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The New Family Dynamic



This week we are joined by Brett Younker, part of Passion Music and the Young Adults pastor for our Passion City Church family in Atlanta. Brett is continuing in our series Live Again and showing how to navigate relationships within our families in a way that reflects Christ’s love.

Key Takeaway

It's hard to hide your true colors from your family. They see the real you. What do they need to be seeing? A you where Jesus is the center of your life. Then, He becomes the center of the families life and each role promotes life and flourishing.

The big idea up to this point in Colossians is that Jesus Christ is central of all things. Therefore, He wants to be central in your family. Paul knows that the rubber hits the road where you live life with your family. Family can be a source of joy or a source of a giant wound. That's why he tells us to put on some new clothes- compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Paul gives us a new family dynamic that promotes life and flourishing. The dynamic got weird during the fall in Genesis 3. It broke relationship with God, but also in families.

Dysfunction comes from selfishness. Whereas, selflessness promotes life. Paul puts on the table how husbands, wives, and children can function in a way that everyone can flourish.

Colossians 3:18-21

You have to be careful to not go too far one way or another with this passage. It's not that women and children are second class, but we're also not all the same. Paul says something to each group. In order for this to work, we have to look to Jesus and He has to be the center of the relationship.

Colossians 3:18 - Wives: submit to your husbands as to the Lord. Submission isn't saying that a wife is less than her husband. Jesus submits to the Father's will, but that doesn't make him less God. He is where the fullness of God dwells.

In his book that discusses the rise of Christianity in a pagan culture, Rodney Stark states that women being highly valued in the church community was one of the things that made Christianity so attractive.

When wives submit, they are a picture of Jesus to their husbands. It's a selfless act where they are inclined to receive and affirm their husbands initiation. As the husband initiates good things towards the family, the wife leans towards that. For the husband, this is humbling, inspiring, and challenging for them.

Colossians 3:19 - Husbands: love and don't be harsh. This was so counter cultural in a Roman society where men ruled. In the way that Jesus loved and pursued the husband, he was to treat his wife the same way. It's a call to die to self. The willingness of the husband to sacrifice his own life for his wife's flourishing is a picture of Jesus to her.

Men can use this as an excuse to justify certain jobs, work hours, houses, cars, provision, etc. It will work out in all sorts of ways, but most importantly, they need you. If your wife isn't in your mind as you make decisions and are moving through the day- you're not seeing her, pursuing her, laying down your life for her- you're not reflecting the heart of Jesus.

Colossians 3:20 - Children: obey. All the parents want is for their kids to obey. It's so much more fun when everyone is moving in the same direction. It's for their protection and for their growth. They can't just say they will obey, they have to show it. Obedience is an outward expression.

Colossians 3:21 - Paul comes back to the men. He warns them to not embitter or exasperate their children. That happens in two ways: you're not around or you're really hard on your kids. Be present and love them instead.

When Jesus is the center of everything, He shows up for you when you have a bad day and don't have it within yourself to be kind or loving. He will give you more bandwidth to give your life away. It will happen with a sense of strength and a sense of togetherness.


"This only works when Jesus is the center of my life, and my wife isn't the center of my life and the kid aren't the center of my life. Jesus is the center of everything."

Brett Younker

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Scripture References

  • Colossians 3:12-21
  • Genesis 3
Brett Younker Brett Younker is a pastor, worship leader, and songwriter at Passion City Church in Atlanta, Georgia. His heart is to help people see and know Jesus in a real way through preaching, teaching, music, or just hanging out. Over the last decade, Brett has helped carry the heart of Passion Music and the Passion Movement to the world, calling a generation to live for the glory of God. Brett has helped write many songs the Church is singing, including “Build My Life,” Fall Like Rain,” Christ Our King,” God, You’re So Good,” “Holy Ground,” “Worthy of Your Name,” and many others. He also hosts a podcast called Jesus Songs that explores the stories of some of the songs we sing each week in church. Brett and his wife, Aynsley, have three kids and a dog named Sgt Pepper.