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Summary: In showing how submission can be a godly force for revolutionary love, in Colossians 3, the Apostle Paul explains: 1) How should a Mother Act? (Colossians 3:18a), 2) To Whom should a Mother Act this Way? (Colossians 3:18b) and 3) Why should a Mother Act this Way? (Colossians 3:18c)

Colossians 3:18–24 18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. 22 Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. (ESV)

We have just come through tax season, and with it, a great deal of effort to examine the concept of equality. In a recent research paper, University of Calgary economist Jack Mintz and doctoral student Matt Krzepkowski argue that the current tax system is unfair because it penalizes single-earner families. They say: “Given that Canada’s income system aims to treat people in similar circumstances as equally as possible, it is certainly time to let couples split their income so they do not face a penalty in higher tax rates than those faced by couples bringing home the same amount of total pay” . But they say the tax reform should also recognize that single-earner families have some advantages that dual-earners do not, such as more unpaid time spent raising children and taking care of the home. (http://business.financialpost.com/2013/04/29/income-splitting-with-a-twist-the-key-to-a-fairer-tax-system-in-canada-economists-suggest/)

If there is any concept that draws more ire from folks today, it is one of role division and submission. In spite of its straightforward clarity, Paul’s simple statement in Colossians 3 has been widely challenged in our day, even by those claiming to be evangelicals. Many argue that Paul’s teaching on this theme is not Spirit-inspired, but reflects his chauvinistic, rabbinic attitude toward women. Others insist that Paul’s teaching on authority and submission was cultural, and does not apply to our society. Yet, none of the critics, however, would argue that Paul’s statement in Col. 3:19 is cultural and that men are no longer required to love their wives. When this was written, in non-Christian circles wives (in fact, women in general) were regarded as being inferior beings. Among the Greeks, in spite of their high degree of culture, wives, as a rule, were not considered to be the equals or even the companions of their husbands. The Romans, too, regarded women as being intrinsically inferior. Philo, a Jewish philosopher who was greatly influenced by Greek philosophy, regarded women as being selfish, jealous, and hypo-critical, and married men as being no longer free men but slaves. Christianity changed all this (Gal. 3:28), and is still changing it among those who are being led to accept it. Jesus made some of his most startling revelations and praises to women (John 4:13, 14, 21–26; 11:25, 26; 20:11–18). (Both the Old and New Testaments highlight the dignity of women in general and mother’s in particular. In the scriptures in general, some of the greatest Honors for the cause of Christ are highlighted through the work of faithful women) (Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of Colossians and Philemon (Vol. 6, p. 169). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.)

Most people recoil to the concept of submission because they do not comprehend it, but misunderstand the basic purpose, misunderstand the procedure, and misunderstand the true picture of what it represents. Submission done for a godly purpose, the right way for the right reason, shows the true nature of godly love. It best aids in the total wellbeing of all parties involved and uniquely pictures the type of love that God shows us and the type of love that the members of the Godhead have for each other. It is a theological lesson and a supernatural force for change that can revolutionize our individual, familial, communal and societal lives. The issue at stake is not gender but how disciples, whether male or female, are oriented toward the Lord. Thus, secular notions of submission, whether feminist or patriarchal, must be set aside and replaced by notions of how Christ submitted himself to God (Wall, R. W. (1993). Colossians & Philemon. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.).

In showing how submission can be a godly force for revolutionary love, in Colossians 3, the Apostle Paul explains: 1) How should a Mother Act? (Colossians 3:18a), 2) To Whom should a Mother Act this Way? (Colossians 3:18b) and 3) Why should a Mother Act this Way? (Colossians 3:18c)

Submission can be a godly force for revolutionary love when considering:

1) How should a Mother Act? (Colossians 3:18a)

Colossians 3:18a [18] Wives, submit (to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord). (ESV)

Wives Submit/Be subject to is from hupotasso, it has the concept of putting oneself under (hupo) authority, not by compulsion, but willingly. The word submit is a military term meaning to “arrange oneself under another” and indicates a voluntary submission, not an unthinking obedience… submission does not denigrate the one who submits (Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1997). The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version (Col 3:18–19). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.) There is no hint of inferiority, but a matter of authority and responsibility in the home. Wives are to be in habitual subjection with implicit trust. This is voluntary, not forced on her by a demanding despot. The wife is a helpmeet (a help suitable to the husband), not a slave…The wife’s submission is prompted by the husband’s love.( Hindson, E. E., & Kroll, W. M. (Eds.). (1994). KJV Bible Commentary (p. 2465). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.)

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