February 28, 2017

The Authority Filter

The Bible teaches a relationship of headship between husbands and their own wives (Ephesians 5:22-24). Headship certainly carries the idea of authority, but it might not be the idea of authority that many people have in their minds. For this reason many people reject it and others abuse it.

For too many people, “authority” always means “authoritarian” or “domineering.” They have a hard time imagining any type of God-honoring, loving, sacrificing, humble, Christ-like leadership. Their concept of authority is polluted. But like polluted water, the answer is not to reject all water, but to filter it of impurities. We can do this by running our concept of authority through the “authority filters” of Ephesians 5:25-33 and 1 Peter 3:7:   
Ephesians 5:25-33, "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband."
THE AUTHORITY FILTER: From your concept of authority, filter out anything that is not:              

  • Christ-like. (Eph. 5:25-33)
  • Loving.  Love as Christ loved the Church. (Eph. 5:25, 33)  Think about how high a calling this is!
  • Sacrificing.  “And gave Himself up for her.”  (Eph. 5:25) 
  • Serving. (Eph. 5:25-29)
  • Sanctifying.  To make her pure and holy; to help her in her walk with God.  (vs. 26-27)
  • Providing.  “Feeds and cares for it.” (Eph. 5:29)
  • Nurturing.  “Feeds and cares for it.” (Eph. 5:29)
  • Caring.  “Feeds and cares for it.” (Eph. 5:28-29)
1 Peter 3:7, “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.”
  • Considerate.  “be considerate” (1 Pt. 3:7)
  • Respectful.  “treat them with respect” (1 Pt. 3:7)
  • Non-Diminishing.  “heirs with you of the gracious gift of life” (1 Pt. 3:7)
What remains after the filter is closer to the biblical understanding of Christ-like headship & authority. This is the type of leadership that husbands should provide for their wives and their families.

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