Sunday, January 8, 2012

Households (Colossians 3:18-4:1)

Once again, as in its parallel teaching in Ephesians, Paul’s household exhortation is a study in minding your own business. In fact, it is even clearer here in its simplicity. He does not highlight the symbolic nature of marriage, for instance. He simply reminds each role of its focus. Wives, submit; husbands, love; children obey, parents, don’t discourage etc.

How this passage is not constructed, but the reading a lot of teachers and most believers give it would be as follows:

“Husbands, make sure your wives submit and obey everything you command. Wives, your husband must love you sacrificially. If he doesn’t, then you get a free pass on respecting or loving him. Children, you need to do what your parents say as long as it doesn’t disagree with your sparse and still growing understanding of what God wants or as long as it doesn’t harm your delicate sense of self worth or… Parents, you need to teach obedience for obedience sake, or else simply be your child’s best friend and let them walk all over you.”

The overriding spirit that we should aspire to in our relationships is to do all our duty—to fulfill our familiar and professional roles—as if we were doing them for Jesus Himself, because we should realize that we are doing just that.

As we see here this even applies in our professional family roles. We should work for our boss as if it glorified and pleased God, which it does. Bosses, supervisors and employers should exercise their power with a strong sense of how they would like that power—no, God’s power over them—to be exercised.

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