Paul covers some of the same territory regarding relationships in the believer’s household that he did in Ephesians. He doesn’t go into great detail on most of the relationships but he does uphold his original instructions.
One thing you can say about Paul is that he never contradicted his own letters. What he wrote to one group he upheld to all the others. He even called Peter up on his double standard behavior when he behaved differently when Jews came around than he did when only Gentiles were present. Today’s teaching is another example of Paul’s consistency.
Paul addressed the relationships and roles in the believer’s household. Wives submit to your husbands, husbands love your wives, and children obey your parents. He also instructs the husbands not to be “harsh” with their wives and to not “provoke” their children. I don’t know if these extra concerns were put in because it was something that was happening in this body or because the Holy Spirit prompted this inclusion for everyone’s benefit.
Paul also speaks to the slave and the master. I don’t believe God ever approved of the human propensity to demand service in the form of enslaving one another. He set up rules to protect the slave in the law and had not forgotten about them in the new covenant.
The life of a slave was dire. They were the property of their master and could be dealt with in any manner the master deemed worth his while. This included killing a slave without repercussion. This attitude was not confined to bible times and the Roman world. I can’t say for certain that slavery is extinct today but much of our world is without it. The responses Paul calls for from the slave and master equally apply to the employee, employer relationship today. We already went into a lengthy discussion regarding this relationship when we looked at this issue in Ephesians.
The verse I want to look at today is given in the context of instructions to the “bondservant” but it really applies to all of us. “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. Knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance of your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” (verses 23-24).
Each of us have something we “do” in our lives. Even the little child whose activities in life consist of playing and learning has something to “do.” Whatever it is that you “do”, do it as unto the Lord. Don’t do your work just for a paycheck. Do it as a service to the Lord and as a side benefit to those you are working for. With the child mentioned earlier, be a friend to someone because you want to make Jesus and them happy, not because they happen to be the most popular kid on the block.
I won’t guarantee you that you will win friends and influence people with this attitude, but I will promise that God will see it and repay you for it. You may not even recognize His repayment when it happens. Looking back over your life you will probably notice several special gifts He sent your way when you needed them. Those are just the down payments on the ultimate reward He has for you.
I’ll be honest with you and tell you that I don’t always live up to Paul’s instructions. Today has been one of those days for me. As my husband’s caregiver sometimes I have very quiet days where he rests a LOT and other times I’m called into service MANY times each hour. The latter days I get frustrated and miss the quiet times. I also miss being able to do something I want while he sleeps. Today is one of those days. I have to remind myself to check my attitude when I’m called again to do something we just finished doing a little while ago. I have to remind myself to do everything in love and to NOT sigh! My attitude affects his and reflects my feelings towards him. Even when I’m frustrated I need to act in love. That’s how God reacts to me. I know I frustrate Him yet He never makes me feel like a burden. He loves me regardless. He meets me where I’m at, no matter where that is or when I call. He is always available.
Father God, thank You for the reminders again. I need to check my attitude. Is it pleasing unto You? If not, change it! Thank You for giving me music to do that with in my life. Please forgive me for my selfishness today. It’s fine that I didn’t get to do “what I wanted to do” today. Showing my love to my husband by meeting his needs was MUCH more important. Thank You for reminding me of that. Thanks for the attitude adjustment, again!