Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them (Colossians 3:18-19).
At the risk of being misunderstood, I want to offer some preliminary observations about sanctification and marriage. First, the progress of our sanctification may meet its severest tests in the home. It is not that the home is a bad place! Rather, typically in the home we let down our guard, take off the masks, and show the real self. At church or in public, we can cover-up quite easily. But it is harder to do that in the home. Some may have a great reputation at work, but they are difficult to live with in the home. Our sanctification must include our home lives.
Second, sanctification can be strengthened and boosted as members of our families grow together in relationship. This is a choice. When believers seek to grow together in Christ as husbands and wives, parents and children, they strengthen themselves against the assaults of the world upon their faith. The home becomes the oasis in the desert of spiritual dryness and serves to refresh and recharge.
Sanctification involves duty toward others. We can try to live in a vacuum, but we cannot get away from this. In life, we must live with people. We have to live and get along with people at home, at work, at school, at church – everywhere! Just as the church is critical in the sanctification of the individual Christian, the family provides the most basic scene for exercising the details of spiritual progress. To grow in our relationships in the home, we find those things we have to put off and those things we must put on.
So it is correct to talk about the word “duty” here. However, here’s what often happens. As we mature spiritually, what may have been a duty in which we labored will become a delight and pleasure as we continue to develop into new men and women in Christ.
Because of Jesus,