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Abuse and Authority

IB writes really beautifully regarding the heartbreak that comes from the power struggle raging in our families today. When I struggled with this, I ended up with the following definitions:

Power is the ability to make reality conform to our will.

Love is a desire to see its object grow in power. The priorities are health, ability and only then happiness.

Authority is granted by a subject when the ruler’s power is validated by manifestations of love. Jesus ultimately reigns not because he destroys other claimants to power, but because those he loves learn to ignore false claims of authority.

Strength is power over the self. To offer power to someone trapped in anger or fear is self-defeating – they are not in control of themselves, and so we have no idea what the ultimate manifestation of our power will be.

This worked pretty well for my children. At one point, my elder son began to lecture me on these points, as he had forgotten that I had introduced them when he was in elementary school.

See, there's this thing called biology...

I hesitate to write this post simply because the world we live in today has a tendency to define everything as abuse, and when everything is abuse, nothing is anymore.

I spent many years working for our domestic violence sexual assault program so I know what abuse is, but at the same time I was also observing our culture’s plunge into insanity, to where the system began to see abuse everywhere, in everything. I remember someone threw a piece of banana at a spouse and it was deemed 4th degree assault. Kids started threatening to call the cops on their parents, take away my toys, that’s destruction of personal property, ground me, that’s unlawful imprisonment. What started shifting was power and who held it, and authority and who had it.

Our own kids reflected these cultural shifts too, and often hubby and I were left either outright laughing or scratching…

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