Romans 13:1-7 commands, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive His approval.”
I’ll be honest. I didn’t vote for Obama, but out of obedience to this verse, I respected his authority. I prayed for him often and reminded my Christian friends to pray for him.
I’m shocked at the number of people who think that because they didn’t vote for Trump, they don’t have to respect his authority. Newsflash – you don’t always get what you want. Disappointment is part of life. Whenever there’s a vote, somebody is always going to lose. But if our nation is moving toward accommodating tantrums because somebody didn’t get there way, what is the next generation in for? Why our nation tolerates the defiance toward our President is beyond me!
Parents, teach your children to respect authority. Here are some practical ways you can do that.
- Support your child’s teacher, even if you don’t like him/her. Remember the amount of education they have and the time that they devote to teaching your child and probably at least twenty more. I’ve worked with kids for twenty years, and let me tell you, handling a room of 20-30 kids by yourself is tough! Teachers have got to command attention. They need you to have their back! Talk to them one-on-one about your concerns and frustrations, and if you disagree with their response, keep supporting them in front of your child. Do all you can to help your child be successful, and never let them see how much you disagree their teacher.
Recently, I heard a boy complaining about last year’s teacher. His Mom replied, “It was tough, but her mother died, and she was going through a lot.” I was so impressed! The Mom didn’t agree or disagree with her child. She simply supported the teacher and taught compassion instead of criticism and whining.
- Respect our law officials. When a police officer stops you, say 2-4 words: “I’m sorry” and/or “Thank you.” I remember a Pastor at my previous church speaking about this one Sunday morning. The previous week, he got a ticket for speeding. When the Police Officer told him that he was speeding, he didn’t argue with him. He honestly admitted that, yes, he was speeding, accepted the ticket, and thanked the officer. His son watched the whole thing, and the lesson he got that day was to take responsibility for your actions and respect the authority of law enforcement.
- Respect your ministerial staff. God called me into Children’s Ministry, and I absolutely LOVE what I do, not just because it’s fun but because God called me to it, and every step He leads me to is another glimpse at how blessed I am! Pastors never really clock out. As much as possible, my family comes first. Typically, though, they take a back seat to everyone else.
Other than our typical weekly duties of preparing for various ministries, we’re also there when someone’s marriage is falling apart, a child is in the hospital with pneumonia, or someone is frustrated with their job and needs to know what God says about professions and the workplace.
Pray for authorities in your life and show them respect, whether you like them (or voted for them) or not). Separate yourself from your desires and opinions, and remember what Romans 17 says. Your children are watching you and learn more from your example than anybody else’s.