Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Colossians 3:18-19

Colossians 3:18-19
Women, submit to the men as it is fitting in the Lord.  Men, love the women and do not be driven into bitterness against them. 

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

First things first.  You will notice a huge difference in the opening of my translation than in most modern ones.  I use the words “women” and “men” while most translations use “wives” and “husbands.”  I don’t have any issue with the modern translations.  However, I translate this verse the way that I do to highlight a unique fact in the Greek language.  The Greeks didn’t have a special word for husband or wife.  They used the words for man and woman to represent husband and wife and used context to indicate that it was more than just “man” and “woman.”  This is why I don’t have an issue with the modern translations.

Do you find it interesting that the Greek language didn’t have a special word for husband or wife?  What might this indicate about their culture and the emphasis placed within the culture?

Second Thought:

When we look at this passage, we need to be very careful of the words.  The word “submit” is a hotbed of conversation in a modern context.  But we must always look at it in the context of the passage.  Wives are to submit as it is fitting in the Lord.  To frame context around this situation, let’s return to Christ’s example.  Jesus didn’t have any issue getting the woman at the well to go and proclaim truth to her village.  She submitted.  Jesus didn’t have any trouble getting Mary to go and tell the disciples about Jesus’ resurrection.  She submitted.  So what we can see here is that when we are doing the will of the Father, god-fearing women (and men, too!) shouldn’t mind submitting!  This is not a call to blind submission.  This is a call to submission in the Lord.  As it pertains to obeying the will of God, we should all be willing to submit.

How do you find yourself at submission in general?  Do you find it easy or difficult to submit to God and His will?

Third Thought:

In verse 19 we get the response desired by God from men towards the women (husbands toward their wives):  Love.  This just makes sense.  After all, who would submit to someone unless they were being loved by them?  Again, we return to the example of Christ.  Why are we willing to submit to Christ?  We submit because He was willing to lay down His life for our sake.  He loved us enough to die on our behalf. Because He loved, we submit.  The same is absolutely true for human relationships.  Honestly, whether inside or marriage or outside of marriage who would submit to anyone unless there is evidence of genuine love in the relationship?

Why is love central to the idea of submission?  Have you ever been asked to submit when love wasn’t present?  How does that feel and why should it be avoided?

Passage for Tomorrow: Colossians 3:20-21
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