Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is your acceptable duty in the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, or they may lose heart.
I see this reading as being about respect. Respect for all those in our households and in our lives.
Even if it is only two people, a parent and a child; we are all part of a household. Many of us have extended households, where we have parents, cousins, siblings, all part of our daily lives, as well as friends who feel like family.
In addition, our children may also be part of another household and spend time there either according to a schedule, or just on occasion. As a single parent, it can be difficult to take another household into account as we are raising our kids, but it can have some influence on our lives, as the different rules and customs may be brought up in our households.
Sometimes there can be conflict or misunderstanding with our own families, or with the other household; however, as followers of Christ, we are called to be tolerant to those in our lives, not to let our frustrations or any bitterness get the better of us.
Today’s reading reminds us to treat each other with respect and consideration, especially in the midst of anger, frustration or misunderstanding. Even if that respect is not returned.
This is not always an easy thing for us to do, as sometimes the negativity can be overwhelming, and the anger can be justified.
When it is difficult to remember to show this respect, or to avoid anger and frustration (even justifiable) we can turn to God for help, praying for patience and understanding; and we can turn to the people in our household, our friends and family, for help to find our way through emotions clouded by bitterness. Although not always easy, when we treat each other as we would like to be treated and show respect for others, it is good for ourselves and our kids, as no one thrives in an environment of conflict.
When we reach out to others in support, respect, and considerations, then we begin to see the truth of today’s reading: that through the grace of God, which surrounds us, we are all part of the same household.
Let us Pray:
Please help us to put aside frustration, bitterness or distance, and remember who is in our household: everyone! Help us to treat each other with respect and consideration, even if we feel it is undeserved. Thank you for the good members of our households, those who support us, advise us and remind us that we are all your children, and all entitled to respect.