the children in your church or community.
O God, may I have the attitude of Christ Jesus in my faith walk today. Use my life to impact those I come in contact with.
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