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Break it up - Plant it - Watch it Grow!
This passage from Colossians gives us so much information on how a family should interact.
Each member has their own specific job to do.
You are responsible for yours, and as I've learned in the past: if you do your job, and let God do His, things work out quite well! When you try to make things happen - all you really make is a mess!
So, let's take a look and see what we can learn today:
18 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them.
20 Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord. 21Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart.
Verse 18 today:
Wives, this is a direct command to wives - and wives only. Commands are not optional or they would be called suggestions. They're not so let's not treat them that way...
You are to be obedient to him. No questions asked. Do not be mistaken my dear reader, this does not mean you have to be submissive in a cowardly, fearful way.
It means you obey reverently. God speaks to the family through the husband and because of this we need to listen to what our husbands say and act upon it. Of coarse, you need your own discernment and would not do anything that defies God but
disagreement with your husband is not a cause for disobedience.
I have found in the past that when I disagree with my husband on things, I really regret it. It's OK to state your opinions, but they are just that - your opinions, you are to obey the king.
to your husbands, I think a lot of Christian women are confused on this, or have been wrongly advised. Ephesians 5:22 further explains it accurately for us:
Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
This means only your own husband. Women are not to be bullied and bossed around by men in general. And they are not to allow it themselves. I have seen some men act very inappropriately to women and I find this is usually because they are not treated as king in their own homes. Wives are to be submissive and obedient to their own husband only. That is why women can use their gifts and can hold positions over men in this world.
as is fitting in the Lord. - this means putting God in Christ before you in your marriage. You are to treat your husband, like you would Christ, if you were married to Him! I assume that would be some pretty good treatment!!
But, you say, my husband is NO Christ. Yes, that is true but God expects (and commands) you to treat him as if he were worthy of being treated this way. Even when you don't "feel" like it. You see,
Marriage is not based on a "Feeling,"
Marriage is based on commitment to God.
Do you love God enough to be committed to your marriage the way He commands?
Remember: The higher the expectations the bigger the disappointment. Unrealistic expectations lead to bigger disappointments.
You see you're putting your expectations on the wrong thing.
Love people more than things (this includes feelings).
But, most of all love GOD more than all people!
When you set high expectations on GOD, you are NEVER disappointed!
When you are married to your "Christ-Man," God is your Father-in-law. Treat your husband as God's child. Would you whine and grumble at God? Then don't do it to his son. Would you cheat or back-talk God? Then don't do that to his son.
Follow God's plan for family and marriage and you can't help but please Him.
Learn to be a winner not a whiner.
Verse 19 today:
Husbands - this is a command to the husband in a Christian Home
love your wives - this is love in it's highest form. Though the husband's authority has been established, the emphasis moves to the supreme responsibility of husbands to regard their wives, which is to love them with the same unreserved selfless and sacrificial love that Christ has for His church.
do not be embittered against them - The form of this Greek verb is better translated "stop being bitter," or "do not have the habit of being bitter." Husbands must not be harsh or angrily resentful toward their wives. 1Peter 3:7 tells us that husbands should be sensitive to the needs, fears, and feelings of his wife. This should be done through his consideration, chivalry, and companionship not by conforming to the ultra-feminization of the secular world.
It's not unmanly to be sensitive (in-tune with the needs of others), just like you don't have to be weak to be meek (managed anger) .
Sensitivity to others and meekness are two wonderful, and very manly, qualities that were shown daily by our Savior as He walked the earth. They are qualities we should be praying for in our husbands (and sons).
Why write about the husband's role in a Christian Home? It's not for you to nag, whine, or gossip with other wives. It's not for you to worry that your marriage is below average.
It is for you dear Christian wife to understand the role of your husband so you can pray continually for your him.
I hope this information has encouraged you today. As we define our roles in the Christian Home as God intended them to be, we will be happier and more purposeful. In the meantime, pray for one another as James instructed us in 5:16 of his book:
Verse 20 today:
Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord.
Children, - a direct command to children
be obedient to your parents - the child in the Christian Home is to be willingly under the authority of their parents. They are to be in obedient submission to them because of the authority given to parents by God. They are to obey their parents as if they were obeying the LORD Himself.
Ephesians 6:2 further explains this by restating the 5th commandment:
HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise)
Honor is a term which refers to one's attitude and throughout this passage, Paul is dealing with the motive behind the action of obedience.
This is the first commandment to deal with (human) relationships and the only one to address the family. When it is obeyed, this principle alone secures the family's fulfillment.
in all things, - the only limit on a child's obedience is when parents demand something contrary to God's Word. For example, for some children this includes coming to Christ.
for this is well-pleasing to the Lord. - This is the way God designed it and that makes it the only RIGHT way. The only way to please Him is through obedience.
And, of coarse, it is always obedient to teach our children to repent their sins. We must teach them the forgiveness of our grace-filled God by showing grace and forgiveness toward them ourselves.
Know your child well enough to know their heart. Train when appropriate, Forgive as necessary, Pray for them continuously, but most of all show Grace as often as you can!
Emulate the Savior and they will respect Him as well as you. That is the goal!
Verse 21 today:
Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart.
Let's break it up and plant it------
Fathers, - Though this term usually means a male parent, it is also used for parents in general - much like the pronoun 'he' is used in the formal form. It is believed that since Paul is talking to both parents previously in this passage, he is addressing both in this verse as well.
do not exasperate your children, - some translations use 'provoke.'
During the pagan times that Paul was writing this, many Jewish families were ruled by rigid and domineering authority.
The desires and welfare of the children were rarely a consideration. Paul, a product of one of these households before his conversion, wanted it made perfectly clear that a Christian Home does not place unreasonable demands and strictures on the children that would drive them to anger, despair, and resentment of the family and of the faith.
This is not to be confused with lack of proper discipline. Ephesians 6: 4b continues this thought: "but, bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord." This calls for systematic discipline and instruction, which brings children to respect the commands of the Lord as the foundation of all life, godliness, and blessings.
so that they will not lose heart.- The result of being an unreasonable parent is that you exhibit the complete opposite of the image we are to show our children of the Father. Parents are to exhibit authority in a way that leads to respect, not fear or resentment. Train them properly and they will honor the mother and father and the Father will be honored as a result.
We can learn a lot about parenting from these two....
but that's another day!
Thank for joining me today.
Remember it only grows when it's planted!
Please pray for our country :
"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” II Chronicles 7:14
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