The overriding principle is that authority is for building up.
2 Corinthians 13:10 says:
This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority–the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down.
Note the important qualifier: authority is to be used to build up. This cannot mean a random, harsh use of authority that leaves behind a trail of discouragement and disillusion. This is the kind of authority that leaves behind a reaction like this:
“I’m really glad Dad spoke to me about that; I really needed his help.”
If your wife or children seldom have this response to your authority, it is time for you consider repentance and a different approach. Here are three things that go hand-in-hand with authority that builds up.
First, listen with an ear to learn what is helpful to build others up.
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