What does the Bible have to say about how we interact with one another? Stephanie looks at several verses that discuss christian relationships, and shows us how we can apply them to our own lives.
Christian Relationships- What’s God’s Plan?
Colossians 3:23-24 says, “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 Christ”.
I often pray that I will do all I do as if doing for the Lord—and that’s a good prayer. But context matters. We may be surprised by the context of some of the verses we have memorized over the years.
The previous verses outline God’s plans for relationships, which are of utmost importance to the Lord.
Christian Relationships- Wives Are To Submit To Their Husbands.
Ladies, does this make you bristle? Has your husband—or another man in your life—used this verse and others like it to demean, oppress, and otherwise abuse you? That is not what God intends.
Many verses in the Bible talk about humility and submitting to authority as a reflection of submission to God Himself.
While it makes perfect sense to remove ourselves from abusive situations, in general, godly submission is an example of how believers, also known as “the church,” are to submit to Christ.
God established the husband as the head of the home, not to rule over his wife and children but to assume responsibility for them, to protect them, to care for them, to love and nurture them.
And how are they to do so?
Christian Relationships-Husbands Are To Be Kind To Their Wives. They Are Not To Be Harsh To Them.
Ephesians 5:25 makes an even stronger statement: Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
Husbands have an immense responsibility.
Let’s consider for a moment just how Jesus loved the church.
He set aside His authority and lived among us, misunderstood even by those closest to Him. He didn’t demand His rights. He spent long nights in prayer after spending exhausting days traveling, teaching, and ministering to others’ needs. He would not allow Himself to be sidetracked from His divine purpose. And at the end of His life here on Earth, He willingly gave His life for others though He had never done anything wrong.
That’s the example husbands are instructed to follow. (We, as wives, ought to do what we can to make these demands at least a little easier to fulfill.)
Christian Relationships- Children Are To Obey Their Parents.
Submissions and self-sacrifice don’t come naturally to us. And neither does obedience.
While it’s good and even exciting to see children learn new things and push beyond their limits, they are to do so while submitting to the authority God set over them—their parents.
As children of God, we are to follow His commands even when we don’t understand them, even when it’s hard. The same is true for our sons and daughters. And our homes are to be the training grounds for obedience and submission to authority.
And this brings us to how parents are to treat their children.
Christian Relationships- Fathers Are Not To Provoke Their Children.
Whether a father, a mother, or a guardian, this verse applies. We are not to provoke the children in our care.
This does not mean they will always be happy with our decisions or that they should be allowed to “run the show,” but it does give us clear direction as to how we are to lead and guide them as they grow.
It also gives us the opportunity to set an example for them. After all, as God’s children, we will forever be subject to His authority and must learn to increasingly walk in obedience to Him.
Christian Relationships- Servants Are To Obey Their Masters.
Whether a servant in the classic sense of the word or simply an employee, we are to humbly serve those in authority over us.
And while this passage doesn’t go on to list how masters are to treat their servants, Colossians 4:1 says, “Masters, treat your bondservants justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.”
Today, let’s view our relationships as opportunities to point onlookers to Jesus. May we be more concerned with honouring Him than standing up for ourselves. May we do whatever we do “heartily, as unto the Lord.”
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