Colossians 3: 18 –21 NLT
18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting for those who belong to the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly.
20 Children, always obey your parents, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged.
These godly qualities make a huge difference in the way we treat other people. Paul gives us examples in household situations. Wives are asked to submit to their husbands. That sounds absolutely awful in the 21st Century! This is not talking about a relationship where a man treats his wife badly, orders her around, checks her every move, etc. In fact, the husbands are told to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Paul expands on this idea in Ephesians 5: 25 – 29:
“For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. 27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. 28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. 29 No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church.”
If every husband loved his wife as much as Christ loved the church, no wife would hesitate to follow his leadership. This loving relationship should also characterize parent/child relationships. The verses mention fathers – “Fathers, do not aggravate your children.” It’s interesting that Paul specifically talks to the men both in the marriage relationship and in parenting. As leaders in the home, they set the tone of the family. Take another look at those characteristics the Holy Spirit develops in us – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. A husband/dad and a wife/mom with those qualities would make a home a peaceful place, a place their children would love.
That’s a huge challenge. Aren’t we thankful that God helps us to develop those characteristics? Aren’t we glad that the Holy Spirit lives in us and whispers His advice to us!
Our song for today is Family Prayer Song by Maranatha Singers.