(image courtesy of blissfullydomestic.com)
I would have denied this adamantly as a teenager, but I had a real problem with authority. (And I’m sure my parents are nodding and smiling now. Thanks, guys.)
What I mean by that is I wanted to be the boss. Of everything. I wanted control over my friendships, my future, my love life – all of it.
I just didn’t get it.
College revealed my heart a little more, as I realized how my attitude went nasty anytime I was under the authority of someone I didn’t necessarily like or respect. That, in my book, was a free ticket for me to disregard him or her completely. How dare he treat me that way? How dare she tell me what to do?
Then I got married.
I got up-close and personal with my authority issues. Here I was, a new bride, in love with my husband. I respected and trusted him totally. But I somehow still held onto control with white knuckles. Where was this coming from?
That’s when God opened my eyes to Romans 13.
Ah, Romans. Always as gentle as a brick to the face.
Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. (verses 1-2)
What?! I am rebelling against God? Oh, surely not. But here comes the good part.
Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? (YES! I just want to be free from him or her completely!!) Then do what is right and he will commend you. (verse 3b)
This passage put a spotlight on some dark places in my soul, and it helped me put Christ’s face over the face of my authority – to trust HIM first and to recognize that he put this person in my life for a purpose.
It doesn’t mean I obey this authority if he or she asks me to contradict scripture, of course. But it means I obey and I listen because of what God Himself has established in my life.
And that has made a big fat difference in my marriage, my work, and my attitude toward all authority.
When have you been challenged to respect and obey authority? How did you do?