David Bahn-Reflections Podcast
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. 22 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. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality. – Colossians 3:12-25 [ESV]
I’m not a big fan of “One Size Fits All” clothing. I’m not sure they have people like me in mind when they make those clothing items. Perhaps not the very small person either. When it comes to the Christian faith, it’s not a “One Size Fits All” proposition – except for the faith itself. For the foundation of our faith is our great need for Christ and God’s grace and mercy toward those who acknowledge that need. That applies to all of us who have been saved, no exceptions.
Beyond that, however, for each of us who believe there is a unique way by which we live out that faith. Paul begins here to speak of the unique ways we are each to live out our faith. Wives, husbands, children, slaves, masters, parents, fathers: we each have a calling unique to our identity and life station. Children, obey. Husbands, love. Wives, submit (more on that later this week, I promise). Servants: obey from the heart.
Notice here what he does not say. There’s no, “Masters, be sure your servants obey you.” He does not say, “Husbands make certain your wives submit to you.” Nor does he say, “Wives, see to it that your husbands love you.” We each must take God’s word to heart for ourselves. We may receive blessings by the actions of others. That’s good. But our focus must be on our own behavior and the blessings that brings to others. And that’s true no matter who we are.
What is your station in life? Are you husband, wife, child, mother, worker, employer, teacher, student, customer or vendor? You will likely have an opportunity to express the unique manner in which Jesus’ love and calling takes shape in your life. And no matter who you are, Jesus’ command to love God first and love your neighbor as yourself is perfectly fitting.