Children Submit to Authority and Rules
--Part 5 of the "Like A Child" Series
As adults, we feel a freedom to do whatever we want based on our own ideas of what’s right.
Americans, in particular, take pride in independence and personal choices. Independence, to some
extent, is a good thing. However, like many other good ideas, the Enemy can take it and twist its
meaning. If you are like me, this leads to difficulty in submitting to those who have authority
over you. This is not to suggest that you have an “if it feels good, do it” philosophy. Rather,
if you have a hard time owning up to the idea that your boss or your pastor has ideas that you
should listen to, especially those which would cause a change in your behavior or the way you
think about things, then you might have a problem with submission. Those who have a problem with
the “teachable” trait, mentioned in Chapter 4, often have a problem with this one.
Just for fun, play a game, perhaps checkers, with a child and try skirting around the rules. Usually, he or she will argue with you about how “you’re not supposed to do that.” Kids go through a stage, beginning around 2 or 3, where the rules are everything. For several years after that, they have a sense of order in the world, and an understanding that their place in it is one of submission to authority.
Wait a minute, you say. Everyone who has been a parent of a 12-year-old will want to argue about this. You may point out that kids this age tend to begin to believe they are above this parental authority thing. But that is precisely my point. At an age where kids are becoming adults, one of the first things to go is that respect for authority. This is a crystal-clear example of why Jesus said to put aside our pride and return to these childlike qualities.
Scriptural examples of submission
Submit to legal authority
1 Peter 2:13“Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake . . . “
Submit to your boss's authority
1 Peter 2:18“Servants, be submissive to your masters . . . “
Submit to your spiritual authorities1 Peter 5:5 tells newer Christians to “submit yourself to your elders” and then expands that command with an exhortation for all believers: “Yes, all of you be submissive to one another.” This is the central message here. To be truly submissive is to admit that we don’t know everything. Children usually understand this.
TestAre you resentful toward the police officer as he hands you a ticket?
Pride CheckDo you have a problem acknowledging your boss’s role in determining the direction of your department or company? Do you think he has bad ideas because he has no idea what it’s like to work in the trenches like you do? Do you think you could do better?
NEXT: Part 6--Children Desire To Grow Up
If you find that a particular study has been helpful, I'd love to hear from you. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.