1 Children, as Christians obey your parents, for that is right. 2 "You must honor your father and mother"??hat is the first commandment accompanied with a promise??3 "so that you may prosper and have a long life on earth." 4 You fathers, too, must not irritate your children, but you must bring them up with Christian training and instruction.
5 You who are slaves, obey your earthly masters, in reverence and awe, with sincerity of heart, as you would the Christ, 6 not with mere external service, as though you had only men to please, but like slaves of Christ, carrying out the will of God. 7 Do your duties heartily and willingly, as though it were for the Lord, not for men, 8 for you know that everyone, slave or free, will be rewarded by the Lord for his good conduct. 9 You who are masters, too, must treat your slaves in the same way, and cease to threaten them, for you know that their Master and yours is in heaven, and that he will show no partiality.
10 Henceforth you must grow strong through union with the Lord and through his mighty strength. 11 You must put on God's armor, so as to be able to stand up against the devil's stratagems. 12 For we have to struggle, not with enemies of flesh and blood, but with the hierarchies, the authorities, the master-spirits of this dark world, the spirit-forces of evil on high. 13 So you must take God's armor, so that when the evil day comes you will be able to make a stand, and when it is all over to hold your ground. 14 Stand your ground, then, with the belt of truth around your waist, and put on uprightness as your coat of mail, 15 and on your feet put the readiness the good news of peace brings. 16 Besides all these, take faith for your shield, for with it you will be able to put out all the flaming missiles of the evil one, 17 and take salvation for your helmet, and for your sword the Spirit, which is the voice of God.
18 Use every kind of prayer and entreaty, and at every opportunity pray in the Spirit. Be on the alert about it; devote yourselves constantly to prayer for all God's people 19 and for me, that when I open my lips I may be given a message, so that I may boldly make known the secret of the good news, 20 for the sake of which I am an envoy, and in prison. Pray that, when I tell it, I may have the courage to speak as I ought.
21 In order that you also may know how I am, our dear brother Tychicus, a faithful helper in the Lord's service, will tell you all about it. 22 That is the very reason I am sending him, to let you know how I am, and to cheer your hearts.