Several weeks ago I began a series of posts about courtship.
And that journey has taken me to some very unexpected places – but I feel strongly that it is an important message that needs to be shared.
Ironically enough, my last two posts were directed at a movie that debuted Valentine’s Day weekend. In the book series that led to this movie, there is a very dangerous lie presented as truth – and the lie is this: “As long as it is by your own choice, it is OK to be abused.”
The greatest trick the devil ever played on women was to make them think submission equaled abuse… and then twisting logic to make them think that choosing to be abused was OK, and even exciting!
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
And along these lines, I would like to talk now to you about proper authority.
I believe one of the most serious problems with society today is that we have no understanding of proper authority.
Without a proper understanding of authority – is it really so surprising that we have so many issues in our society?
Now, granted I am no expert. I have no fancy degrees or initials at the end of my name but I do have thirty-five years of life experience to pull from – more than twenty of them in the “dating” world. I had my first “boyfriend” in intermediate school. I have put quotes around the word boyfriend because it was an extremely innocent relationship – at least on my side. The young man had moved to Tennessee from California and his mother was more than comfortable leaving me at their house all alone with him and his older sister. During these times, I was extremely careful (entirely on my own) to stay within sight of his sister at all times. Somehow I knew, even then – and yes, without much specific instruction from my own parents, that to be alone with this young man would be a bad idea.
Now… years later I can look back and see the extreme of the bullet I dodged and I am ever so grateful to a grace-filled God who kept me from doing something stupid… at that time anyway.
Fast forward to high school. I say fast forward because middle school was miserable for me. I was not popular or rich or even cute. The summer between middle school and high school, I developed. I also spent that summer helping my mother to lose weight so I rid myself of the baby fat that had been stubbornly hanging on and curves emerged.
My first two years of high school were fairly innocent (again – thanks entirely to a merciful God who kept me from making a huge mistake) but more than a little eye-opening for me. I had been sheltered… very sheltered… by a slightly overprotective mother who didn’t want me to make the same mistakes she had. If only we had understood proper authority – she would have known it was better to share those mistakes with me, discussing the consequences that had come with them and helping me to outline a path that would help me to steer clear of those same traps and pitfalls.
Alas, we did not understand proper authority – she was not taught so she didn’t know to teach me… and I did make a lot of the same mistakes. Granted I saved my promiscuity period for after my first marriage failed but my extended family enjoys – oh so much – reminding me that my son was not brought about in the way God intended. Yes, I am so very blessed and if it would change having him here, I would do absolutely nothing different. But oh, if there had been a way to go back and change the way I went about things and still have my sweet boy – I would do it in a heart beat!
OK… I’ve rambled on long enough about me.
How did we get here?
In our society today, there is very little if any understanding of proper authority. People make fun of police officers (even people who aren’t criminals in the strictest sense). Children are encouraged to defy their parents (and not just by friends or peers). Churches are terrified to take a stand for what is right, just and true (and this is perhaps the most frightening for me).
The men who founded this country more than 200 years ago understood proper authority. They did not simply run away screaming that they didn’t have to do as they were told by Great Britain. They went through the proper channels. They petitioned, they pleaded, and finally they penned a document declaring their independence and presented it to their proper authority – Great Britain – who… ironically… is now an ally to the United States of America (at least for the time being – they may not be for much longer).
Our country is still so very young in comparison to many other systems of government in this world.
There are small countries that can not seem to find a good system of authority – and those countries inevitably fall left and right every day. A group of people determines that they can do a better job and instead of going about it the right way, they rise up, rebel and leave nothing but heartache, death and destruction in their wake.
The countries that have been around the longest are the ones that know how to deal with civil unrest, they know they have to be diplomatic, they know that sometimes they have to give a little – but at the end of the day, they are in command, in charge, in control. Therefore their subjects understand proper authority.
Over the years, this young country of ours has begun to abuse and ignore proper authority. People like to say that we started out as a bunch of rebels who wanted their own way but that was not it at all and unless we can find a way to return to the morals and standards of our forefathers, this country will be doomed as well.
You can see it every day.
- Defiant teens tell their parents they don’t have the right to tell them what to do.
- Defiant criminals try to kill police officers and when that officer is forced to use their authority in defense, they are the ones called into question… not the young man who was/is so clearly in the wrong.
- Defiant protesters claim that all they want is to be heard, and then they wreak havoc and leave destruction and death in their wake.
- Defiant “leaders” ask the people they are supposed to represent – what their opinion is on a certain subject and then do the exact opposite of what their people ask of them.
And there are millions more.
Somewhere along the line, someone decided that authority was no longer important. They wanted to do things their way and they didn’t want anyone calling them on the carpet about it so they stirred up their friends and they made a bigger and louder noise about it that kept going until they had the whole world in turmoil.
It seems that everywhere we turn, there is another new group that springs up to “defend” alleged “rights”…
- It’s not enough that women have been given the right to choose whether they wish to work outside the home or not; in the current climate, if a woman does not “choose” to work outside the home, it seems as if everyone is against her.
- It’s not enough that certain groups have been given the equality they so adamantly demanded – they now want to push down the other groups that were “oppressing” them so that they are above everyone else!
- It’s not enough that we have done away with harmful treatment of animals and are doing everything we can to fight those who disobey the law – people want animals put up on a level with humans, even above in some cases.
We are living in a world gone mad – and why… because people don’t want to submit to the proper authority.
They want to do what they want. And then they don’t want to face any consequences.
The word submit has become synonymous with abuse and mistreatment and the word authority has become associated with dominance, dictatorship and demoralization.
1.accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person.“the original settlers were forced to submit to Bulgarian rule”
consent to undergo a certain treatment.“he submitted himself to a body search”
subject to a particular process, treatment, or condition.“samples submitted to low pressure”
agree to refer a matter to a third party for decision or adjudication.“the U.S. refused to submit to arbitration”
If you’ll notice, in the above definition, the word submit is preceded by FORCED when it talks about submitting to “Bulgarian rule”.
However, if you keep reading, you can see that submission is something that is entirely optional. The only thing submission has to do with the above statement is that it was forced on the people. This is not the case in most circumstances where the word submit is used.
A soldier can stand over you and tell you that you will submit but you choose whether you want to submit or not. Yes, the option could be torture, abuse or even death but it is still a choice each person must make on their own.
1.the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience.“he had absolute authority over his subordinates”
official permission; sanction.“the money was spent without congressional authority”
2.a person or organization having power or control in a particular, typically political or administrative, sphere.“the health authorities”
synonyms: officials, officialdom; More
3.the power to influence others, especially because of one’s commanding manner or one’s recognized knowledge about something.“he has the natural authority of one who is used to being obeyed”
the confidence resulting from personal expertise.“he hit the ball with authority”
a book or other source able to supply reliable information or evidence, typically to settle a dispute.“the court cited a series of authorities supporting their decision”
As for me and my house, I choose to submit to God’s authority! – CLICK TO TWEET!
Choosing to submit is not the same thing as choosing abuse! – CLICK TO TWEET!
PROPER authority is NOT harsh or wrong – it is protection and LOVE! – CLICK TO TWEET!
PLEASE SAY NO TO 50 Shades…! – CLICK TO TWEET!
And with that, I will leave you for now…
I will be back next week with more!
© Rachel L. Miller 2015
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