Read Ephesians 6:1-9
And now we come to the last chapter of Ephesians. After instilling in the Ephesians the importance of submission and what that looks like for married couples, Paul then continues to instruct these new Christians on how they should treat their children and their servants, and how children and servants should respond to those in authority over them.
Interesting to note is that Paul's underlying theme of submission can still be seen in his instructions by three little words, "in the Lord." For it is in the Lord we abide and it is through our reverence for Him that we submit to one another and learn to live in peace with each other.
For children, this meant obeying their parents and it came with a promise from God, "that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth." Their act of submission in the Lord, was by obeying their parents. But there was an added warning from Paul when dealing with children. It is specifically addressed to the fathers, "Do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord." In the pagan world of Paul's day most men ruled their families with rigid and domineering authority. The feelings of wives and children were seldom considered. But Paul is showing them a new way to raise children. The word "admonition" is nouthesia and means "the training by word," whether of encouragement, or, if necessary, by reproof, so Paul is showing the fathers the importance once again of being the spiritual head of the home. For it is through the Word of God that we find our peace. This act of putting God first above all in the home had a "trickle down" affect. Women would submit to their husbands, out of reverence for God and children would obey their parents out of reverence for God.
The same principle was put into practice for those with servants. Servants were to serve their masters as they would serve Christ and masters were to do the same thing. The only exception being in regard to a command that involves clear disobedience of God’s Word as illustrated in Acts 4:19, 20.
In today's world we are to serve our bosses (however disagreeable they may be) as we would serve Christ and vice-versa. Submission to each other "in the fear of the Lord" (reverence for God) is how peace within the body of Christ is established and the only way the church will survive in this turbulent world.
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. - Colossians 3:15
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