Familial and Work Relationships

This entry is part 26 of 27 in the series Walk Like a Child of God

The way we treat others stems from our relationship with God. Because of our new identity in Christ, we are to love those around us and treat us with respect.

The more we grasp our identity in Christ, the more we will be able to serve others, even when there is not reciprocity. Broken relationships will still be painful, but we can recognize that our relationships do not define us. God intends for our lives to point beyond ourselves as a sign of the age to come. Something about us ought to be different than the way of the world—a quality of others-centeredness should mark our lives.

Familial Relationships

Ephesians 6 continues examining how the new heart we have been given in Christ ought to affect our various relationships. First, Paul looks at children and parents, urging children to obey their parents because it is right to do so (Ephesians 6:1).

Likewise, parents should not exasperate their children, making sure that their own lives look like Christ. One way to do this is by making sure your word can be trusted, letting your “yes” be “yes” and your “no” be “no.” In addition, parents should discipline and instruct their children, but they should do so out of love. Another way of honoring Christ in relationships with children is by admitting your errors—this can be difficult to do, but it will model for your children what they ought to do as well.

We must approach all of our relationships with forgiveness and grace, aiming for fellowship but ultimately looking to honor and glorify Christ in the ways in which we treat one another.

Work Relationships

Paul moves on from familial relationships to work relationships. In this case, he is referring to slaves and masters, although we can apply these principles to employees and employers.

God calls us to obey those in authority over us and work well, ultimately honoring Him. Doing your work faithfully is not a matter of trying to please people, but of pleasing Christ. Even though it will benefit your employer, your service is to the Lord, and it will bring Him glory.

As we work, we need to make sure we are not conflating the means and the source of our provision. Our employers are a means of provision; they pay our salaries and give us jobs. However, God is the source of our provision. He is ultimately the One who provides for us, and He uses the means of employers. Recognizing His provision will enable us to work for His glory.

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