Paul’s letter to the new Jesus community in Colossae outlines what it means to live the new life of a Christ-follower. Surrounded by a morally bankrupt culture of idol worship, these new believers quickly realized Paul understood the moral climate. His letter was spot-on. In the same way these first-century believers needed Paul’s counter-culture instructions regarding marriage, so do we.
Historically, Colossians 3.18-19 has frequently been both misunderstood and misused. Perhaps you read the word “submission” and something within you responds emotionally, just as the new Christ-followers in Colossae might’ve reacted as they realized the implications of Paul’s message.
As Dr. Emerson Eggerichs shared this past weekend, here Paul presents God’s plan for marriage. Though often misunderstood as opening the door for subjugation, instead, God’s plan is mutual submission built around love and respect. The husband is commanded to love and the wife is commanded to respect. This is the mutual submission of marriage.
This mutual submission of love and respect revolutionized the new Jesus community in Colossae. It should do the same in our lives. It should impact every aspect of our relationships, including when there is conflict. Most importantly, it should impact our attitudes. A wife submits to her husband’s need to feel respected during conflict and a husband submits to his wife’s need to feel loved.
Given the radical nature of this message, it needs to sink deep in our hearts. Find a spot in your The New You journal (click here to download a PDF) and write Colossians 3.18-19 word-for-word. Then, rewrite the verses in your own words. Doing so will allow you to meditate on the power of these two short verses.