Colossians 3:18ff: Spirituality in Family and Work

-note: this is short and sweet. This is very similar to the passage in Ephesians that was discussed earlier. Also the more practical a passage, the harder it becomes for me to comment, because it is sadly less true of what I practice. Read Chrysostom and that says it all.

III. Spirituality in Family and Work Life

18 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. 20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. 22 Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. 23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for* you serve the Lord Christ. 25 But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality. 1. Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.

Paul demonstrated here how Liturgy plays out in everyday life. This should be familiar because it is almost identical to what we read in Ephesians 5&6.

-Husbands…do not be bitter: Even if their wives are not respectful and good hearted they should not react with bitterness and anger. They must continue to love them.

-Chrysostom “To love therefore is the husband’s part, to yield pertains to the other side. If then each one contributes his own part, all stands firm. From being loved, the wife too becomes loving; and from her being submissive, the husband becomes yielding. And see how in nature also it has been so ordered, that the one should love, the other obey. For when the party governing loves the governed, then everything stands fast. Love from the governed is not sought, as from the governing towards the governed; for from the other obedience is due. For that the woman has beauty, and the man desire, shows nothing else than that for the sake of love it has been made so. Do not therefore, because your wife is subject to you, act the despot; nor because your husband loves you, be you puffed up. Let neither the husband’s love elate the wife, nor the wife’s subjection puff up the husband. For this cause has Christ subjected her to you, that she may be loved the more. For this cause He has made you to be loved, O wife, that you might easily bear your subjection. Fear not in being a subject; for subjection to one that loves you has no hardship. Fear not in loving, for you have her yielding. In no other way then could a bond have been.”

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