I used to think I was a bit of a Control Freak. I do often get controlling about little things that don’t matter (“Son, that shirt does not match those shorts”) and about major occasions (I’m pretty much a ball of stress from mid-November until New Year’s). In the hope of curbing these tendencies, I participated in a great Bible study over the last few months called Let. It. Go.: How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith, all about learning to release my need to control.
You know what I actually learned? That there are areas of my life over which I need to exert more control. Ironic, huh?
About a year ago, I came across an article (not entirely sure where, but I think it was related to raising boys) that talked about exercising dominion. The general idea was that boys, in particular, need to have something that they can conquer, be it building a fort in the backyard, running a race, or whatever. I agree with that premise. I also think it can be applied to other areas, and not just boys.
God never called us to control anything. He is in control (thank goodness!), and we are not. But exercising dominion is a different thing. It means exerting our God-given authority in God-approved ways.
From the very beginning: Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:27 (ESV – emphasis mine)
The Good Ol’ Proverbs 31 Woman: She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:27 (ESV – emphasis mine)
What the older women are to teach the younger women: They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, workers at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Titus 2:3b – 5 (ESV – emphasis mine)
So what are my areas of God-given authority? They are myself, my home, my children, and – to a much lesser extent – my online students or anyone else who has been placed temporarily under my authority. If you work outside the home or your life differs from mine in other ways, you may have a very different list from mine.
What, then, are some God-approved ways of exercising that authority or dominion? Well, those are some things I am still working through and learning to apply. I want to explore those ideas in future posts.
In what ways do you exercise dominion over your areas of authority?