The policeman took on extra security work to supplement his income. One holiday weekend, working for a department store, he saw a young boy throwing a fit. Evidently his mom refused to buy something he wanted. She was visibly tired and exasperated. Upon seeing the officer, she scolded the boy and said, “If you won’t be quiet, I am going to have that policeman take you away!” The boy’s eyes got real big, and he got real quiet.
The officer did something the mom did not expect. He got down on a knee in front of the young boy and said, “Son, I am not going to take you away. I am here to protect you. And if you ever get in trouble, or get lost in a big store like this, you can always look for an officer in uniform and he will help you. In the meantime, obey your mother.” The mom gave the policeman a nod, realizing she almost planted a seed for being fearful of, and potentially disrespectful of the authority an officer represents.
Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore, whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. – Romans 13:1-2. Paul says all are “to be in subjection to the governing authorities.” But in Acts, when Peter and John were under arrest and told not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus, they said, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”- Acts 4:19-20. They peacefully and religiously marched on, speaking and teaching in the name of Jesus the Christ. And they eventually accepted the judgment of the authorities. While sometimes we may wonder what God is up to through the governing authorities at the local, state or national level, we are bound by scripture not to resist authority. Constructive argument, and even heated debate are welcome in our system of government. But showing disrespect for authority, be it at a traffic stop or through unlawful or violent protests, is resisting authority. Doing so opposes the ordinance of God and undermines the fabric of civil society.
A video that has gone viral, shows a young boy under five years of age shouting expletives at officers as they were serving a search warrant. At one point, the boy steps up and hits one of the officers. The solution to this level of disrespect for authority is not less policing or more government. The solution is on the shoulders of every father and mother raising children today. Exterior doing reflects interior being. Dads are charged to be under the authority of the word of God and do what is right in marriage, family and the community.
Prayer guide: Thank You Lord for Your word and for the clarity You provide with respect to authority. I confess that I failed to respect the authority of my earthly father, and that led to further disrespect for other authority figures. Forgive me. By Your grace, I have come to honor the authority of Your word over my life. That journey has enabled a growing respect for the authority of the Constitution of the United States, the system of government established, the leaders You have lifted up, the laws in place and those enforcing the laws. Help me lead my family under the authority of Your word and do what is right in marriage, family and community. That is the dad You call me to be and that is the dad the next generation needs. Amen.
A faithful father leads his family under the authority of the word of God.