Like us on Facebook | Contact Us
Seeking to equip people to live as Christian disciples wherever God has placed them.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

“Throw the Woman Out!”

Col. 3:12-19

This passage gives us an ideal picture not only of the Christian community in general but of marriage in particular.  Indeed this text is often read in wedding services.  Consider the number of issues that Paul raises.  He addresses his audience, whether they are a couple being married or a church community in general, as “God’s chosen ones.”  We need always to remember that it is not we who have chosen Christ but he has chosen us (John 15:16).

Paul then emphasizes the importance of forgiveness which he mentions three times in this text, pointing out that we need to forgive others as God has forgiven us in Christ.  There is no perfect Christian community, no perfect marriage or family.  All of us need to be forgiven not once but many times.  In turn we need always to be ready and prepared to forgive others.

Paul calls us to clothe ourselves in love.  This is modeled on God’s steadfast love or mercy which is unconditional.  God’s love for Israel is not based on anything in Israel itself.  It is based only on God’s love (Deut. 7:7; 9:6).  The same applies to his love for us which goes back to before creation (Eph. 1:4).

Paul’s final theme here is thankfulness.  Our lives in Christ need to be marked by gratitude.  We have not earned or deserved God’s favor in any way.  The fact that God has been gracious to us, that God has shown limitless mercy to us, should both encourage and inspire us.

This has clear implications for married life as it does for any kind of life.  Wives are to be subject to their husbands.  Husbands are to love their wives and never treat them harshly.  There is a difference between a wife being “subject” (respectful) and being “subordinate.” As Paul says elsewhere husbands are to love their wives as they love themselves (Eph. 5:28).  This is the blueprint for a successful marriage.

Faithful and loving God may I live out the calling you have given me.  Whether I am married or single may I demonstrate both love and forgiveness.  I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.