Ephesians 6:4 – Verse of the Day 6/21/14
The biblical authors, and Paul especially, were very good at taking common assumptions from the world around them and tweaking them to communicate God’s truth.
Household codes were a common feature of Greek and Roman culture, and Paul’s instructions in Ephesians are similar to those codes in that they include three sets of people: husbands and wives, parents and children, and masters and slaves. However, whereas Greek household codes focused on how heads of households could rule each group, Paul’s instructions encourage them to love those under their care with the love of Christ. Here the responsibility to love shows up as an instruction to teach and lovingly discipline children rather than harshly provoking them to anger.
Although many human laws and customs contain elements of truth, the Gospel of reconciliation sheds light on how we are truly to live as Christians as we love one another. As you pray, ask the Lord to give you the wisdom to see how our own culture’s customs and norms fall short of God’s desires, and pray about how you can better love the people whom God has placed in your life, regardless of the nature of the relationship.