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“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.”—Colossians 3:18-19 (NKJV)
A relationship with Jesus changes everything! There’s no aspect of our lives that gets sealed off or compartmentalized from Christ’s presence and influence. He cares about and has a plan for absolutely everything in our experience, especially when it comes to one of our most powerful and profound influences . . . our families!
Paul defines what a family of Christ-followers should look like, and it starts with the relationship between a wife and husband.
Wives are to “submit” to their husbands. In the Greek, the word for submit means “to place in an orderly fashion under something.” Just as an army needs an order of authority to be effective, God desires that wives recognize and respect their husband’s leadership of their households. This doesn’t mean a wife is any less than her husband. It simply means there’s a difference in responsibilities that allows for an order that allows for greater effectiveness.
In turn, husbands are to “love” their wives. Now, that may not sound like a big deal until you realize the word here for love is the unconditional and sacrificial kind of love that God has towards us. This means a husband is to put the well-being of his bride above his own, and to live in such a way that prioritizes her.
“Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.”—Colossians 3:20 (NKJV)
Next, children are to obey their parents in all things. No child is perfect, and every child will be disobedient at some point. But the life between child and parent is to be characterized by obedience, which literally means “to listen to.” They are to be open to what their parents say and honor their place over their lives.
The Lord wants His followers’ families to function in a very specific way for a couple of reasons. First, when families function according to His will, they’re also bound to be supportive, stable, and life-giving. They won’t be perfect, but they’ll be much healthier than those that are operating outside of His will. That’s just good for everyone in the family itself!
Lastly, and even more importantly, a family that’s ordered according to God’s purposes will bring glory to Him. Fewer things shine as brightly in our world today than a family where all is as it should be. It gets noticed, and when it does there’s an unparalleled opportunity to give honor and credit to the One responsible for it.
DIG: How does a relationship with Jesus affect family life?
DISCOVER: Why does God have a specific order for families?
DO: Assess how aligned your own family is with the family life Paul describes.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.