As two of our members prepare to marry this weekend, there is a chance that passages like this will be offered to them as ‘good marriage advice’:
“Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them.”
(Colossians 3.18-19, NET)
Often people forget the Bible wasn’t written in modern English, and that the Bible wasn’t written with verse numbers, like this:
Colossians 3.18 – Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Colossians 3.19 – Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them.
Chapters were added in the thirteen century, and verses in the sixteenth century!
So, when Paul wrote this letter he didn’t put nice, neat, and handy dandy paragraphs and subheadings in. If your Bible reads ‘Rules for Christian householdsʼ, or something similar, thatʼs not Paul!
Anyway, if you read this in the KJV, for example, it just rolls on through. This exhortation about marriage and home life comes directly after Paul instructs us that whatever we do, we are to do it in the name of Jesus, like this:
…whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.
These two exhortations, then, become:
…in the name of Jesus and giving thanks to God, wives submit to your husbands.
…in the name of Jesus and being thankful to God, husbands love your wives.
That is so much more powerful, right?
Love your wife in the name of Jesus.
Submit to your husband in the name of Jesus.
If we keep Jesus as number 1 then our marriages, our home lives, our relationships, and everything about us will be as God intended it to be, and is there a better life to live than the life that God intended us to live?