Growing up one of my favorite television programs was The Andy Griffith Show.
Sherriff Andy Taylor and his deputy Barnie Fife kept watch over the classic American small town of Mayberry. Barnie was zealous in his role as a Lawman. He was quick to issue tickets and citations against all rule breakers. His badge and gun were always on display. He loved to give speeches, and lock up the local “trouble makers.” Barnie was committed to using, defending and displaying his authority as Deputy Fife. Andy carried no gun, issued few citations, and talked with people not at them. His words had weight his actions had meaning. Andy had real Authority.
If you are parenting a child, you need to ask and answer some important questions about Authority.
* How do you define it?
* How do you exercise it?
* Where does it come from?
The Latin word for authority is “augere.” The word is about promoting, protecting and developing. Someone with augere is responsible for “causing growth and development in another person.” Authority is not about power or privilege or rank.
It is not about being in charge or having the final say. Someone who gets his or her way is a boss, someone who develops self –regulation in another is a leader. As Fathers need to understand and embrace their role in causing growth and development in their daughters.
Authority should not be a right that we claim, but a responsibility that we exercise. We should not be making decisions out of convenience but out of conviction.
At some point we may all get backed into the parental corner and blurt out the standby, “Because I said so.” Lets try to stay out of the corner and keep looking for opportunities where we can speak the truth love.
The Source of Authority
Legitimate authority is never self-generated. The life of Jesus provides a clear picture of someone who lived in total submission to his Father. His complete authority came after and out of his total surrender to his fathers’ will. We are also invited to submit to God’s rule and reign in every part of our life and parenting. In the book of Genesis God gives humankind authority over his creation. We were called to serve as gardeners, caretakers and guardians. It was and is a high calling.
Lets pray for the wisdom to understand, the courage to act and the humility to serve our daughters with grace and love.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Don W.