Authority, biblically, is from the ground up, not the top down – not someone up on top handing down commands and expecting to be served. Biblical authority is rather an inverted pyramid, with the leader on the bottom serving those whom God has given him. Think Jesus!
Listen to the way Jesus admonished the leaders and rulers of His day: “The rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you! Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave” (Matthew 20:25). Pretty strong words, wouldn’t you say?
“Lording it over” others is ungodly. “Exercising authority over others ” is against the will of God.
Yes, we are to walk in the authority God has given us, and we are to exercise that authority, but we are not to “lord it over” or “exercise authority over.” In other words, we make no demands. We love and we serve.
Yes, Paul tells wives to submit to their husbands as unto the Lord, but he precedes that admonition with advice to both husband and wife: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” When both husband and wife submit to one another out of a desire to love and serve, there exists a healthy loving marriage. When a Godly woman has a husband who loves and serves her, she will willingly submit to that authority, knowing that he has her best interests in all that he does. The day a husband says to his wife, perhaps in the middle of a heated argument, “You are supposed to submit to me,” he has already walked away from the spirit and nature of Jesus.
May we walk in our God-given authority – yes! But let us do it as chief servants to those around us, not as chief usurpers of that authority.
Have a blessed life!