Christianity that works, works at home. Relationships reveal its strengths and weaknesses. Like oil, God’s ways reduce relational friction when individuals carry out their assigned roles.
A wife isn’t a slave. It’s true that Colossians 3:18 tells her to submit to her husband. She puts herself under his leadership. She’s open, listens, and gives herself to meet his needs. She’s receptive to his values and vision. Yet, she’s in no way inferior to him.
In a Christian marriage, Christ, not the husband, is in charge. 1 Corinthians 1:3, 7–9 and Ephesians 5:22–23 more explicitly describe the divinely instituted hierarchy in the order of creation. It’s based on function, not inherent worth.
Husbands are to be love-initiators. They actively and self-sacrificially seek their wives’ well-being. Husbands who lead tenderly, gently, and sensitively discover submission is less of a problem for their wives.
Children aren’t bosses. Christians obey God because they trust in His wisdom and love. A child’s obedience to parents should be similar. Paul doesn’t consider that parental orders might conflict with God’s law. Apart from such a clash, a child’s obedience is to be total. Such obedience pleases the Lord. The parent-child relationship trains the child to trust and obey the Lord.
Parents, especially fathers, aren’t to provoke or discourage their children. Parents shouldn’t make unreasonable demands. They shouldn’t humiliate children publicly. They must treat them with love and understanding. Children can easily become discouraged. They can conclude they aren’t worth much. Parents must accept them even when they make mistakes. They should praise them for the positive things they do.
In a fallen world in rebellion against God, you’d expect that wives wouldn’t submit to their husbands. Husbands would put their own needs first. Children would frequently disobey their parents. Are you surprised that’s what usually happens? For now, people can call God’s relationship guidelines null and void. But they’re not free from the consequences of living that way.
Christianity that works, works at work. You have both an earthly employer and a heavenly inspector. You can sometimes make the boss think you’re doing a fine job when you’re not. You should work to please the Lord, not the boss. That’s a higher standard.
Employers and employees are subject to the same Lord. Therefore, Christian employers must treat their employees fairly and with grace—the same way Jesus treats them. The workplace is their mission field.
Christianity is relational! God’s directives are the oil that keeps the engine of your relationships working smoothly.
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