Colossians 3:18 – 4:1

Talks for Growing Christians

Family Relationships (Submission)

Colossians 3:18 - 4:1

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Lesson Number 19

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. We must relate to God’s authority structures.

Practical Application

  1. Remember the model of our Lord Jesus as a teenager.


  1. According to this passage, which categories of people were in the first century Colossian church?
  2. What age were the “children” (Colossians 3:20)?
  3. List the four authority structures through which God has chosen to channel His authority. Are we obliged to relate to God through one or more of these structures?
  4. Define the word, “submit.” Why do we have negative reactions to this word?
  5. Does the phrase, “as is fitting in the Lord,” excuse us from being subject to one another?
  6. What is the best argument for children to obey their parents?
  7. As authority figures, how should parents relate to their children?


  1. Wives, husbands, children, fathers, servants, and masters
  2. Youth, pre-teens and teenagers
  3. Family, church, state, and labor
  4. To yield to governance or authority. We think of it as a “put-down,” or making us of lesser value. Such is not the case with God’s authority structure, for submission is not inferiority.
  5. Not necessarily, but sometimes there is a higher authority. An example would be when a non-Christian husband gives a non-biblical command to his wife. She can refer to other lines of authority to which she is subject, such as the elders of the church.
  6. Because it pleases the Lord.
  7. They should not provoke their children, exasperate them, or nag them. Parents should be flexible, so as not to discourage their children, or make them lose their love for them, or become spiritless.


  1. Re-read the portions of this passage that relate specifically to your role, and determine how you can fulfill that role biblically.
  2. Do you find it difficult to submit to God’s authority structures? If so, why?


  1. Determine to fulfill your role biblically, and to submit graciously to God’s authority structures.

Key Verses

  • “…whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” Colossians 3:23

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