Summary: 1) A Word to Husbands (Colossians 3:19), 2) A Word to Children (Colossians 3:20), 3) A Word to Parents (Colossians 3:21)

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One of the most terrifying moments of a not-yet-married man’s life is meeting his girlfriend’s father. The much-anticipated introduction is an unending fountain of humor for friends and family, but it’s more often an occasion for horror for the young man. What will dad say? What will he ask? Will he be armed? The moment is a mountain to overcome in almost any relationship... Part of the problem is trying to understand a father’s role in his daughter’s pursuit of marriage. In today’s ideal scenario, she brings home a guy the whole family can love, and the rest is matrimony. But as good as ideal sounds, it’s hard to find that picture in the Bible, and ultimately it’s far too simple for most not-yet-married realities anyways. What if dad isn’t all that involved in her life? What if her parents aren’t believers? How about if she moved and met her man far away from home? What if she’s still single at 25, 30, maybe even 40? These kinds of complexities can make honoring parents, setting expectations, and finding husbands feel hopeless. As a trend, dads seem to be less and less involved in their daughter’s dating. It actually makes for a dangerous situation because God means for spiritual headship and leadership to be a more seamless handoff, not this disjointed affair that leaves the young woman spiritually and emotionally uncovered from age fifteen until her wedding day. We’ve relegated dads to a last-minute interview before engagement when God meant for them to be active, available agents of wisdom and safekeeping. Foolish dads relish the gun-bearing, tough-guy role. The wise dads relish the opportunity to develop a real, intentional, grace-and-truth relationship with the man who might be tasked with caring for their daughter for the rest of her life. (

In the first century, the role of the Father was much different than today. For the Colossian context, it was much more of a ruling male. The ancient world was a man’s world, and even among the Jews the wife was often little more than chattel. Jew and Gentile alike assumed that the head of a household would wield an authority which others were bound to obey. Paul does not openly challenge this assumption, but he modifies both the authority and its acceptance by the Christian principle of mutual love and deference, so that both are transformed. (Vaughan, C. (1981). Colossians. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians through Philemon (Vol. 11, p. 218). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.).

Irregardlessif you are a man or a woman, a child or a parent, a grandparent or have never had kids, Colossians 3 is speaking to you. In the context of Fatherhood, every person in the body of Christ should see a role and responsibility. The person in Christ has a new center of reference, a new Lord of life, and thus operates out of a totally new understanding of reality (Dunnam, M. D., & Ogilvie, L. J. (1982). Galatians / Ephesians / Philippians / Colossians / Philemon (Vol. 31, p. 386). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.)

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