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Instructions for Christian Households
Colossians 3:18-25 New International Version (NKJV)
18 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. 20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.
21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. 22 Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. 23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for[a] you serve the Lord Christ. 25 But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.
Ephesians 5:22 “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.”
The apostle proceeds from those duties which related to them as church members one towards another, for their mutual good and edification, and the glory of God, to such as concerned them in their own houses and families, as in a natural relation to each other; as husbands and wives, parents and children, masters and servants; showing hereby, that the Gospel of Christ establishes the duties of common and civil life, contrary to popular belief.
Wives submit to your husbands—as it is fit in the Lord; Subjection of wives to their own husbands is “fit” and proper in its own nature, by reason of the original creation of man, and of the woman from him: man was made first, and then the woman; and the woman was made out of the man, out of one of his ribs; and so, though not to be trampled under his feet, but to be by his side, and an help meet to him, yet not to be head, or to rule over him. Moreover, the woman was made for the man, and not the man for the woman; add to this, that the woman was in the transgression, and the means of the fall of man, which made the obligation to subjection to him the stronger: and it is also a “decent” and becoming thing for wives to be subject to their husbands; for as it is giving honor to them.
There are three governments that are Biblical on this earth: civil government, church government and family government.
In every family there should be a head – someone who is to be looked up to as the counselor and the ruler; someone to whom all should be subordinate. God has given that prerogative to man; and no family prospers where that arrangement is violated.
The Gospel on the one hand recognizes and secures woman’s perfect spiritual equality with man, on the other hand recognizes and secures man’s responsible leadership.
Ladies, we are equals under the Lord, in our spiritual gifts and anointings, in salvation, in our work for Him; but in the house we are subject to our husbands as unto the Lord. God sees our submission to our husband as an obedience to Christ. Submission is yielding to my husband’s authority in love.
Proverbs 14:1 14 The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.
Proverbs 21:9 New King James Version (NKJV)
9 Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.
Proverbs 12:4 New King James Version (NKJV)
4 An[a] excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.
What does submission look like? It is obeying when you do not want to. EX: I want red hair. A lady told me she would never allow her husband to tell her what hair color she could have. I guess that’s why she has been married twice and headed for a third. What does it matter?
Submission is kind and meek. It doesn’t fight back or bite back. It is never disrespectful. EX: Bible study, Moses’ sister Marian (Num 12) Why didn’t Aaron get leprosy? Marian did!
Submission is BEAUTY! “As is fitting in the Lord” Above all, submission is unto the Lord, so when you do not submit ladies, you are NOT submitted to God. Check your heart.
Husbands- love your wives. Why does it not say, “wives love your husbands?” Perhaps I think because the greater duty is put upon the man as the head to love her in an unselfish way. Men- love seeks the BEST for your wife, not to lord over her. The marriage relationship is to be a beautiful picture of Christ and His Bride the church.
Ephesians 5:22-33 New King James Version (NKJV)
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might [a]sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, [b]of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Be not bitter.— and be not bitter against them; turning love into hatred for them; ruling with rigor, and in a tyrannical manner; behaving towards them in a rude or mean-spirited way; giving them either bitter words, or blows, and denying them their affection, care, provision, protection, and assistance, but using them as servants, or worse. All which is barbarous, brutish, and unchristian, and utterly unbecoming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“If a man doesn’t treat his wife right, I don’t want to hear him talk about Christianity”—Spurgeon
Your pastor is a great husband and father. The Bible declares strict qualifications for overseers:
1 Timothy 3:1-5 New King James Version (NKJV
3 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a [a]bishop, he desires a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; 3 not [b]given to wine, not violent, [c]not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not [d]covetous; 4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?)
You can look to him for an example of how to be a good husband, to love your wife and raise obedient children. I am loved and cherished, he tells me all the time he loves me and that I am beautiful. I am secure in my relationship with him. I am respected by him and he demands our kids respect me. He has never abused me or spoken to me unkindly, even in his anger with me he watches his words. He is patient with me and gracious in my mistakes. The way he loves and takes care of me makes it easy to submit (even though this does not come naturally)
Children obey your parents- There is a different rendering in the Greek. The wife “submits herself” as to a guiding friend; the child recognizes in a parent a lawful commander. Disobedience to parents is always sited in Scripture as a definite act of rebellion against God
Exodus 20:12 New King James Version (NKJV)
12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
Exodus 21:17 “And he who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.
Deuteronomy 5:16 New King James Version (NKJV)
16 ‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
Children must be taught obedience. This does not come naturally. The Bible says
Ephesians 6:4 New King James Version (NKJV)
4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
Proverbs 29:15 A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
As Abraham trained up his children, and those born in his house, in the way of the Lord, in the paths of justice and judgment; which are the ways in which they should go, and which will be to their profit and advantage; which is the duty of parents in all ages, and under the present Gospel dispensation, even to bring such who are under their care in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, by praying with them and for them, by bringing them under the means of grace, the ministry of the word, by instructing them in the principles of the gospel, teaching them their duty to God and man, and setting them good examples of a holy life and conversation; and this is to be done according to their capacity, and as they are able to understand and receive the instructions given them: “according to the mouth of his way” (s), as it may be literally rendered; as soon as he is able to speak or go, even from his infancy.
EX: Gabe lied- I used the Word of God to correct Him.
“For this is well pleasing unto the Lord”; and is a sufficient reason to train your child in the ways of the Lord; for whatever is grateful and well pleasing to God ought to be done with pleasure by us, from a principle of love to Him, by faith in Him, and with a view to His glory.
*Side note—Although, this Scripture speaks of younger children; notice, there is no age limit in honoring our mother and father.
Fathers, provoke not your children — Deal not so harshly or severely with them, so as to alienate their affections from you; lest they be discouraged — From attempting to please you, when it shall seem to be an impossible task. There is difference between beating and spanking, discipline and punishment. Discipline is in order to produce good character. Strict punishment is to shame. Hug and love on your kids more than you chasten them, then they will know that even in discipline, they are loved.
Hebrews 12:6-8 New King James Version (NKJV)
6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”
7 If[a] you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.
Bondservants- Paul enters into this point in comparison with the others, may naturally have been caused by the flight and conversion of Onesimus, who was a Colossian slave.
The vast majority of servants of all kinds at this time in the Greek and Roman world were slaves. In most districts the slaves were much more numerous than the free population. And they were undoubtedly numerous in the early Church. Side note: God has never condoned slavery. The Jews were treated horribly for 400 years by the Egyptians. That was never God’s design. When the Bible speaks of slavery and the rules in Scripture it was referring to an indentured servants, meaning the person made themselves a slave to pay off a debt. After the debt was paid or after seven years of service, they were to be released. However, if a slave loved his master, they became a “Bond servant” serving freely.
The gospel has always been welcome to the poor and oppressed.
Matthew 5:3 ”blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of God”
There are certain requirements to receive the blessings of God’s kingdom. We must be guided by the ways and values of God revealed in Scripture and not by the ways and values of the world. The first is to recognize that we are “poor in spirit”, we are not self-sufficient. We are servants of God’s and bondservants of the Holy Spirit. We need His life, power and sustaining grace in order to inherit the kingdom of God.
Paul so identified with being a slave, he says to Philemon, “I am sending him (Onesimus) back to you in his own person, and it is like sending my very heart”
Paul tackled the issue of Roman slavery by preaching the gospel. To advocate a direct movement to free the slaves, even Christian slaves would have destroyed the church and the cause of Jesus at that time, as it was in its beginning stages. Instead of direct confrontation, Paul confronted it by appealing to Philemon to receive Onesimus back, not as a slave, but as a brother. (American slavery was horrible, mostly like the Egyptian slavery and has never been condoned by God.) Slavery cannot exists among believers who have seen the truth of Christian brotherhood.
Paul continues to say, “Whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord”. It is a continuation to the servants to do all things without grumbling or complaining, have a good heart to serve others that what we do is unto the Lord, not to men.
Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance,…. This is said for the encouragement of Christian servants, who, though they may receive little or nothing from their earthly and carnal masters; yet they shall be used and treated as children by the Lord, and by whom they will be possessed of an eternal inheritance, after their work and labor is over
But is that not what we are called to? To be a servant?
Matthew 23:11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.
Galatians 5:13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
1 Corinthians 4:1-2 New King James Version (NKJV) 4 Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.
Matthew 25:21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
Phil 2:5-8 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it [a]robbery to be equal with God, 7 but [b]made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross.
Galatians 1:10 New King James Version (NKJV)
10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.
Paul ends with “But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.” A common theme throughout Scripture- the law of reaping and sowing. This is a universal law, as binding as gravity.
Galatians 6:7 New King James Version (NKJV)
7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
Friend, you better much more fear God and the consequences of persistent disobedience than you fear anything this world may throw at you.
Live and operate within the sphere that God has given you. Be content as a wife to honor her husband. Be content as a husband to love your wife. Let us all serve one another, knowing that we serve as unto the Lord and not to man.
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