A father-figure in my life served part-time as a deputy sheriff for the county. In that capacity, he would provide added security in the local retail stores leading up to Christmas. One time while on duty, a mom trying to deal with her son’s tantrum over a game, pointed to him and said, “Son, if you do not stop I will have the officer take you to jail!” He took a knee and told the boy, “Young man, you need to obey your mother. You also need to know that a police officer is here as a helper and protector if you are ever in trouble.” The mother realized that in her emotional outburst she had planted a seed not only for fear of an officer but potentially of disrespect for law enforcement.
There is a lot of emotion percolating around law enforcement recently due largely to a media bent toward a “guilty until proven innocent” bias and folks with an agenda jumping onboard. The resultant chaos can drown out the clarity offered as the judicial process does its due diligence. Several dads have told me of young adult children asking them for perspective in the midst of the emotion driving various demonstrations in their circles in high school and college – What a testimony to the father-child relationship nurtured over the years. Dad’s response conveyed respect for the “innocent until proven guilty” mandate and watered the seed of trust in, and respect for authority, for law and order under our governmental system.
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God established. … Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. – Romans 13:1-2. As Paul spent a good bit of time in a Roman prison, his words carry special significance. The Lord has established this one nation under Him, given us a government with checks and balances on power and expects us as a people to be respectful of what has been granted us.
Tips to Be Respectful:
- Thank every soldier you meet, those in the military as well as our domestic soldiers - the police & fire fighters;
- Read the Declaration of Independence as a family and discuss the unique blessings we enjoy under The Constitution of the United States;
- Pray for the leaders of our nation at the local, state and federal levels, that they will serve as servant leaders.
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for the nation I have the opportunity to raise my family in. May I never take that for granted. Thank You for the laws and law enforcement that keep crime in check. Bless the men and women on the front lines working to that end. I know being respectful is something that is caught more than taught, so help me as a man, husband and father to be respectful when I disagree with the status quo and lead in a way that glorifies You. Bless us as a nation of law and order under You. Amen.
A faithful father is respectful and sets the standard for the next generation.