As God was pressing on my heart to host a breakfast for the wives of the youth pastors (WYPs) who visited SWO, I was studying through Colossians with some of my friends. As we got closer to staff training and summer camp, Brody announced that he would be teaching through passages in the book of Colossians during the summer sessions. So, it was just fitting to use a passage from Colossians that had been challenging and convicting to me. In the next two posts I will share with you what I shared with the WYPs each week this summer. I hope you are challenged as well…
First, read the focus passage below:
Colossians 3: 17-24
And whatever you do, in word or deed do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Wives submit to your husbands as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers do not provoke your children, l set they become discouraged. Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye service, as people pleasers, buy with sincerity of heart, fearing the lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
The beginning of this passage is very straightforward. Whatever you do, do it as for the Lord. Wives, submit as is fitting in the Lord… Then Paul writes to the slaves in regards to how they should serve their masters. This is the part of the text that has impacted me most this whole year.
We know that the slave/master relationship is unlike anything we have set up in today’s American culture. It is not the same boss/employee relationship and should not be compared to it. However, the phrasing in these verses pulled me in close…. Obey in everything… not by way of eye service, as people pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men…
The biggest issue my husband and I have in our marriage is my clutter (insert an lol here for those of you who know me well). I struggled through the first two years, doing MY best to clean, cook and straighten the pillows on the couch before he arrived home. When my first daughter was born I tried to put all the toys away before he arrived home so he could relax.
Then, last year, through a series of fights, the communication cloud disappeared and for the first time in 6 years I understood that it was not the kids clutter, the dishes or piled-high laundry that drove him crazy, rather MY PERSONAL BELONGINGS out of place. My keys tossed on the table, my shoes by the door, my jacket laid over the chair and not in the closet. I remember saying “Oh, just my stuff?” So over the past year I have been working on keeping my clutter to a minimum.
In doing so, I came up with various chants and sayings to repeat over and over in my mind to help motivate me when I get annoyed at my reasonable duties as keeper of the home…
Wiping the counter I chant, “I’m serving my family, serving my family.”
Putting away the laundry…”Serving my family, serving my family.”
Placing my keys in the basket…”serving my family, serving my family…”
But then, I read this passage in Col 3. Not by way of eye service as people pleasers but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord… OUCH!!! I felt sick when God showed me how my own “acts of service” in my home was not sincere and that I was only doing it to please my husband, not the Lord! As much as I love my man, I was cynical at times and often looked for complements. For instance, I would spend a solid hour cleaning our dark hard wood floors and expect him to notice when he got home from working with a group… late at night… when the lights were all turned off. Silliness!
So, my daily aim should be to work heartily as for the Lord! This includes serving our husbands, our families and then others.
To the WYPs reading this post, be encouraged. We serve Christ first, not so we gain the approval of parents or VIP’s of the church, but to grow in deep joyful relationship with Jesus. Our aim is to be an example of a life submitted to Jesus. We should rise daily and focus our mind on Christ and ways we can work heartily for him!