One of the foundational heart issues in the life of every child is authority. Teaching and modeling the protective beauty of authority is a foundation of good parenting.Paul D. Tripp
Last week we shared the fact that all of humanity, even our precious children, are fully lost in sin. This week, let’s examine how being lost displays itself in daily life.
Tripp explains the impact of sin on our lives like this:
Sin makes us want our own way. Sin makes us want to set our own rules. Sin convinces all of us that we know better. Sin causes me to want to do what I want to do when and how I want to do it. Sin makes me resist being told what to do by another. Sin really does insert me in the center of my world, the one place that I must never be because it is the place for God and God alone… Every child tends to think that being told what to do is a negative thing. Every child wants to write his own moral rules and follow his own life plan. The delusion of the right to self-rule is one of the sad results of sin in the hearts of all of our children.
One thing we all have in common is the desire to be our own authority. In fact, we come out of the womb wanting to be our own authority–crying when we want to be fed, held, or changed. These desires only increase as we age.
As parents, God asks us to be His agents of authority by pointing our children to the gospel: the Only True Authority in all of life. The challenge with this is that we are called to be authorities to those who simply do not want authority. Our children are wired to self-rule. They want to make their own decisions.
So how do we exercise authority in our children’s lives in such a way that points them to the hope of Jesus Christ? Perhaps we should rethink the way we view God’s law.
When God gave Moses the law it was never given to be restrictive. Instead, it was given to be protective. Some have referred to the Ten Commandments as the Ten Freedoms. A healthy view of the law is to see it as a guardrail designed to keep us safe. Jesus reiterated this idea when He said “I did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it” and “I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly.” A Biblical view of authority is to view it as a safeguard that guide and protect us.
We are living in unprecedented times during a worldwide pandemic that has become an undeniably divisive political topic. We also live in a time when cultural norms and morals are constantly changing. While people complain about what’s happening in the world, they become more and more fearful of the ramifications.
What if, as Christians, instead of being angry and fearful we were emboldened to show respect for those in leadership?
Romans 13 makes it clear that those in authority have been appointed by God. Whether we agree with the way they govern or not, we are called to respect and submit to them.
Training our children to submit to authority begins with understanding and articulating the protection and safety found in following the law and then modeling it in our lives.
Tripp emphasizes the importance of this by saying, “To reject authority is to reject God, who is the authority over all authority, and rejection of God never has and never will go anywhere good.”
May we embrace the authority of Christ in our lives and relationships, and may we love our children enough to speak His truth in love each day.
Hilton Head Christian Academy‘s Life+ blog was created to equip today’s Christian parents with practical tools, thought provoking content, and honest conversation.
This fall, we look forward to parenting alongside all of you through a new series based on a life-giving book by Pastor Paul Tripp: Parenting: 14 Gospel principles that can radically change your family.
Each week we will unpack them chapter by chapter right here on the Life+ blog. We hope you’ll grab a copy and dive in with us, taking time to discuss each principle with your own family and the people God has placed in your life.