Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | October 28, 2021

Honoring The Master

“Wives, understand and support your husbands by submitting to them in ways that honor the Master. Husbands, go all out in love for your wives. Don’t take advantage of them. Children, do what your parents tell you. This delights the Master no end.   Parents, don’t come down too hard on your children or you’ll crush their spirits.” (Colossians 3:18-21, The Message)

Over the years I’ve heard women share stories of being physically, emotionally and sexually abused at the hands of their husband and this scripture was used as justification.  Some children have even been abused by their father simply because the mother felt that she was to “submit” to her husband and let him do whatever he wanted.

It’s one of the most misquoted verses in the Bible.

In the Greek the word submission does not mean “to obey.” The Greek word for “obey/obedience” is hupakoe, which means to listen to or to harken to.  Submission (hupotasso) means to get under and lift up, support.

With that in mind, let’s take a deeper look at what Paul was trying to teach the church in Colossae. Remember the city was in financial ruin due to the altered trade route.  There’s typically a decline in families when an economic crisis hits.  During financial crisis women are at a higher risk of domestic abuse. When men can’t find jobs, they often become depressed and turn to alcohol or other substances to “numb” their emotions.  Also, the church was being infiltrated by false teachings – one of which was Gnosticism. This heretical belief system rejected marriage.  It regarded women as a work of evil. They believed the pursuit of pleasure was more important than truth.

While we don’t know exactly what Epaphras shared about the people of the city with Paul.  Whatever it was, prompted him to write and remind them of practical guidelines for Christian behavior.

Paul was not condoning bad behavior, nor was he condoning abuse.   He was reminding both husbands and wives that their actions should always “honor the Master.”  Urging husbands to go all out and love their wives (as Christ loved the church, Ephesians 5:25).  While women in that culture didn’t have a voice during that era, Paul was giving them a voice. He was instructing them to love their husbands and to support them “in the ways that honor the “Master.”

Abuse (sexual, emotional or physical) does not honor God.

That meant, if a spouse was doing something that did not honor God, the wife was not required (under God’s law) to blindly submit to it.  Women were to know the Word themselves so they could support their spouses in it, to pray for them and encourage them to do the things that were pleasing to God.

Paul’s words were guidelines to create a healthy God-honoring family environment.

“Father help us to make choices that honor You no matter what is going on in our lives.”


For His Glory

Laura Holmes (
TRBC Women’s Life


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