Paul is speaking of the presence of the Holy Spirit present in the life of the born-again believer in Jesus Christ.
This guidance Paul encourages for each of the specific life conditions listed, beginning with wives and husbands in Chapter 5 – and now moving on to others. These are the areas where we will be specifically convicted by the Holy Spirit when we are not following this guidance, and comforted by the Holy Spirit when we are.
It is interesting what is provided here as guidance is strictly counter-culture, and in many cases, in total opposition to our flesh.
To children Paul encourages honoring their parents, which is a repetition of the 5th Commandment of God. It takes a certain degree of maturity to understand this. On one hand you can say children – while totally dependent upon their parents – have this innate sense of honoring them. On the other hand, it is also observable in many cases that as independence from parents begins to be established, honoring them for all they have done in establishing what is necessary for independence can go out the window.
But to fathers particularly, Paul warns this honor is earned by being honorable, and not provoking your children to wrath. Unfortunately, this has far too often been a natural action of fathers (and mothers) in parenting – especially when the children ARE seeking independence. To this Paul encourages the God-given responsibility of raising your children in the fear of the Lord – that of their respect for God will come honor – which will bring with it all the blessings of life promised in the 5th Commandment.
As workers Paul speaks of the truth we must see ourselves as serving God in whatever work we are involved in rather than man – and the same for employers and managers as well. God sees all we do, and as long as we see ourselves serving man we will fall short of our best, because our slack is timed to be unseen by men. But all is seen by God, and a reflection of honoring our elders and our parents is serving in the workplace as unto the Lord, for He sees, and He is our Lord and our Master, not any man. To honor our workplace, and to honor our workers, is to honor God.
All this life-role instruction is so counter to the culture and to the flesh it is certain to invite opposition from Satanic forces arrayed in the world. It is always wise to anticipate the opposition you may face in this world as a child of God, and it is very wise to be able to defend yourself from a Spiritual enemy by employing the God-given Spiritual defenses we are afforded by God as children of God.
This passage of scripture is very famous in this regard, and is the go-to guidance for both understanding the moves of the enemy and in our defense thereof. It will take the application of every bit of this instruction to be able to stand in this world when we are walking in the ways of God.