Summary: What does the Bible means when it calls for submission in a marriage.

We live out our faith in the context of relationships. Which means that the Christian life can become complicated and sometimes painful.

The followers of the Colossian heresy which Paul is refuting in this letter had come to believe that spirituality was basically mystical and involved an esoteric body of knowledge.

But the Apostle Paul shows that true faith will be accompanied by certain behavior.

Christian’s ultimately express their faith in the day to day routines of life.

Day to day life includes family,the workplace and other connections.

Therefore the Christian life involves all of the roles we fulfill day after day.

So it is no wonder that in Colossians chapter 3 we find specific directions about how we are to deal with these important roles of our lives as Christians.

Now its important to remember what has already been said earlier in chapter.

Colossians 3:10-11

and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him¡ 11 a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.


So what we are about to read pertains to function and role. This has nothing to do with inferiority or superiority. Its strictly dealing with function and role and different resposibilities

The instructions here are meant to help the family run with maximum efficientcy and effectiveness.


This passage shows particular concern for the ones in the first century world who were actually looked down upon by society. Wives,children and slaves.

God is giving special attention to these three groups of people by giving specific admonishment to those in authority in that culture.

Husbands, fathers and masters.

The very fact that Paul gives special attention here to wives, children and slaves simply demonstrates the fact that Christianity actually elevated the ones who had been denegrated by the culture in which they lived.

Those who might point to this passage and make sexist charges against the Apostle Paul or against the Christian faith or the God of the Bible simply do not understand what they are talking about. They are not reading the passage with an appropriate understanding.

Now finally before we read this passage together. It is important to realize that to isolate one thing said here and focus on that one truth without giving equal attention to what else is said will lead to error and misunderstanding.

This passage gives instruction to children BUT it also gives instruction to PARENTS. You will move toward error to isolate the instructions to children or to parents without giving EQUAL attention to the other

It gives instrutions to wives BUT it also gives instructions to husbands. They must both be given EQUAL attention in order to avoid misunderstanding God’s intent.

Colossians 3:18-25

Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them. 20 Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart.

22 Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. 25 For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.

Wives Are Instructed To Submit To Their Husbands

What is involved in submission?

Ray Stedman

"The word "submit" has become the focus of the feminist movement and is probably the most hated word among women today. The meaning has been grossly distorted. Many wrong things have been done in the name of submission. Perhaps the first thing that needs to be said about submission is that it does not cancel out equality."

It does not mean:

- lesser degree of worth or value

- never expression your opinion or never disagreeing

- it does not mean slavery

What it DOES mean:

- its a military expression - "to rank under"

"put yourself under, arrange yourself under" -

ITS more voluntary and relates more to loyalty.

Consider the scope of this submission:

Wives be subject to YOUR HUSBANDS

It does not say all women should be subject to all men.

Ephesians 5:22

Wives, submit to your own husbands.

NOTE: the implication of ownership or possession. Its the wives that own or possess the husbands.

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