18 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives and don’t be bitter toward them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they won’t become discouraged. 22 Slaves, obey your human masters in everything. Don’t work only while being watched, as people-pleasers, but work wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people, 24 knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for whatever wrong he has done, and there is no favoritism. — Colossians 3:18-25
A Christ Centered Home
by Ben Cairns
When I speak of home, what comes to mind? Some of you might go back to your childhood days, sitting down to eat at the family table. Many would read this word and would think of the brokenness and division that wreaked havoc on their families. Healthy or broken, home is much more than just a place to live—it is an emotional haven, a refuge to run to.
The question we must all ask ourselves this is: what is at the foundation of our home? It is my belief that the foundation of this special place will determine if the home is a broken or healthy home. A good foundation is not formed through behavior modification. The foundation of our homes should be based solely on being like Christ. God’s Word speaks to what this looks like in Paul’s letter to the church in Colossae.
The church in Colossae is dealing with various false teachings that are seeping into their culture. Many of these false teachings are legalistic in nature, implying that their actions have something to do with their salvation. Paul encourages them at the beginning of Chapter 3 to put aside what belongs to their sinful nature, because it is no longer a part of them, and instead to be renewed and conformed to the image of God. This is not just behavior modification—it’s heart alteration. This leads us to our focus at the end of chapter 3: how to live the Christ-centered life at home.
Paul certainly pulls no punches, as no part of the family is left out. He starts with wives, asking them to be submissive to their husbands. This exhortation by Paul was not implying that women are inferior; rather, he is saying wives should voluntarily submit to their husbands. Why? The second part of the verse makes it very clear: “as is fitting in the Lord.” A relationship with Christ helps wives to understand their role in the home. As they are living their lives submitting to the authority of God, they are also lovingly submitting to the authority of the man God has called to be their husband.
Don’t think for a minute husbands are left out of this equation! Husbands are called to love their wives and children. Despite our sinful nature, He died for us, demonstrating a self-sacrificing kind of love. A husband’s love for his family should be no different.
Kids are commanded to obey their parents—not just because it’s a good thing to do, but because it is pleasing to the Lord. Servants are called to serve their masters in everything because they fear the Lord. Do you notice a pattern here? Every person is called to work as unto God. Everything we do in our home should come from the overflow of Christ’s love for us!
- What does your foundation look like in your home? Is it based on someone’s behavior or lack of conflict? Is it based on how hard you have worked? Or are you walking and loving in light of what your Savior has done for you? It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routine and forget to love and cherish the people God has put in your home.
- The best practice I know to help reset is to teach the gospel to yourself. Remember what your Savior has done for you. Think about how much He loves you and what He gave up for you. In light of this gospel, take some time to pray and ask God how you can better glorify Him within your home. Regardless of whether you are a child, husband, wife, parent, or grandparent, we are all called to give glory to God wherever we go and whatever we do. What better place to start than at home?
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.