I have often talked about permission. We see people ready to do something, just waiting for permission. I’ve seen folks ready but waiting for permission to start a ministry, improve their marriage, or have a better sex life. People want permission to leave a horrible job, lose weight, or get help with some sin. They are ready and willing, they just want permission.

Sometimes permission needs to come from “an authority”, other times a friend is enough. We are social creatures, and we function based on social rules. Sometimes permission is as simple as seeing others do what you want to do. If you want to stop smoking, you’re more likely to do so, and succeed, if a friend stops. Permission can be a powerful tool for good.

However, as with most tools, permission can also bring about bad things. Studies show divorce is more likely for individuals in a group where others have divorced. Sexual refusal seems to be the same way. Same for not meeting our wives needs, spending too much, obesity, drunkenness, and so much more. When our friends make bad choices, it gives us permission to do the same. This is why we must choose our friends carefully. Even seeing strangers do wrong things can give us permission to do likewise. This is why we need to think about the entertainment we consume.

Man trying to change a tire © Vibe Images | dollarphotoclub.com

We also get social permission not to learn to do things. Where I live a man who could not change a tire would be looked down on. However, there are places where most men have no idea how to change a tire. The same could be said for many other skills. The skills we do and don’t learn may have far more to do with society around us than with what is right, wise or necessary. Society can give us permission not to learn things we should know. This could include basic marriage skills.

What permission are you seeking? If you need permission to do something right and good, please find someone to give you permission. 

Have you received permission to do things you should not? How about permission not to do things you should? Rejecting these permissions will make you a better man, and will make your life and possibly marriage better and more pleasing to God.

By The Way: No slight intended to anyone who can’t change a tire. In some places, it’s not really a necessary skill. In places with a lot of middle-of-nowhere it’s a good skill to have!

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