We have a part to play in our new lives. Since we have been raised with Christ, we are to set our minds on heavenly things. After all, Jesus himself is seated in the heavens! So we think about the things above, instead of the things of this earth. Our old selves have died, and we are new! Every Christian has the same Spirit and the same responsibilities, so we stay away from:
- Sexual immorality
- Shameful passion
- Evil desire
- Greed (which is idolatry)
- Abusive language
Instead, we clothe ourselves with:
- We bear with one another
- We forgive one another (because God has forgiven us)
- We worship in community
- We behave as if God is watching in all our relationships
The instructions Paul gives to each group about how to behave is specific. What is amazing is that he includes both wives and slaves. Other ancient lists apparently don’t. Paul considers each individual to have the same worth in Christ, even if their role is different.
- Wives are to recognize that the husband is the leader in the home.
- Husbands are to love their wives and not be embittered toward them (is he speaking to modern times!!!).
- Children are to obey their parents.
- Fathers (since they are seen as the leaders in the home) are to be especially careful to not treat their children harshly or expect too much of them.
- Slaves are to obey their masters. They don’t really have a choice, but Paul encourages them work as though they are working for the Lord. Their reward will come (and that seems to me to be an inditement of the institution of slavery).
- Masters are to treat their slaves kindly and with justice. They too have a master in heaven!
You may be married. You may be single. You may have children, you may not. You may be in a single parent household. You probably work! You may have employees. You may be retired! You may be a child. You may be an adult caring for aging parents. Regardless, the principle is the same as stated above: behave in your relationships as if God is watching!