18 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
21 Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism (Colossians 3.18-25, NIV).
We have learned in the last three devotionals how we are God’s chosen people and the kind of attributes our lives should exhibit. We also saw how our priorities have changed from worldly ones to Christlike ones. Where we are focused on the Peace of Christ, the Message of Christ, and the Name of Christ. Now Paul wants to encourage each and everyone of us as to how we should live at home.
There are four areas which Paul addresses within the household, wives, husbands, children and slaves. Each one has their place and responsibilities within the house, and each is to respect, love, cherish, care for, and show honor to one another in fear of the Lord (Ephesian 5.21). We will briefly look at each section, paying more attention to children as this devotional is written for teenagers, but know the Word of God speaks volumes on marriage and how husbands and wives are to love honor and respect each other, and yes submit, out of reverence, fear, and awe of Who Jesus Christ is and has done (refer to Ephesians 5.14-21, for full context).
Wives should know as they submit to the will of God, out of respect for who He is, they are to submit to their husbands as the head of the house. God has set the husband in the position to watch out for, and care for the family, starting with his wife. Therefore, she is to help him, obey him within reason, and together they will serve the Lord to their fullest (Genesis 1.26-31, 2.21-25; Ephesians 5.21-27).
Marriage in the Bible and life is a picture of our marriage with Christ when He returns. He said in John 14, “I Am going to prepare a place for you and I will come again, that where I Am you may be there also” (my paraphrased version). What Jesus was saying is I Am the Bridegroom, and as such it is My responsibility to make the Bride’s home ready before she gets there. Henceforth, He has gone on ahead and is preparing our place, and one day He will return and take us (His Bride, the Church) to be with Him for ever.
Thus, a wife, the bride, the church, must be submissive to her husband, the groom, Christ because of what He has done for her. This does not mean he can lord over her, or be a slave driver, or even a task master. He must remember it is out of submission to the Lord that we are submitting to one another and to each other, God makes all the difference in the world when it comes to submission.
Husbands, we are to love our wives as Christ loved the church and He died for the church. So, are we willing to die for our wives? We might say “yes” now but what about when the time really comes? When their life is really on the line, what about then, will we throw ourselves in front of the bullet for them? Again, if we are submitted to the Lord, then we also are submitted to them, bound by love, the love of God, and we will no matter what give our lives to save theirs. This is the example Christ gave to us, as He died for us and His bride the Church.
Children, we are to obey our parents always, for this is right in the sight of the Lord. But your parents are the worst ever, they never let you do anything. But pastor you do not understand what my parents make me do, I have chores, and homework, and I cannot watch TV. I have a bed time and my friends can stay up as long as they want to, it is not fair. Why these might seem like awesome excuses to be disobedient to your parents, and a reason to ignore the Word of God, we would be wrong to think such a thing.
Just because our parents are a little stricter than someone else parents, or they have different rules for you then someone else does not give us the right to change or go around the Word of God, just because we do not like what it says. We can be thankful however, we are no longer under the Law, for disobedience or rebellion to your parents would result in death (Exodus 21.17; Leviticus 20.9; Deuteronomy 21-18.21, 27.16; Proverbs 20.20, 30.11; Matthew 15.4; Mark 7.10). “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you” (exodus 20.12, ESV). Within the Ten Commandments given to Moses by God, and given to the children of Israel this is the only commandment which had a promise. Often, we overlook this promise, or misunderstand it because we think of long life as being 80, 90 or 100 years old. But we must remember long life is relative to God and is longer than we were supposed to have. Therefore, in the picture of life if one was supposed to live 25 years and they lived 35 years they had a long life. Like wise if one lived to be 10, but might was only supposed to live to 5 they had a long life. Again, it is not long to us, but it is longer and it is what is meant and intended by the passage.
We should be less concerned with how long we will live and more concerned with how we are living. Are we living a life which reflects our Lord and Savior, one He would be proud to say, “there goes a child of Mine!” This is the kind of life we must have, and if we will obey our parents, honoring them in all we say and do, then we are headed down this very road our Savior died for.
We do not have slaves today, but in some countries they still do. As Christians, if we are a slave, we are to work hard for our masters whether they see us or not, because God is always watching us. Thus, He knows when we are doing our best or just messing around. This can be applied to all of us even in the workforce or at school or wherever. We must do our best no matter who is watching, because what we are doing is for the Lord and He is always watching. We are always in His service and everything we do reflects on Him, so do just be so-so, or even mediocre, but be the best we can be, then when we are done, ask God to help us be better.
Dear Heavenly Father, I am a mess, I am so glad You are the God of the Universe, of my universe and can handle any issue, problem and circumstance that arises. God, I need Your help to be the best teenager, wife, husband, for You today. Lord, I do not always seek the path for peace, sometimes I am the cause of conflict within the family and that does not help us grow, or be fruitful for You in any way. Nor does it help me be a witness for You out in the community. Lord give me the strength and wisdom to speak when necessary and not to when I should not. I thank You for Your mercy and grace and ask You to help me to extend some to those around me. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.
 The New International Version. (2011). (Col 3:18–25). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ex 20:12). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.