Children and Parents
6 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
My youngest daughter likes to remind me of verse 4. It is our jobs to teach them about Jesus and his message. Sunday School classes and youth groups have a role but not the primary one.
We must discipline and guide our children but not crush their spirits. And we must live consistently with our professed beliefs. We’ll all slip at times, but consistently acting one way at church and another at home will lead our kids into cynicism and away from faith.
Do your children see you acting one way at church and another outside it?
Slaves and Masters
5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.
9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.
That is very similar advice to what Paul gave in Colossians 3.
We often think that some people are the enemy, but ultimately the real enemy is Satan. Some think he isn’t real but the Bible couldn’t be more clear. He is not some cartoon character in red tights. Neither is he behind every wrong thing we do. But he exists and is doing everything he can to keep non-believers from Jesus and believers from being effective ambassadors for Christ.
The Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Notice how there is no covering for your back. Never turn away from Satan and get complacent. Neither do we attack him. He is smarter and more powerful than we are and we are no match for him, unless we use the word of God as our sword. Then we can stand up to him. We can resist him and he will flee from us (James 4:7).
19 Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Paul prayed for boldness to preach the Gospel, and we should do the same.
21 Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing. 22 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you.
23 Peace to the brothers, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.
The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.