“Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.
Masters, treat your bondservants justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.” -Colossians 3:18-4:1
Honest moment: to me, this section of Colossians is so difficult.
It’s difficult because these verses have been, and continue to be, twisted so much in society. It mentions women being ‘submissive,’ slavery, ect. Ugh. Haters gonna hate, hate, hate.
BUT WE KNOW THE LORD, and He is good.
Submitting to your husband does not mean being a doormat; or being ok with being abused, not listened to, or controlled. NOT OK.
Obeying your parents does not mean being ok with being molested, neglected, or physically harmed. NOT OK.
Slavery is NOT OK. I hate the argument that it’s in the Bible, so Christians must be ok with it. N.O. It is in the Bible. Slavery is all over history. If you “conquered” an area, those who lived there became slaves. If you owed a debt to someone, you could work it off as a bondservant. Do I agree, no, but did it happen, yes. Since it did/ was happening, obviously the writer of Colossians needed to address it. He addressed it by saying LOVE your ‘bondservant,’ just as God loves you. Treat them fairly, and just. No abuse. No torture. Loving them as our Lord loves us.
I, through travels, have met people who were ‘slaves.’ They had no freedom. They lived in a country that was not their own. They didn’t speak the language. They worked for nothing. They couldn’t even talk to anyone. I pray for the two I met, I pray for the ones I haven’t met. I pray that someday they are free (spiritually & physically). I pray the person who has enslaved them changes their views on controlling people. I pray that they know they are loved.
So the above is all hard stuff to explain to the world, yeah?
Personally, the MOST difficult part is: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”
Whatever I do? WHATEVER I DO? Driving? I do for the Lord. Washing dishes? I do for the Lord. Planning events? I do for the Lord. Making meal train meals? I do for the Lord.
Sometimes I’m lazy. Sometimes my work ethic sucks. During these times I NEED, NEED, NEED to remind myself that EVERYTHING I do is for God. Is my procrastination glorifying Him? Yes I need rest, and that is good, but is 12 hours of sleep the best way to show others His light?
Sometimes I get bummed when I’m not ‘noticed’ for doing things. Currently, at work, a coworker likes to get all the attention, and take a lot of the credit for my work. While I was venting about this, a friend reminding me that I don’t work for the glory of man. I do my job well for the glory of our King.
This is not easy. I want to be recognized for the work I do. I think hard work should be rewarded. I also think I need to continually repeat that my inheritance is not of this world. My rewards are following God. My reward is obeying God. YOU ARE SERVING THE LORD, DO IT WELL. (I’m going to repeat this like 100x times today. At least.)
Also check out Matthew 6:33, Ephesians 5:22-6:9.