How Should We Apply Paul's Teachings about Family and Work Relationships in Today's World?

Updated May 02, 2023

The following is a transcript of the video above, edited for readability.

One of the ways that we apply Paul's guidelines for work and home in our lives today is in what we prioritize in our homes. It's important for us to recognize, for example, Paul says in Ephesians five, that husbands and wives, their relationship with one another is to see as its paradigm Jesus Christ and the church. So that when we relate to one another as a husband and wife, that one of the things we must keep in mind is relating to one another with the love that care, that cherishing with which Christ relates to the church.

Not only that, Paul goes on in Ephesians 6 and speaks of fathers and he says, fathers to raise up your children in the discipline and in the instruction of the Lord. That should change our priorities as parents because these terms that are translated in many translations, discipline and instruction, they are the terms that are used elsewhere for discipleship and for the church, for how we relate to one another in discipling in the church. For example, that word for discipline is also used in Second Timothy 3:16. In Second Timothy 3:16 it's spoken of there, it's what the word of God is supposed to accomplish in people's lives. So discipline in a New Testament sense is not just how you manage your children's behaviors. Rather, it's speaking of how we work the word of God purposefully into their lives. It's really analogous to, in Deuteronomy chapter six, where it speaks of teach them diligently, teach your children diligently.

That word for instruction that's used elsewhere in the Bible to describe how we warn our fellow believers of heresy or of sin, that word how it's used elsewhere in the New Testament. So what that should remind us of is the way we are to view our children is as potential or actual brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ. That's how we're actually to view our children. And how do I warn them of heresy and of sin, and how do I do this in such a way that I'm treating them as potential or actual brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ. So it's a prioritizing of the discipleship of our children, these terms remind us that our children are more than our children. Yes, they are children, but they are more than our children. They're potential or actual brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ.

If I stand beside my daughters before Jesus in eternity, I will not be standing beside them as their father. I will be standing beside them because we are brothers and sisters who are brothers and sisters, not just with one another, but brothers and sisters with Jesus Christ because of Jesus Christ and his work. What that should compel me to do now is rather than viewing them as only my children, that I'm supposed to raise and manage their behaviors and make sure they're successful or whatever else the world's values may press toward us, but rather I'm to be raising them as potential or actual brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ.

(First published June 28, 2013)

Why Is Submission in Marriage Important?

When Christianity first began to spread, Christians were often criticized for their focus on individual freedom to follow Christ rather than the Law or the old gods.

In society at this time, husbands were “in charge” of their wives, people were often expected to bow to their governing ruler as their “lord,” etc.

But Jesus called His followers to leave their old lives behind and follow Him (Matthew 16:24). Paul echoed this in many of his writings, talking about how our old lives were “crucified” with Jesus (Romans 6:6) and we are a “new creation” in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Still, it was important to Paul that Christians show others the way to Christ in the way they live their lives, and he felt it important that Christians not offend other cultures or open themselves up to criticism.

So, rather than slaves and servants rising up against their masters, Paul taught slaves and servants that they should instead work for their employers as though working for Christ himself (Colossians 3:22-24).

Similarly, with marriage relationships, he wanted women and men to know they, too, had an example to set as to how they can live and work together in a healthy, happy marriage covenant, so the relationship reflects Christ to others rather than offends people.

Therefore, Paul calls upon both parties in a marriage to respect and submit to each other — the wife should submit to the husband as the church submits to Christ, and the husband should love the wife as Christ loves the church (this sort of love is also submission).

Paul is not saying the husband is Christ to his wife or that he is more important or “the boss” of her. Nor is Paul saying women are unimportant in the church.

We know he doesn’t feel this way, for women were respected members of the church in his time. He often mentions key female church leaders in his letters, including Phoebe, Priscilla, and Nympha.

Rather, he’s saying that we should try our best to mimic Christ in the dynamic of the relationship. Wives should respect and honor their husbands. Husbands should do the same to their wives. It’s a mutual, reciprocal relationship.

(Excerpted from "Why Are Husbands Told to Love Their Wives?" by Jessica Brodie)

Why It's Important for Couples to Spiritually Grow Together

Are you and your mate on the same page spiritually?

It’s relatively easy to understand the emotional intimacy that creates a heart-to-heart bond as well as the physical intimacy that brings a couple together body-to-body. But every couple also needs soul-to-soul closeness. If you want to enjoy the deepest level of connection, you need to develop spiritual intimacy in your relationship.

Bonding spiritually can be a puzzling area for husbands and wives. Even if you both set a goal to grow together spiritually, you may have difficulty deciding how to get there. And if only one of you wants to pursue spiritual depth in your relationship, you will face additional struggles.

But here’s what you need to know: Spiritual intimacy occurs when you as husband and wife surrender your lives and relationship to the Lord. You grow together spiritually when you live out your marriage relationship according to God’s ways and aim to please him in all things.

The sad truth is, most of our world doesn’t understand spiritual intimacy in marriage. And sadly, many Christian couples haven’t grasped this profound truth either. But when husbands and wives truly begin to understand the significance of a marriage of three, their relationships begin to flourish.

(Excerpted from "Get On the Same Spiritual Page as Your Spouse" by Dr. Gary and Barbara Rosberg)

Further Reading:

5 Things Christians Get Wrong about ‘Wives Respect Your Husbands’

3 Ways to Love Your Wife

What Is the Biblical View of Submission?

How Can I Pray for My Wife?

What Does It Mean to Submit Ourselves to God?

What You Need to Know about the Meaning of Submission in the Bible


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