Daily Devotion

THE PRIMARY LABORATORY

Wives, be subject to your husbands. Husbands love your wives. Fathers, do not exasperate your children (Colossians 3:18-21)

God works in our lives primarily through committed relationships. Your family is the primary laboratory for your character development. This is precisely the order of Scripture: Establish your identity in Christ, then focus on living out who you are at home. Notice the order in Colossians 3:10-25.

God's great goal for His children is that we conform to His image: "Put on the new self" (verse 10). Our identity is no longer in racial, religious, cultural or social ties: "There is no distinction but Christ is all and in all" (verse 11)

Character is the focus of development once identity is established: "Put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience" (verse 12)

Character is developed in the context of relational living "Bearing with one another, and forgiving each other" (verse 13)

Love is the highest level of character development: "Beyond all these things put on love" (verse 14)

The means by which all this is accomplished is Christ in you. "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you" (verses 15,16)

The primary setting for character development is the home. "Wives, be subject to your husbands. Husbands love your wives. Children, be obedient to your parents. Fathers, do not exasperate your children" (verses 18-21)

As a parent you are not just shaping your child's behaviour, you are developing his character. Training a child means discipling him to be Christ like. Don't be a phoney at home; your spouse and children will see right through it. You can't model perfection, but you can model growth.

Lord, help me be the spouse and parent You want me to be by remaining committed to be a growing child of God.

Neil Anderson