In addition to training your children to submit to your authority, you are also responsible to teach them to submit and to honor all of the authorities in their lives. The Resolution, a great read, provides some questions to ask what type of example you are setting with your own life:
Answer the following questions honestly:
- When you’re at home, how do you talk about your leaders at work and church?
- What do your children hear you saying about the government or elected representatives? Even if you disagree with them, is your attitude respectful?
- Do they see you praying for your authorities (1 Timothy 2:1-4)?
- How do they see you respond to speed limits and state troopers?
- Does this match your talk about how God places authorities in our lives for our benefit?
Take a minute to read Romans 13:1-7 and discover how God expects us to behave towards our authority.
1 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.2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.3 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,4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
Who provided your authorities? If God provided your authorities, shouldn’t you submit to how he says to deal with them?
It is annoyingly difficult to submit to people we think we are better than.
Even if it is difficult, realize that God has placed your authorities and your child’s authorities in both lives for a reason and a purpose. How can you begin to model submitting to authority to your children?
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.
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