Are you ready for it? I think we should talk about authority.
Still with me? Good. I was worried that you might decide to skip this particular post and move on to something “more interesting” or less challenging. I realize that submission to authority can be tough. This can be especially true when our authorities are untrustworthy or when we don’t agree with their decisions. But the Bible has a lot to say about submission. That’s why Nancy and Dannah tackled the subject in Lies Young Women Believe and why we’re going to tackle it here on the blog.
God’s Word is clear. We are to submit to our authorities out of reverence for Christ (see Ephesians 5:21, Colossians 3:18-24, Hebrews 13:17, Romans 13:1-2, and 1 Peter 2:13-17). But the truth is, this is an area where many of us fall short.
In fact, in a recent interview posted on the Lies Young Women Believe Facebook page, Dannah pointed to this issue as one of the top three most critical areas of deception among your generation. Check it out.
Q: What top three lies do young women believe today? Are they different than the lies older women believe?
A: I would say that their greatest strongholds lie in the areas of guy/girl relationships, image, and authority and submission. The funny thing is that these lies are very similar to what older women believe. What we allow to grow in our lives can be difficult to overcome.
Q: What do you wish you’d known or done differently as a young woman? Which principle in this book has made the biggest difference in your own life?
A: The lies about submission and authority as well as the role of women really wreaked havoc in my marriage. I never imagined that what seemed like normal teenage rebellion and acceptable feminine independence would break my husband’s spirit in the first few years of marriage. It took me years to learn how to honor and respect him. In fact, I’m still learning. I didn’t know that submission provided safety for me, and that it’s a beautiful thing to be a wife who loves and supports her man.
In this interview, Dannah connected the topic of submission to our relationships with our husband (or future husbands). It may seem easy to imagine submitting to your husband some day. But what about now? Does the way that you relate to your parents, your teachers, your pastor communicate that you understand God’s Truth about authority and submission or have you been deceived into believing that rebellion, even in little things, is no big deal or that ultimately, you are your own authority?
I recently asked a young woman from the youth group at my church to take a look at the list of 25 lies addressed in Lies Young Women Believe and in this blog. Then I asked her “what do you think is the lie from that list that most of your friends are believing?” She didn’t hesitate. She said, “the one about authority.”
When I told her I would be blogging about this lie, I asked her for her thoughts. This is what she said.
“ It seems that today, we get the mindset that we DESERVE to be in charge for our own lives, and to an extent I guess we do. But, when we start to go against God, it’s a problem. An easy way to remember this is to think of a car. We need to full-heartedly and willingly let God get in the driver’s seat and take us where He wants to take us and for me that’s the hardest part. I like to know where I’m going, but sometimes it just doesn’t work like that. We have to give God the keys to the car and say ‘take me where you want me’ and then we go sit in the backseat and know that as long as God’s driving, we won’t ever get lost or crash.”
She’s right. There is this sense that we deserve to do what we want when we want even when that doesn’t align with our authorities. But she also jumped to the reason why this issue is so important. Ultimately, the way we relate to our human authorities often reveals the truth about how we relate to God.
“ On the surface, submitting to your parents and other authorities is about your relationship with them, but in the unseen realm it is about a bigger batter for control—will you submit your will to God or are you going to insist on being your own authority? When you are willing to obey Him, you’ll find that it is not nearly so difficult to submit to your mom, your dad, or your teacher.
What it comes down to is this: our willingness to submit to human authorities is the greatest evidence of how big we believe God really is. Do you believe He is bigger and greater than any human authority? Do you trust that He is big enough to change the hearts of those He has placed in authority over you? (Lies Young Women Believe, 114).
Gulp! Believe me, this is not an easy pill for me to swallow either. But the Truth is that there is a connection between our relationships with our earthly authorities and our relationship with God.
So, how do you relate to the people whom God has placed in authority over you? What do your thoughts about authority reveal about your willingness to submit to God? I’ve listed some questions below to get you thinking. And as always, I look forward to reading your responses right here on the blog.
1. Who are your authorities?
2. Which authorities do you struggle most to submit to?
3. In what areas of your life do you find it most difficult to submit to God’s authority?