Children and parents
1 You who are children, obey your parents. Because you belong to the Lord, that is the right thing to do. 2 God's Law says: ‘Always respect your father and your mother.’ That is the first rule of God's Law that also has a promise. 3 The promise is this: ‘As a result, you will be happy and you will live for a long time on the earth.’
4 Fathers, do not do things that make your children angry. Instead, teach them carefully as they grow up. Help them to understand the message of the Lord, and help them to obey it.
Slaves and masters
5 You who are slaves, obey your human masters. Respect them and be afraid of them. Work well to help them, as if you were working for Christ as your master. 6 Do not do good work only when they can see you. Some people only work to make other people like them. Instead, work well all the time, as slaves who serve Christ. Work in the way that God wants you to work. 7 Be happy to obey your human masters. Remember that you are serving the Lord himself, not just other people. 8 You know that anyone who does some good thing will receive a good gift from the Lord. This will happen whether that person is a slave or a free person.
9 You who are masters, be good to your slaves in the same way. Do not frighten them with punishment. Remember that both you and your slaves have the same Master in heaven. And he is always fair when he judges people, whoever they are.
How God helps us to be strong
10 At the end of my letter, I want to say this to you: Be united with the Lord, so that you are strong. Then his great power will help you. 11 Use all the help that God gives to us. Then you can be like a soldier who fights against the Devil. You must put on the whole armour that God gives to us. The Devil attacks us in clever ways, and we need to be strong. 12 We are not fighting against human enemies. Instead, we are fighting against the rulers and the powerful spirits that have authority over this dark world. We are fighting against the bad spirits who live in the heavens.
13 Because of that, take all the help that God gives, like it is your armour. Then, when the bad time comes, you will be able to stand strongly. You will not fall. After you have finished everything, you will still be standing strongly in your place.
14 So you must stand strongly. This is God's armour that you must wear: God's true message will be like a belt that you tie round your body. Always do what is right. That will be like a metal shirt that you wear to keep your body safe. 15 Be prepared to tell people the good news about peace with God. That will be like shoes on your feet. 16 As well as all that, have faith to trust God. That will be like a shield that you hold in front of you. It will stop the Devil from hurting you with his arrows that burn with fire. 17 Remember that God has saved you from your sins. That will be like a strong hat that keeps your head safe. Also, use God's message to help you. That will be like a sword that God's Spirit puts in your hand.
6:14People used belts to hold their long clothes up from the ground, so that they were ready to fight.
6:16The Devil says things against us that can hurt us. These are like arrows that soldiers use to fight their enemies. But if we trust God, he will keep us safe against the Devil's lies.
18 As you stand strongly like that, always pray for God's help. Pray about everything as God's Spirit helps you to pray. For this purpose, watch carefully all the time. Also, continue to pray for all God's people everywhere.
19 Please pray for me, too. Pray that God will give me the right message to speak. Pray that I will not be afraid to tell people about God's good news. Pray that I can explain God's secret to them. 20 God has sent me to tell people the good news on his behalf. And that is why I am now in prison. So, pray that I will speak God's message bravely, as I ought to speak it.
Paul finishes his letter
21 My Christian friend, Tychicus, will tell you all the news about me. He works hard as the Lord's servant. He will tell you about what is happening here. Then you will know what I am doing and how I am. 22 That is the reason why I am sending him to you. I want him to tell you what is happening to us here, so that you will feel stronger.
23 I pray that God, the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ will be good to you who are believers. I pray that you will have peace in your minds. I pray that you will love one another, as you continue to trust Christ. 24 I pray that God will be very kind to everyone who continues to love our Lord Jesus Christ.