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Authority In The Family

By bro Lee Tian Seng

Many people do not have respect for authority. They do not like to be told what to do or to obey someone in authority. This trend has influenced the family at large. Many families refuse to recognise the husband/ father as the head of the family. Wives refuse to submit to their husbands, and children refuse to obey their parents. Also, some men of the house refuse to take on the role as the head of their household. If this goes on in the family, can you imagine how messed up the family will be? Everything that everyone does is fine. No one is responsible or accountable to anyone.

This is the way of the world, but God does not approve of this. He teaches that the man should be the head of his wife, and the wife should submit to him in everything. You may think that this is just a tradition, but it is not. It is the commandment of our Lord.

Ephesians 5:22-24 - Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

1 Corinthians 11:3 - But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

Most Christians have no problem understanding and accepting that the church should submit to and obey Christ, but some have problems accepting that wives should submit to their husbands. Why so? The importance of obeying this commandment is clear when we read the writings of Apostle Peter in 1 Peter 3:1-2. He mentioned that wives are to submit to their husbands, even if their husbands are not Christians.

1 Peter 3:1-2 - Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.

In some family, children behave like “kings” and “queens.” Their parents spoilt them and they dominate their parents, instead of submitting to them. This should not be the way. God commanded that children are to obey their parents.

Proverbs 1:8 - My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother.

Ephesians 6:1-3 - Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”

Ephesians 3:20 - Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.

That makes sense because parents have the duty to teach and to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. It would be difficult for parents to teach a disrespectful and rebellious child who would not respect the authority of his or her parents.

Ephesians 6:4 - And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

Disobedient to parents is one of the sins mentioned in Romans 1:28-32 that is deserving of eternal condemnation.

Romans 1:30-32 - Backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

The church needs to teach Christians to obey God and respect His authority, and then put the authority in the family back to the husband/ father. Men should obey God and be the spiritual leaders and providers at home.

When there is no respect for authority in a country, there will be chaos and riots. So, when there is no respect of authority in the home, the family will be in trouble. Marriage will break up and children will go astray. We should restore authority in the family as God expects it to be there.

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