You must!

Friday, June 29, 2007

I am still working on my Theology of Work, when I remembered this one verse from the book of Colossians. When I looked for it, I am reminded that it is part of the Household Code found both in this epistle and Ephesians as well.

Colossians 3:18-25 (ESV)
18 Wives, submit to your husbands, (imperative!)
...................as is fitting in the Lord. (qualifier)
19 Husbands, love your wives, (imperative!)
...................and do not be harsh with them (imperative!)
20 Children, obey your parents in everything, (imperative!)
...................for this pleases the Lord. (reason why)
21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, (imperative!)
...................lest they become discouraged. (reason why)
22 Slaves, obey (imperative!)
...................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.
...................23 Whatever you do,
...............................work heartily, (imperative!)
...............................as for the Lord and not for men,
..............................24 knowing that from the Lord
....................................you will receive the inheritance
.........................................................as your reward. (a promise!)
....................................You are serving the Lord Christ. (possible
.................................................................................imperative)
25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done,
........................................and there is no partiality.

Wives must submit to their husbands but by God's grace there is a qualifier to that command. The submission must be fitting and acceptable to the Lord. There are no two ways about it, if it is right in the eyes of God to submit, submit we must.

Husbands must love their wives but it must be a gentle love - a double imperative! Be gentle with your wives!

Children must obey their parents, not in their choosing but in everything! Because it pleases the Lord.

Fathers must not provoke or exasperate their children, because they might become discouraged. I have seen it happen much too often!

Slaves or bondservants (in our context, could it be workers like you and I?) must obey, must work heartily, and must serve the Lord in our work. We are promised a reward.

Warning - if we disobey on these commands, there will be paying back and there is no getting away.

If the number of imperatives and the length particularly on the worker portion have any bearing to the interpretation of the passage, it might point to the fact that workers need more push to do what they are required to do. Then husbands, then the rest.

I must do more work on these verses!

pearlie

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3 comment(s)

  1. It all sounds pretty clear and emphatic to me. The "musts" and the "ifs" :o)
    Susan

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  2. We’ve had several discussions on that SUBMIT word. Each marriage is different and each husband wants different things from a wife. Here in the states the word submit is not though of very well. I think it’s a misunderstood term.

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  3. I am learning myself to be submissive. Reading Prov 31, one would think that the wife being so enterprising and being in charge that she can lead but it just won't work in a marriage. Submission is the key.

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