Wives and Husbands and Fathers and Children….Oh My!

Colossians 3:18-21, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.  Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.  Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.  Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.”

Instructions for the wife, husband, father or child out there according to the Bible.  Each has a direction from God and each has a line in this passage.  Each have a way to go to honor and please God.   Let us go on a journey through this passage….oh my!

For the Wives.  Submit to your own husbands.  This is what the Lord wants.  Submit.  In the Strong’s Concordance, submit come from the Greek word ὑποτάσσω hypotássō, hoop-ot-as’-so; to subordinate; reflexively, to obey:—be under obedience (obedient), put under, subdue unto, (be, make) subject (to, unto), be (put) in subjection (to, under), submit self unto.  The wife is to be subject to her husband.  She is to listen and obey his words.  This does not be a slave.  This means to listen and do as your husband asks so long as it does not contradict God.  God gives the husband direction and the wife then receives direction from her husband.

For the Husbands.  Love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.  Love comes from the Greek ἀγάπη agápē, ag-ah’-pay; love, i.e. affection or benevolence; specially (plural) a love-feast:—(feast of) charity(-ably), dear, love.  This is to be love like God loves us.  This involves affection.  True affection, not that sappy stuff you see in a television drama.  A true longing for the woman who you are married to.  Your wife is to be dear to you as your own body is dear to you.  God loves your wife and sent her to you.  Love her because God gave her to you.  She is not your slave; she is your helpmate.  A helper to lighten the load.  Love her as a woman God created, not a packhorse that does your bidding.

For the Children.  Obey your parents in all things.  Obey comes from the Greek word ὑπακούω hypakoúō, hoop-ak-oo’-o; to hear under (as a subordinate), i.e. to listen attentively; by implication, to heed or conform to a command or authority:—hearken, be obedient to, obey.  This is similar to wives.  Children are to listen to their parents and accept Godly advice.  If a command is given, the child is to obey it.  The child must do as the parent asks because the parents receive their instructions from God to impart on the child.  My children, who are younger, are learning this hard lesson.  It is hard sometimes for a child to obey but this is a skill set that must be mastered.  Obey as the wife obeys the husband.  Obey as the husband obeys the words of God.

Fathers.  Do not provoke your children.  Provoke comes from the Greek word ἐρεθίζω erethízō, er-eth-id’-zo; to stimulate (especially to anger):—provoke.  Do not make your children get frustrated or angry on purpose.  This is pointless.  I will admit that this is something I have had to work on.  It is easy to be hard on your children when you are teaching them.  It is easy to yell or want to call them names.  This is not love and not what God wants us, as fathers, to do.  This instruction comes because as dads, we can expect a lot out of our children.  To be better than us, to learn from us, to do more than us.  This can cause anger when our children do not live up to our expectations.  The problem with that is our children need to live up to God’s expectations, not ours.  God has so much in store for our children.  So let us be calm and teach.  Teach without anger.

Notice there is nothing for the mothers.  This, I feel, is on purpose.  Mothers, who give birth and most of the time caring for the child, have their direction.  They had the child in the womb for all those months; it is hard to not want to care for that child.  There is a personal bond.  The bond between mother and child is different from that of a father and child.  The mother has more invested.  Mothers, for the most part, love their children.  God is love and we should love like God loves.  This can apply to everyone including wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, children, and all other people.  Love before all.  Love life God loves.

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for each role that people play.  You love all of us: mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, and children.  Thank you for Your guidance which shows that You care.  Shows that You are more than a God who creates but does not maintain.  Makes but does not mend.  Humans are always in need of repair.  Thank You that You sent Jesus to fix us and take away the sin that pollutes our lives.  We need You and need Your love.  May we show the love that You show to others.  May we be more like You.

In Your name we pray,

Amen

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