Established Authority

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. Romans 13:1-2

One of the greatest fears of living with a dementia related illness is the fear of losing one’s independence. The ability to make decisions related to finances, property, health care, long-term care, and driving are just a few items that eventually succumb to the disease. When this happens a spouse, relative, close friend, or some other appointed authority must step in to help make these critical decisions. Sometimes this can create problems for the person with dementia as they rebel against the person in authority because of their unwillingness to give up their independence.

In today’s passage, the Apostle Paul reminds us that there are people placed in authority which God has firmly established. As such, we should never rebel against them because it is in essence rebelling against what God has instituted. In my case, the person in authority is my loving wife. Fortunately, I have been blessed with a noble wife and she is worth far more than anything money could buy. I trust her with all I have accumulated in life.

After being diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, our lawyer suggested we place all of the property we planned on keeping in my wife’s name. This way if anything happened, my wife would already be the sole owner. This was a significant step but easily done because I trust my noble wife. We also took care of other important matters the lawyer suggested so my wife would have full authority over all our affairs. Again, this was done because I adamantly believed she would “watch over the affairs of our household” in a wise and prudent manner.

Like Solomon said so long ago, “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life (Proverbs 31:10–12).” I believe God allowed me to meet a woman of noble character over 40 years ago and gave me the wisdom to marry her in spite of our rocky courtship. God must have known all along what was going to happen in my life and how important it was for me to marry a noble woman. She helps me every day, I willingly yield to her authority, and I am a blessed man because of her!

The Apostle Paul provides sound advice in today’s passage. We should not fear losing independence because God will bring someone in authority to help. All we need do is trust in His providence and yield our independence knowing God is in complete control!

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