“As For The Lord”

The apostle Paul lays out the order for Christian households in Colossians chapter 3 and into chapter 4 (Col. 3:18-4:1). He makes several statements that are strange, antiquated, or even shocking to modern readers. 

Wives are to subject to their husbands. Children are supposed to obey their parents. If there are slaves, they are to be sincerely obedient. If there are masters, they are to be just and fair. Many today find this order of things completely objectionable—unworthy of any serious consideration. 

The primary thing missing from such rejection is a consideration of the Lord in how we organize our lives. These instructions are give as: “as is fitting in the Lord” (3:18), as “pleasing to the Lord” (3:20), as “fearing the Lord” (3:22), “as for the Lord rather than for men” (3:23), knowing that “It is the Lord Christ whom you serve” (3:24), and “knowing that you too have a Master in heaven” (4:1).

No subjection or obedience is because the other person is better, superior, more important or wiser than the other. It is because that Lord has so arranged it. Only a deliberate act of faith, a living witness and testimony to our trust in God, causes us to do these things. 

And if any obey, submit to or serve us, it is not to our glory or because we are deserving. Yet we get angry and take it as a personal affront when we don’t get our due. But imagine if others met their duties to us with the same lackluster devotion that we often present to the Lord.