James J. Barker

Lesson 12

Text: COLOSSIANS 3:16-21


  1. This is a message I often preach on Mothers' Day or Fathers' Day, but it is appropriate on any occasion.
  2. I have entitled this message: "The Christian Home." First Timothy 5:4 says we are to first "shew piety at home." Being pious in church, but impious at home is inconsistent and hypocritical.
  3. Once when a question was asked as to whether a certain man was a Christian, he answered, "I do not know; I have never lived with him" (W.H. Griffith Thomas, Studies in Colossians).
  4. Spurgeon said: "When home is ruled according to Godís Word, angels might be asked to stay with us, and they would not find themselves out of their element."



  1. I would like to preface my remarks by stating that all Christians should have a meek, submissive spirit (Eph. 5:21). However, God is a God of order (cf. I Cor. 11:3).
  2. This is not a very popular subject these days, but nevertheless the Bible is clear Ė wives are to be submissive to their husbands (cf. Eph.5:22-24).
  3. This does not mean that women are inferior to men any more than it means that Christ is inferior to God the Father (cf. I Cor. 11:3).
  4. Godís plan goes back to creation (Gen. 3:16; cf. I Cor. 11:8, 9; I Tim. 2:9-14).
  5. God has a plan, an order. And when this plan is violated there is chaos and confusion (Col. 3:18-21). When Godís plan is followed, there will be peace and harmony.
  6. I realize Biblical submission is very difficult in some cases because oftentimes the husband is not saved, or is a drunkard, abusive, etc. The Bible says if the husband is not saved the Christian wife can win him to the Lord by her godly testimony (I Peter 3:1-6; Titus 2:3-5).
  7. The worst thing a Christian wife can do is start nagging because that will drive him further from the Lord (cf. Pro. 21:9, 19; 27:15).
  8. I heard about a man who was always arguing with his wife. It was getting so bad that it was affecting him physically Ė he was actually getting sick. His doctor told him to jog ten miles a day and call him up in a week and let him know if things improved. After a week he called and said: "Sure things have improved. Iím 70 miles from home!"
  9. I realize that Godís program is not popular today but we can plainly see that the worldís way is not working. I believe we ought to stick with Godís plan.



  1. This should be compared with Ephesians 5:25. "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it."
  2. This is Godís high standard for love Ė we are to love our wives "even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it" (Eph. 5:25).
  3. By using the Christian home as an illustration of our relationship with Christ, the apostle Paul has lifted married love to the highest level possible (Eph. 5:23-33).
  4. And in Colossians 3:19, the Bible says: "Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them." Why does God have to tell us to love our wives? Because we men often take our wives for granted.
  5. And why does God tell us not to be "bitter against them" (Col. 3:19)? Because God knows this is often the case.
  6. I recently heard of an abusive husband who was secretly recorded by his wife during one of his violent rages. She did this because no one in their church would believe her accusations.
  7. We ought to be grateful to God for good Christian wives (cf. Pro. 18:22; 19:14; 31:10-12, 28-31).



  1. "For this is well pleasing unto the Lord" (Col. 3:20).
  2. Ephesians 6:1 says, " Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right." And this "is the first commandment with promise" (Eph. 6:2).
  3. The promise is, "That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth" (Eph. 6:3; cf. Ex. 20:12).
  4. By the way, I think this applies to adult children as well as minors. In Luke 18 when the rich young ruler came to Jesus, our Lord said to him, "Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother."
  5. The man was "young" (Matthew 19:20), but since he was a "ruler" he was obviously a grown man.
  6. In Romans 1 we see a long list of wicked sins: "filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents..." (Rom. 1:29, 30).
  7. We see a similar list in II Timothy 3 -- "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents..." (II Tim. 3:1, 2).
  8. If children do not obey, parents have a responsibility to discipline them. "
  • Proverbs 13:24 says, "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes."
  • Proverbs 19:18 says, "Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying."
  • Proverbs 22:15 says, "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him."
  • Proverbs 23:13 and 14 says, "Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell."
  • Proverbs 29:15 says, "The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame."
  • Proverbs 29:17 says, "Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul."



  1. We are to be reasonable with our children. We should not discourage them (3:21).
  2. Our Number One job as fathers is to "bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Eph. 6:4).
  3. Nowhere in the Bible is the training of children assigned to agencies outside the home (e.g. day-care centers, schools).



  1. Many years ago I was invited to speak at a "communion breakfast" at a liberal Baptist church in Queens. I asked the man who invited me what subject he would like for me to preach.
  2. He said to preach about the family, and so I did.
  3. A few days after the meeting I called him up and asked him how it went. He told me that some of the ladies were unhappy with the message. In fact he didnít know any that liked it. But he told me he thought it was pretty good.
  4. I was not surprised because that church was dead, and I do not think any of them were even saved.
  5. But church members who are saved and know the Bible, are happy to do things God's way.
  6. Our families are under attack by the devil. We need to understand what the Bible says, and then follow it.

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