by wallpaperflare

Colossians 3:18–21 ‘Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.’ (v18)

We might find Paul’s change of subject abrupt. Having discussed who we are in Christ and how we are to live out the new life, Paul then addresses what are known as the household codes – his instructions for family life.

We also might or might not agree with Paul’s emphasis on the roles within the home. But taking his historical context into consideration can lessen any jarring feelings.

In the ancient world, the household was the centre of society; after all, the church had only been formed recently.

Thus, although Paul acknowledges the lack of division between ‘Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised’ and so on (Col. 3:11), for him to apply the same equality within the accepted social structure of the family would have been destabilising.

He roots his instructions of embracing life in Christ in the nitty-gritty of interaction – that is, the family.

He wants Christians to reflect Christ through their relationships in the home, where husbands were seen as the legal head and children were the property of the father.

He tells wives to submit, but note the clause, ‘as is fitting in the Lord’ (v18). Although Paul is not usurping the cultural conventions of the time, he reminds the Colossians that the Lord’s ways take precedent over those of the culture.

Home is a place to relax and feel accepted, but home can be a place where we let our sin nature reign as we fail to love those closest to us.

Here in the day-to-day crush of interacting we need to lean on Christ to help us put our old ways behind us. May we do so this day.

A Prayer To Make:
‘Lord God, whether I live with others or on my own, shape me into Your ambassador of love, truth and grace. Amen.’

An Action To Take:
Send a note to someone in your family, if you’re able, or a close friend, to tell them how they contribute to your life.

Scripture To Consider:
Gen. 2:22–25; Prov. 3:5–8; Eph. 6:1–4; Jas 1:5–6