January 4 in Christmas

Colossians 3:18-4:1

A Godly Household

Our day speaks much of “family values,” as well it should given the breakdown we see of it throughout American and Western culture.  It is one of the sadder legacies that the “Christian” west now lives with: broken homes, broken children, broken lives – all because we refuse to live according to the simple instructions from God’s word about how each person in the family should conduct him or herself.  The pagan world in which Paul lived saw all the things we see today: marital abuse, child abuse, abortion or exposure of infants, homosexual behavior and transgenderism, adultery, pornography, fornication – it has always been with us.  Indeed, there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10).  But God calls His people to better things.  I remember a wise woman telling me when I was but a youth, “Marriage can be heaven on earth, or hell on earth.”  That’s what happens when you put two people with sinful natures in such close quarters – the possibility of hell.  Marriage is a blessing of God, not only given to the Church but to all humanity.  It is the fundamental organizing unit of society, which is why when families breakdown, societies breakdown.

But let us focus our attention on the “heaven” it can and was ordained to bring before the corruption of the world by sin (Genesis 2-3).  Wives are commanded to submit to their husbands.  This is not a slavish obedience but a loving submission, nor is this command a result of sin, as some teach.  It was built into creation: “For man was not made from woman, but woman from man.  Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man” (1 Corinthians 11:8-9).  There is no implication of inferiority of the woman.  Indeed, what Paul commands is much better than the sinful arrangement in pagan society in which a husband and father had all authority even to abuse his family.  Paul commands the headship of the husband out of love for his wife.  Everywhere in Scripture the husband is commanded to love his wife – which is what a woman needs most, and everywhere in Scripture a woman is commanded to respect her husband – which is what a man needs most.  Children (not wives) are commanded to obey, and fathers are commanded not to provoke them.  Slaves (not commended in Scripture [1 Tim. 1:10; Rev. 18:11-13] but regulated) are to serve their masters as unto the Lord (as employees should), and masters are to be fair to their servants (as employers should).  I say that these instructions are simple, not because they are easy to follow, but because they are easily understood.  It is this humility and deference to one another built into family life that mirrors Christ’s relationship to his Church – and that would sanctify society, if Christians lived it.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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