November 28, 2012

Colossians {Day 28}

Today we come to a "juicy" passage that includes the words wives and submit.  How exciting!  Before we read the passage, though, I would like to remind us where these "Rules for Christian Households" is situated: in the Bible, in the book of Colossians (a letter to Christians), after chapters in praise of Christ and what He's done to save his people, who are all in equal need of His saving grace.  These family rules are for believers who are making verse 17 their goal:
Whatever you do, whether in word or in deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

With further ado, we'll continue in chapter three and include the first verse of chapter four.
18 Wives, submit 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 win 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 men, 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 his wrong, 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.
Wives, husbands, children, fathers, slaves, and masters.  Like they shout on the Electric Company, "HEY YOU GUYS!!!!!  God has something to say to you, not only about your salvation, but also about how to live in your earthly relationships."

To me it is a bit sad all of the fuss made about verse eighteen.  Getting to focused on the "injustice" of wives submitting to their husbands (without understanding what it means, just assuming it means being a doormat, going as far as letting your husband beat you, if that's your situation), takes away from the fact that what Christ has done for us can and should influence and change the way we interact in our families and households.  As the New Bible Commentary points out, nothing is outside Christ's rule and authority:

The paragraph contains many references to the Lord, indicating that the whole of life, both thought and conduct, is to be submitted to the Lord Jesus Christ.  No area of life stands outside his control; so there is no final distinction between the sacred and the secular.   A life ruled form above where Christ is reigning (3:1-4) is a life in marriage, parenthood, and everyday work.

Due to lack of both time and Biblical expertise, I'm going to leave this passage at that.  Please dig into it more, ask your pastor questions, and listen to what God might be saying to you, in your place in a family and/or work.

I don't know about you, but I would love to be so free and joyful in my relationship to Christ that in whatever I do I work at it with all my heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.  (v. 23)  Wouldn't you?

Let's start right now, with whatever we're going to do next, which for me is relieving a babysitter and preparing dinner.  Have a good evening!

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