Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
Whatever role we have, we are to fulfill it in a way that honors God. That should be the motivation and the driving force behind how we approach what we do. It’s not about the other person, though they will benefit, too, but it’s part of living our lives with that singular focus on Jesus. It’s living a life that honors God in every single part of it, whether as a wife or husband, as a father, as a child, and as a servant or worker.
Whoever we are, we can honor God where we are and in what we do. Whatever our occupation, we are ultimately working for God. He is who we need to please. He is who we should want to honor and obey. We serve the Lord in all of these roles because there is an element of obedience in them. God has laid out the proper and God-honoring way to approach it. So our submission is really to God. Our obedience is to His commands and His desires for us.
Mostly it is about our heart and our attitude. We honor others because that honors God. We serve in love because of our relationship with God. The bitterness and the discouragement and the pride come in when we try to do it our way or when we get off track from God’s way. But when it’s about Jesus more than it is about our husband or our wife or our children or our parents or our boss, that makes a difference in how we approach our choices and actions.
The truth is that how we relate to others stems from how we relate to God. Jesus admonishes us to treat others how we want to be treated, to love our enemies, to bear all things, to approach relationships in a different way than the world would have us approach them. And when we are rightly related to God, when we are fearing Him and desiring to obey, when we are focused with passion and dedication to pleasing and serving our Lord, that heart will trickle down into our other relationships so that we are pleasing God in all these aspects of our lives, as well.