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. Slaves 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 JESUS CHRIST. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality. Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.
Maybe you did what I did when first reading this passage.
“I’m a husband so that part is for me…I’m a father so that part is also for me…I’m not a master but there are people I lead so that part is for me too.”
Perhaps this is what first went through your head as you read these words from Paul. While these are very specific commands to husbands, wives, children, etc…they are painting a much bigger picture than just that.
It is a crazy thing to realize that nowhere in Scripture is any earthly relationship elevated above another. You will not find any command of Christ that tells you to exercise more love, patience, grace or compassion on one type of relationship in your life over another. But that’s exactly what most, if not all of us do.
Please…read this next statement slowly and let it sink in.
Just because you are close to someone doesn’t mean that relationship deserves more of your Christ-centered love than others.
That means your spouse, children, parents, friends, or anyone you would consider close to you. None of them deserve more of your Christ-centered love than anyone else you encounter. Yes, Paul is talking specifically to husbands, wives, children, bosses, employees, etc. However, he is listing them to describe a rule of thumb.
Every relationship you have should be fueled by what pleases the Lord.
By what is fitting in the Lord.
Should be controlled by fearing the Lord.
Because ultimately, you are serving the Lord Jesus Christ.
I want Christ to inform how I interact in every relationship I have. So whether I’m with my wife or with a total stranger, my actions and thoughts need to constantly be dictated by the one who stepped down from His throne to serve rather than be served.
But so often, we let our guard down and offer people less than the fullness of a Christ-centered love. Whether it’s because of comfort or apathy we do this in many of our relationships.
I want to encourage but also challenge you to examine all of your interactions and relationships. And as you do, ask yourself one question:
Does Christ truly determine how I operate in this relationship?
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 2:3-5
By: Daniel Orozco
Pastor of Worship and Discipleship
Life Pointe Church
Just an altogether great guy!