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Colossians, Chapter Three, Lesson Three

SERVING THE LORD           Page 3
V.18 (cont'd.)

** What is the reason given by Paul for this kind of voluntary, Christ honoring submission?

"...as is fitting in the Lord". This is how He designed the family to operate. The role of every Christian is to live joyfully and voluntarily in subjection to those Christ puts over us. First of all we are in subjection to Christ. cf. Ephesians 5:24

But then we are:

Subject to God's law - Romans 8:6-7
Subject to government - Romans 13:1 and 5
Subject to parents - Ephesians 6:1
Subject to one another - Ephesians 5:21

Here in our passage, the wife is given her most important area of life for applying the principle of Christian subjection.

V.19 ** OK - The godly, Christ honoring wife is joyfully and willingly placing herself in subjection to her own husband's God ordained headship. What two things are the husbands commanded to do?

1) "...love your wives..."
2) "...do not be embittered against them."

** Looking at these one at a time, what is the God designed environment for the wife's subjection?

1) It is in the safety of his continual love. The verb used here (agapate) is a present tense imperative and indicates a continuous action. It is best understood to express a willing love, not the love of passion or emotion, but the love of choice. A life long covenant kind of love, it could be translated as "keep on loving".

** Is there an example for husbands to follow as they strive to love their own wives in this Christ honoring fashion?

Yes - they are to love their wives, "just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her." cf. Ephesians 5:25 This is a sacrifical love which is to operate everyday in the life of the godly husband.

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