Rules for Christian Households
18Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
20Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
21Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
22Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.
It is so hard to read the first verse of this because I don’t like the “s” word. But the important thing is that vs 18 does not exist in a vacuum. It is immediately followed by “husbands love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” If I submit, it is easier to love me and if Frank loves me, it is easier for me to want to submit. When all is working as it should, it becomes easier for us to take on our appropriate roles. The last verses, 22, remind me to work for Jesus, not for man. It doesn’t matter that these men were slaves, but it does matter that we act with integrity at all times – both when people are watching, but even more importantly when people are NOT watching.