Are your children blessed by your authority?

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Authority has become a taboo word. In the 60’s the slogan, “Question Authority” morphed into a bumper sticker that has morphed into a deep distrust that cripples modern culture.

This drift away from authority has a negative impact on families. Scripture says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” Our culture is suspicious of this truth. If man is only the result of a random series of bio-chemical events, then the idea of being responsible to a divine authority is absurd. This is the mindset that today’s parents have been raised with.

Time for a reality check!

Here are some questions about authority which will help you assess how your parenting reflects the culture’s view of authority or God’s:

  • How many times do you have to ask your children to obey before they do so?
  • Do your children respond pleasantly when you instruct them to obey?
  • Do your children frequently argue with you or whine when told to obey?
  • How often do you reference God when asking for obedience?
  • Are your requests for obedience framed with pleasant, thoughtful words?
  • How do your children view authorities outside your home, for example, school teachers, law enforcement officers, pastors, etc.
  • Are your children accustomed to hearing you express gratitude for authority?

These questions are not exhaustive, but they are instructive. The most basic life lesson for your children to grasp is this: God is in charge and they are not! Man is accountable to and answerable to a sovereign God. Apart from this reality, even the gospel has no meaning. The gospel only makes sense when God’s authority and man’s accountability to that authority is understood!

Take some time to consider how you represent God’s authority to your children. Meditate on Ephesians 6:3. The way your children respond to your authority profoundly shapes their lives. It is God’s world. He is in charge! Rejoice in his gracious, holy and just authority!

Broken-Down House

Broken-Down House

Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.