Rules for Christian Households

18 (A)Wives, submit to your husbands, as (B)is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and (C)do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents (D)in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. 22 Bondservants, obey (E)in everything those who are your earthly masters,[a] not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 (F)Whatever you do, work heartily, (G)as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord (H)you will receive the inheritance as your reward. (I)You are serving the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.

Masters, treat your bondservants[b] justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.

Further Instructions

(J)Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it (K)with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may (L)open to us a door for the word, (M)to declare the mystery of Christ, (N)on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.

(O)Walk in wisdom toward (P)outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always (Q)be gracious, (R)seasoned with salt, (S)so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.


  1. Colossians 3:22 Or your masters according to the flesh
  2. Colossians 4:1 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface; likewise for servant in verse 12

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