Determine To Be the Authority Figure – Chrys Howard
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Determine To Be the Authority Figure

Determine To Be the Authority Figure

The word authority has been given a bad rap. And I’m sad to say this thinking was brought about by my generation of flower power, peace loving, barefoot going, ideological—hippy folks. The “late sixties –early seventies” movement promoted the theory that anyone over thirty is not to be trusted. In fact, anyone with any authority was not to be trusted thus ushering in a “new” thinking that has nearly destroyed America. 

You see, looking through our rose-tinted glasses we did not see the truth. And the truth is God has given us authority for a purpose. 

Eph 6:1

Children, do what your parents tell you. This is only right. “Honor your father and mother” is the first commandment that has a promise attached to it, namely, “so you will live well and have a long life.”

Colossians 3:20

Children, do what your parents tell you. This delights the Master no end.

In modern American, a carry-over from our rose-tinted glasses, we think that love is somehow more valuable to a child than learning to accept authority. But you cannot effectively communicate love to a child without them understanding your place in the relationship. 

What has happened in our culture is the lines of authority have been blurred. Once again, it was my generation doing the blurring. When I was growing up, I wouldn’t have dreamed of wearing my mother’s clothes, much less my grandmother’s. In today’s world, I often wear the same clothes Korie, and even my granddaughter, Sadie, would wear.  But clothes aren’t the only way we’ve blurred the lines—adults and kids listen to the same music, watch the same TV shows, and many text, tweet and snap chat just like their kids do. Who is the adult in the room? Clearly the lines have been blurred. 

Is it such a bad thing? No, much of it is not. My granddaughter’s love that I dress fashionably and that I can text them or make a TIKTOK with them. I’m not saying we need to go back to granny clothes and ignorance of the things the “teens” do, but I am saying we must take back the authority God has given us for our children’s own well-being. And here’s why—

1. Proper authority strengthens parental love. Think back to the Garden of Eden, where we first learn the value of a rule and consequences. God instructed Adam and Eve to NOT eat from the tree of good and evil. When I read this account, I never get the feeling that God did not love Adam therefore He gave him this terrible rule to follow. 

No, God clearly loved the man he had created and out of that love He gave man one rule, and it was for his protection: “You can eat from any tree in the garden, except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Don’t eat from it. The moment you eat from that tree, you’re dead.”  What sort of things do we say today that are similar? How about, “You have the entire back yard to play in, but do not play in the street.” Or “You can eat or drink anything in this entire store, but you can’t guzzle down a six pack of beer.” Or “You can play with every child in your school, but you cannot play with little Johnny because he is disrespectful of our rules.” All these scenarios are like God saying, “but you cannot eat from that tree.” 

For a child to except that you are the authority figure and in control and that what you say is said out of love, you must totally embrace your job as the parent (or grandparent) in control. One day a young lady, who teaches Pre-K, told me she could never teach high school because she wants to be a friend to the teen too badly. And I would say to her, you’re probably right, you shouldn’t teach teens because being another friend to a teenager is the last thing they need. They need someone who will speak lovingly, but authoritatively to them. Someone who is not afraid to stand up to them with the truth. Someone who is not afraid to accept that they may not like you for a minute. 

2. Proper authority breeds security. We all believe that the person in authority is the one who can protect and provide. If you work at a company, you probably look to the head of the company as the authority. And with that person as the head of the company, you go to work each day with a sense of security, knowing your boss is there to provide you a job and protect you. His authority over you doesn’t make you weak, it makes you stronger. It the same way in our families, a parent or grandparent who leads with loving authority breeds children who function each day out of a place of security.

3. Proper authority frees a child to be child. When proper parental control is established, a child is free to be a child. One of my grandkids was the “bossy” one–always wanting to “help” me make decisions. I would tell him that he is “set free” to be a kid because I am quite capable of handling the situation. When parents accept their role as the parent, kids get to grow up without the fear of the unpredictable. Naturally, as a child gets older, he or she is given more responsibility about their surroundings, but you being the parent will continue to help them as they will know, without a doubt, what their limits are. Will they always walk in those limits? No, but they will know them and, knowing them, gives them freedom. 

I hope this helps if you have been struggling with who is in control in your house or if you’ve let some things “slip” past you and you need to reel it in. If that’s the case, do it. Reel it in. Take back the power. Your kids will thank you later.

Hugs, Chrys

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