November 3 – Prison Letters – Relationships Revisited

Read Colossians 3:18-4:6

It is unfortunate that many have the inaccurate stereotype of the Scriptures that it is somehow irrelevant and dominated by seemingly useless historical information.  Paul said, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful . . .” (2 Tim. 3:16a)  I can think of nothing more practical and useful than relational instruction like we find in today’s reading.  God, you see, really wanted to give His children clear principles for the key relationships of life.  As we mentioned in our study of Ephesians, this is not an isolated text or topic.  In fact, we find that the Spirit of God gives this kind of instruction in many other biblical texts.

Here is a quick summary of how you and I, as followers of Jesus, are to respond to others and to authority:

Christian to government and its leaders:  We are to pray for and submit to these people in authority as ones appointed by God.  This includes the paying of taxes.  (Romans 13, 1 Timothy 2, 1 Peter 2)

Husbands and wives:  Husbands are to love their wives the way the Christ unconditionally and sacrificially loves the church.  Wives are to respect their husbands the way that the church honors Christ.  (Ephesians 5, Colossians 3, 1 Peter 3)

Parents and children:  Children are to obey and honor their parents . . . even providing for them as they age and as their mother might be widowed.  Parents (especially fathers) are to raise their children in God’s instruction without frustrating them (Eph. 6, Colossians 3, 1Timothy 5)

Employee and employer/supervisor (an adaptation of the slave/master relationship described in Ephesians 6, Colossians 3 and 4, and 1 Peter 2):  Employees are to work submissively as unto the Lord.  Employers are to treat their employees with fairness.

Older and younger:  Titus 2 clearly outlines the kind of God-honoring behavior that should characterize both genders and generations.

Church leaders and church participants:  Church leaders are to be characterized by godly qualifications.  They should lead as shepherds calling God’s people to service.  Church participants, meanwhile, are to honor and provide for their leaders.  (1 Timothy 3 and 5, Titus 1, and 1 Peter 5)

Chances are, you are implicated in several, if not all, of the aforementioned relationships.  It is always time to take action in your relationships!

Steve Kern

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