1 Children, you should obey your parents in the Lord [i.e., as part of your Christian responsibility], for this is the right thing to do. 2 [Ex. 20:12 says], "Show honor to your father and mother," (which is the first commandment that carries the promise), 3 "that things may go well with you and that you will live a long time on earth." 4 And you fathers [Note: This word probably includes both parents], do not stir up your children to become angry, but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
5 Slaves, you should obey those who are your earthly masters, out of reverence and eagerness to please them, with a sincere heart, as you would [obey] Christ. 6 Do not serve them only when you are being watched, just to gain their approval, but as slaves of Christ, doing what God wants from your heart. 7 Render your service wholeheartedly, as you would to the Lord, and not [just] to people, 8 knowing that whatever good deed a person does, he will be rewarded for it from the Lord, whether he is a slave or a free person. 9 And you masters should treat your slaves the same way; do not threaten them, knowing that God, who is both their Master and yours, is in heaven and He does not respect any particular person [over another].
10 Finally, be [spiritually] strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. 11 You people should put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to withstand the devil's schemes. 12 For our struggle is not [actually] against human beings, but against rulers and authorities and leaders of this world's darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. [Note: "Heavenly realms" here refers to the struggle against Satanic powers which permeates life around us]. 13 Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that you can withstand [the devil, See verse 11] when the evil day comes. And, after you have done everything you can, still remain standing firm [in the faith]. 14 So, you people should stand firm [in the faith], with the belt of truth firmly buckled around you, and with the "flack jacket" of righteousness on your chest. 15 And put on your shoes, ready to [go and] spread the Gospel of peace. 16 And along with everything else, take up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to extinguish all the fire-tipped arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Holy Spirit, which is God's word.
18 [Then] offer all kinds of prayers and requests in [harmony with] the Holy Spirit at all times, and be alert constantly in making requests for all the saints [i.e., God's holy people]. 19 And [also pray] for me to be given boldness of speech in opening my mouth to make known the secret plan of the Gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in prison. [And pray] that I may be able to proclaim the Gospel boldly, as I ought to.
21 But, so that you people also can know how I am doing and what is going on with me, Tychicus, the dearly loved brother and faithful minister in [the service of] the Lord, will tell you everything. 22 I have sent [i.e., am sending] him to you for this very purpose, so you can know our situation and that he can encourage your hearts.