Dads – to control or to serve, you can’t do both.

Posted on August 5, 2014 · Posted in Authority

Attempting to control the lives of other people is to live the life of a fool. Only God is in control. Humans who ignore this truth are in deep trouble. Dictators may look like they have control, but then it is lost in a heartbeat. Others try to control by kindness or deference, these leaders too, can be overcome with swiftness. 

Simply put, control doesn’t work. Controlling people is not an effective form of leadership. Sadly, too many fathers believe that being in authority means being in control. Nothing could be farther from the truth. As in all things, Jesus Christ is the perfect example. 

Jesus was totally aware and reliant upon his Father’s control. In the desert, Satan tried to tempt Christ into using his authority to take control of his own life and others. Jesus would have none of it! He submitted himself to the word and power of his Father.

Christ exercised his authority on earth by being a servant. Dads, if you want to follow Christ’s example, you will become a servant to those entrusted to your care. This is not a being a menial servant, but a servant to their souls. By following Christ’s example, Dads have the opportunity to invest themselves in those they love, for their good and God’s honor. This means really knowing your wife and kids. Your job is not to control them but to love them, listen to them and bring Christ to them. In short, to serve them. Is your family convinced that your priority is to be a blessing to them or are they looking at you as someone who wants to be in control and in charge?

Jesus directly address this difference between being in control and being a servant. James and John were attempting to use their intimate friendship with Jesus to gain a place of authority and control. The other disciples find out about the Zebedee boys’ plans and are not happy. So Christ calls the disciples all together and explains to them that they are not to use their authority in the way that the world does. Jesus tells them if they want to lead they must first become servants. Being in control is the antithesis of being a servant.

 Read what he says:

 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Matthew 20:25-28

Jay Younts
Jay Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is the author of Everyday Talk and other materials on parenting. He has been teaching and speaking on parenting issues for 30 years. Jay and his wife, Ruth, live in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. He serves as a ruling elder at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and Ruth have five adult children.