I encourage you to grab your Bible and read along as I share some thoughts on this passage from Paul’s letter to the Colossians…(I am using the JB Phillips Translation today)
Verse 18 “Wives, adapt yourselves to your husbands, that your marriage may be a Christian unity.”
- In the day to day relationship with your husband, Wives, have you had to do any adapting? Have you noticed that the way he does things is not always the same way you do things? And by the way, it’s not right, it’s not wrong, it’s just different. J
- And husbands, have you had to do any adapting in living the day by day relationship with your wife? When my wife and I got married, lo those many years ago, I started out by changing tooth paste from Crest to Colgate, and from putting hangers in the closet with the hoop to the right, to putting them in with the hoop to the left (as the clothes face you).
- Be willing to yield. Relationships are a give and take thing. It does not mean you give, I take or vice versa.
- Preferences – We all have them. If you are married, both of you do. I know that my wife has done some adapting in living with me. She is a very patient woman.
Verse 19 Husbands, be sure you give your wives much love and sympathy; don’t let bitterness or resentment spoil your marriage.”
- Listen empathetically and don’t start by trying to fix the problem. Just listen and express empathy. Men, listen to the way your wife talks to her mother, her sisters or other female friends. We guys like to be engineers and mechanics and fix everything. Remember men, we are from Mars and our wives are from Venus. Try to learn her language (Venusian). I understand that speaking her language may not be natural to you. And remember this – we men are usually all about report talking (just the facts mam, give me the bottom line and leave out most of the fluff), women are about rapport talking (building rapport) – Plus tell me all the details.
- Don’t let the sun go down on your anger. Get things resolved with one another before you go to bed. Be humble. You are not always right and you sometimes say things that hurt feelings. Be able to own up to it and apologize. Also be able to say these 4 words, “Will You Forgive Me?”
- Learn your wife’s love language. Gary Chapman wrote the book, ‘The 5 Love Languages’ – receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service.
- Remember you and your wife have different ways of looking at and living life. Have you noticed?
Verse 20 As for you children, your duty is to obey your parents, for at your age this is one of the best things you can do to show your love for God.”
- As children learn to obey their parents, they will be learning to obey God. If children are raised in an atmosphere where no never means no, then they learn that they can beg and plead and get what they want. Plus if they disobey and there are no consequences, they learn that too. Where children are taught respect for their parents, adults, etc. then too often when they become a Christian, they carry that same perspective into their walk with the Lord. If they have learned that: ‘I can get Him to do anything I want’ or that ‘No means maybe’, then look out. Obedience to God becomes an ‘if I feel like it’ thing. God becomes someone to either ignore, disrespect, or be sneaky with.
Verse 21 Fathers, don’t over-correct your children, or they will grow up feeling inferior and frustrated.”
- It’s one thing for Dads to correct, train and discipline their kids – that’s a good thing. It’s an entirely different thing for Dad’s to exasperate (New American Standard Bible word) their kids. If you are over-correcting them and constantly infuriating them, it produces anger, and they may want to simply give up since they never can please you. They may just say ‘forget him’. Nothing will please him.
- The kind of infuriating I am talking about leads kids to distance themselves from their dads out of self preservation.
Verses 22-25 Slaves, your job is to obey your masters, not with the idea of currying favour, but as a sincere expression of your devotion to God. Whatever you do, put your whole heart and soul into it, as into work done for God, and not merely for men—knowing that your real reward, a heavenly one, will come from God, since you are actually employed by Christ, and not just by your earthly master. But the wicked man will be punished for his misdeeds, and naturally no distinction will be made between master and man.”
- When you hear slaves, please in current speak substitute the work ‘employee’. It’s all about attitude. As an employee you are there at work to do the job agreed on between you and your employer, for the time and pay set by the employer.
- The verse says to ‘put your whole heart (do it heartily) into it (your work) done for God and not merely for men’
- Pray for your employers, for wisdom, for provision, for contracts, for return customers, for grace.
- The verse also says ‘your real reward will come from God since you are actually employed by Christ’ Think about that! You are serving the Lord in the work you do. Remember there is no distinction between secular work and serving the Lord. You and I are in ministry where we punch our timecards in and out.
Chapter 4: Verse 1 Remember, then, you employers, that your responsibility is to be fair and just towards those whom you employ, never forgetting that you yourselves have a heavenly employer.”
- If you are an employer or a boss or a manager, team leader, department head, supervisor, CO, XO or whatever, these words apply to you. There is someone above you on the chain of command (org chart) and you are accountable to Him.
- Remember the Golden Rule – ‘Do Unto To Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You.’
- You may own your own business, but as a Christian, let your Christianity rub off onto the way you treat people, the way you do business and let integrity govern how you handle the business’s money and your employees.