Useful Bible Studies > Colossians Commentary > chapter 3

Should a wife accept her husband’s authority?

Colossians 3:18

Paul has just told Christians to do everything as people who are serving God (verse 17). He must now explain how that affects their relationships, both at home and at work. Otherwise, we might think that Christians cannot accept the authority of anyone else over them in such situations.

For example, a wife who is a Christian must obey Christ at all times. So, we ask how she can also accept her husband’s authority. Paul’s answer is that she can accept her husband’s authority because of her relationship with Christ. The Christian message teaches people to have right ideas about authority in the family (1 Corinthians 11:8-10).

So, a Christian woman is loyal to her husband because she is loyal to Christ. She respects her husband because she respects Christ. Also, she is eager to obey her husband because she obeys Christ (Ephesians 5:21-33).

We might ask, therefore, whether she must even obey an evil husband. Christ tells her only to do what is right and good (Matthew 5:48); her husband may order her to do wrong and even terrible things. That wife desires to obey him because he is her husband; but she clearly cannot obey him in this situation. She cannot join in his evil plan (Psalm 1:1; Proverbs 1:10); she cannot approve of his wicked acts. So, she must pray for wisdom, that God will show her what to do and how to answer her husband (James 1:5). God does help his people to deal with these difficult situations – an example is 1 Samuel chapter 25.

That wife should also pray much for her husband (1 Corinthians 7:16). God changes people’s lives (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). God does not want to punish even wicked people (Ezekiel 18:23). He wants them to turn from their evil deeds, so that he can forgive them (Mark 2:17; Romans 5:8).

Next part: Advice for Christian husbands (Colossians 3:19)


Cover: Useful Bible Studies on ColossiansPlease use the links at the top of the page to find our other articles on Colossians. You can buy all 80 studies in a paperback book from Amazon.

You can download our articles on several Bible books, free, from our download page (including our free 1000+ page course book).


© 2019, Keith Simons.