1 Children, you belong to the Lord, and you do the right thing when you obey your parents. The first commandment with a promise says,2 “Obey your father and your mother,3and you will have a long and happy life.”
4 Parents, don't be hard on your children. Raise them properly. Teach them and instruct them about the Lord.
5 Slaves, you must obey your earthly masters. Show them great respect and be as loyal to them as you are to Christ.6Try to please them at all times, and not just when you think they are watching. You are slaves of Christ, so with your whole heart you must do what God wants you to do.7Gladly serve your masters, as though they were the Lord himself, and not simply people.8You know that you will be rewarded for any good things you do, whether you are slaves or free.
9 Slave owners, you must treat your slaves with this same respect. Don't threaten them. They have the same Master in heaven that you do, and he doesn't have favorites.
10Finally, let the mighty strength of the Lord make you strong.11 Put on all the armor that God gives, so you can defend yourself against the devil's tricks.12We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world.13So put on all the armor that God gives. Then when that evil day comes, you will be able to defend yourself. And when the battle is over, you will still be standing firm.
14 Be ready! Let the truth be like a belt around your waist, and let God's justice protect you like armor.15 Your desire to tell the good news about peace should be like shoes on your feet.16Let your faith be like a shield, and you will be able to stop all the flaming arrows of the evil one.17 Let God's saving power be like a helmet, and for a sword use God's message that comes from the Spirit.
18Never stop praying, especially for others. Always pray by the power of the Spirit. Stay alert and keep praying for God's people.19Pray that I will be given the message to speak and that I may fearlessly explain the mystery about the good news.20I was sent to do this work, and this is the reason I am in jail. So pray that I will be brave and will speak as I should.
21-22 I want you to know how I am getting along and what I am doing. This is why I am sending Tychicus to you. He is a dear friend, as well as a faithful servant of the Lord. He will tell you how I am doing, and he will cheer you up.
23I pray that God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ will give peace, love, and faith to every follower!24May God be kind to everyone who keeps on loving our Lord Jesus Christ.