Spousal, Employer, or Governmental "Authority"


Monday Morning, October 14, 2002

In answer to a question about a husband (a man with a history of sin, not Christlikeness—yet like every American CALLS himself a “christian”) who is demanding that the believing wife “obey” his “headship.” He is demanding to control her, her relationships, her time, and her beliefs—a controlling slave-master, not a husband or a Christian—and by so doing, he is breaking federal law and the US Constitution (which protect religious liberties for every US citizen, male or female), in addition to God’s Law.

Question: “How should I deal with the fact that I OF COURSE want to honor my husband, and yet my first (‘seek FIRST the Kingdom’) priority is to my Life with Jesus and His Family? ….Love, Mary”

Dear Mary… I’m so sorry. I very much appreciate your heart, and have literally shed tears this morning for this. I am so sorry. First, some general thoughts:

“Judge for yourselves whether it’s better to obey God, or man” (Acts 4:19).

When a mere human, whether 1) a boss at work, or 2) a police officer, or 3) a husband or wife or parent… when ANY mere human demands that we do things that violate our conscience, harm our relationship with Jesus or our possibilities with Him, or do something or anything that is sin (“missing the mark” is the Greek word for sin)—we have an obligation to “obey God, rather than man.” There is NO way around this Truth, though some compromisers will try to manipulate you and the Teachings and Life of Jesus to their own ends, of course.

In that environment of a Saint doing what God wants them to do, without “man pleasing” (and losing God by pleasing man, Gal.1:10), “if the unbeliever is willing to stay, let him stay” (1Cor. 7:12-13). God has not called us to compromise Spiritual matters from mere men. But, if the attractiveness of who He is making us causes them to want to stay with us anyway—great. We DO NOT compromise, but perhaps the pagan or religious unbeliever (those who pretend to be Christians, but their lives and minds and actions and tongues reveal them to be otherwise—1John 1 to 1John 3) will realize what they are losing, and allow the Believer to be who they need to be and relate how and to whom they need to relate, rather than constantly trying in vain to command them to disobey or water-down God.

“ALL authority in heaven and on earth belongs to ME,” said Jesus (Matthew 28:18).

All OTHER “authority” is ONLY related to 1) things that have no bearing on my Spiritual Life, or 2) things that are consistent with the Authority of Jesus—not violating my conscience.

Kindness, patience, servant-heart towards even the worst manipulator and control-freak and abuser? Please! A thousand times YES! Always. And “the extra mile!” But, compromise on matters relating to Jesus Christ and our growth in Him and His Kingdom—for another mere human who is attempting to control us, threaten us, or bully us with guilt or fear or manipulation or bribery? Never.

When legitimate “spiritual” and governmental “authorities” commanded two Apostles (who knew Jesus’ ways well) to alter their “lifestyle” in Jesus—even “optional” elements, one might reason—they responded to the commands (from legitimate authorities) this way:

“Judge for yourselves whether it’s better to obey God, or man.”

In the Spirit of their Master, “Seek FIRST the Kingdom.”

When all of the commands and decisions being imposed are compatible with our life in Jesus—excellent! Pay the price, even when you wouldn’t “agree”—that’s what authority is all about! BUT, when others are demanding you violate your conscience? A true Christian would never demand that you violate your conscience and try to control you in that manner anyway. They’ve already revealed themselves. And, if what they are living and modeling and inviting you into is really Jesus, their fruit and patience and love will show it over time.

But, if they are playing god and attempting to usurp Jesus in your life, then they have revealed the spirit that they are of. Any “authority”—whether a boss, a government, or a husband or wife—ALL must be only reflective of “neutral” decisions or decisions in keeping with our conscience-call to follow Jesus with all of our hearts, uncontrolled by mere fallible and ego-centric human flesh.

“ALL authority” belongs to Jesus alone. Any other authority must be representative of Him, or they are violating Him and you. As the men who knew Jesus and His intentions well on this matter said, “Judge for yourselves whether it’s better to obey God, or man.”

Simple enough, really.

Mary, you have to know, on various levels, it’s not an uncommon story. But it is still very sad. Live your life for Jesus, and give in where you can, as it’s not related to your Spiritual Life or any children involved. Be a servant and be kind. But you only live ONCE. Do it right, even if men’s controlling power-freak stuff (using Scriptures, of course) turns into physically or verbally beating you, as it often does. At that point, if he will not allow you to live by your own conscience, and you are not going to live by his foul conscience, then God said, “Let him leave, you are not under bondage in such cases.” Your courage and servant heart and willingness to suffer rather than compromise your conscience or one ounce of your Spiritual Life—will either win him over, according to Paul—or further reveal his true colors.

Out of seven billion people on earth, “FEW will be those who find the Eternal Life”—and we will not all be so fortunate as to have guessed correctly during our youth and pagan days in marriage situations. We can’t control who our blood relatives or bosses at work or neighbors are, or whether they will be mini-gods, or slaves of Jesus. It’s out of our control. “MANY” will destroy themselves, and according to Jesus the statistics are that we will be surrounded by heartache and charlatans crying “Lord, Lord!” in addition to those who never have claimed Him. While the tares abound on the planet and we still must be “in the world”—we are NOT required to be “of it.”

“Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. And I will be your God, and you My people” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18).

Love, serve, care, pray… but GOD never asked you to compromise anything of Him, just to love others while they persecute you for loving Him and not playing by the world’s rules.

“Judge for yourselves whether it’s better to obey God, or man” (Acts 4:19).

English Languages icon
 Share icon