Useful Bible Studies > Colossians Commentary > chapter 3

Advice for Christian husbands

Colossians 3:19

For a Christian, it is not always easier to have authority than it is to obey someone with authority. That is because the person with authority also has responsibility in that situation. In other words, he must take care of those people over whom he has authority.

For the Christian husband, that means that he must truly love his wife. We think about how Paul explained ‘love’ in 1 Corinthians chapter 13 and Colossians 3:12-14. The husband must not be selfish; he must be kind, gentle and patient with his wife. The husband cannot just look after himself; he should desire to take care of her, even as he takes care of his own body (Ephesians 5:28).

Therefore, it is not right for a husband to become bitter and angry towards his wife. He must not control her by cruelty, by fear or by unpleasant words. He should not force her to obey him.

That is so even when she refuses to accept his authority. Hosea’s wife was not loyal to him, but God still told him to act in love towards her (Hosea 3:1). Paul advised Christian men whose wives were not Christians, not to divorce their wives (1 Corinthians 7:12). However, if the wife chose to leave, her husband should not prevent her (1 Corinthians 7:15). Christ permitted a man to divorce and remarry only if his wife has started a sex relationship with someone else (Matthew 19:9)

Paul explains further the relationship that a Christian man should have with his wife in Ephesians 5:25-33. There, he also explains the true meaning of marriage in the plans and purposes of God.

Next part: Should children always obey their parents? (Colossians 3:20)


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© 2019, Keith Simons.