Difference Between Power And Authority

					                    Lesson # 13 Marriage Enrichment ---
                   Difference between Power and Authority
Introduction

         Men lust for power and obsess with it. Indeed, men have a lot of power. In general
speaking, they are physically strong, financially capable, decisive, aggressive, have more
education, hold higher position at work. But a man cannot fulfill the calling of Biblical manhood
in their life by only excreting his power. More importantly, they have to use authority.
         God put a man as the head of his wife, and orders his children to respect and obey him.
This is an authority given by God to a man. It is not simply because man has more power. God
gives man authority to be the head of his household and because of that, He gives him power to
do his job well. If a man misunderstood the difference between power and authority, they and
their family will suffer greatly. He leads his family by God-given authority and serves his family
by God-given power.
         In The Hidden Value of a Man, p. 39, Gray Smalley said that, “A woman will be attracted
by the love of a man, but will reject the man who makes all kinds of requests from his selfish
heart.” What are the differences between power and authority? How can a man lead his family
by authority, instead of power?

Differences between power and authority

            The biggest distinct between the two is that power focuses on the one who uses or
possesses it. But authority focuses on the one who grants it. For example, if a husband is using
his power to rule, he is relying on his thinking, his education, his experience, his physical
strength, and financial advantage, to overpower the wife or the children and make them submit to
him. But if a husband is using authority to lead his family, he is focusing on the One Who gives
him the authority as the head. He aims at fulfilling the authority Giver’s wishes, and using His
means (His Words and Counsel) to fulfill His mission. The one uses power serves the one who
possesses it, but the one uses authority serves the one who gives it. Power leads to control.
Authority leads to service, protection, leadership, sacrifice, example and fulfillment of God’s
purpose.

Examples of using power and authority
 Power: I earn more than you do, so I am the one to decide how to spend it.
 Authority: I have made the decision first to tithe, than we will talk about how to use the rest.
 Power: I am stronger than you, so if you don’t listen to me, I will beat you up.
 Authority: I am stronger than you, so I will protect you even die for you.
 Power: I have more education than you, so I am the one to make all decisions here.
 Authority: I am asking you to give me your perspective and preference on this issue, and then
   we will ask God to let us know His will. I will consider God first then you.
 Power: Son, you have to do exactly what I tell you, or you will be punished.
 Authority: Son, the Lord teaches us to obey our fathers. If you are not acting as what God
   instructs us to act, I will punish you.


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Scriptural Passages---The Example of Jesus

   Teaching: Mat 7:29; 21:23-27 ; Jn 7:16
   Give Glory: Mat 9:8;
   Pass on authority: 10:1; 28:18;
   Judgment: Jn 5:27,30;
   Give Eternal life: Jn17:2; 10:28

God also gives authority to the man of the house to serve and lead. So they should aim at
honoring God by doing according to His will for the family.

How to use authority instead of power to serve and lead a family?
 Base all the decision on the Word of God.
 When carrying out a decision, always use the means to glorify God.
 Humble yourself before the Spirit and ask Him to examine your life daily.
 Sacrifice yourself for the sake of the family.
 Focus at changing the hearts not controlling the actions of your family. Always set a godly
  example to them that your life is also under the same authority as well.
 Live a life that worthy for your family to respect you. Let them see that you are a man of God
  who fears God and committed to give God’s glory in all walks of your life.
 Lead and serve as the authority given to you.

Last thoughts
1. Since the authority of being the leader in the family is given to us from the Father, we must
   use it in humility.
2. Since we are given the authority to represent Christ in our marriage, the way we relate to our
   wives must always give glory to Him in our family.
3. Since the authority comes with a purpose, we have to use the authority more often, in order
   to fulfill the mission of being Christlike servant-leaders at home.

Discussion Questions
1. Examine what do you use in leading your family, power or authority?
2. How does your family response to your leadership?
3. How would your leadership be different, when you switch from using power into using
   authority?
4. Where could you start the switch? Give examples of what you could do in your family.




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