Authority is a gift of God to his people and especially to families. Authority is often abused on the one hand and grossly neglected on the other. However, it is important not to frame one's view of biblical authority based on the abuses of others. Viewing authority as gift requires something of an attitude adjustment for many. The world, under the direction of Satan (Ephesians 2:1-3) wants authority to be viewed as arbitrary, uncaring, stifling, and cruel. Authority is said to curtail imagination, stunt creativity, restrict freedom, and diminish individual worth. These misconceptions have filtered down to families.
In contrast, let's see how the Bible speaks about authority. The first thing to remember about Biblical human authority is that it is derived and not earned. Husbands are not necessarily people of better character than their wives. Parents are not necessarily better people than their children. Law enforcement officers are not automatically more honest than those they protect. These positions of authority, and every other form of authority, are established by Christ (Colossians 1:15-20). So, our respect for authority is not directly tied to the person in authority, but to the Person who established that authority.