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Respecting Authority

Respecting Authority

The door clicked shut.

Elizabeth put her hand on her little four-year-old hip, swung it out to the side, and put her index finger next to her lips. “Now that Mommy and Daddy are gone…” The giggle that followed said it all.

“I’d like you to finish that sentence,” I said. More giggles.

I never found out what was on Elizabeth’s mind. But she obviously noticed that the authority figures had left for a little while with the grandparents in charge.

Most of us have had similar thoughts at one time or another. The authority figure steps away and boom! We are tempted to take advantage of an opportunity to break the rules, even just a little bit.

How can a parent teach children to respect and honor authority?

  1. Model respect to them. Allow your children to see that you respect authority of all levels, but especially in your relationship to God.
  2. Teach them how to recognize authority and then go over the rules of respect. Even very young children can learn how to react positively to those in charge.
  3. Remind them that the rules are in place whether or not Mommy and Daddy are home.
  4. Don’t let disrespect of authority go without consequences. Have age-appropriate penalties and make the children aware of them.

There are times when we are all tempted to put our hand on our hip and say, “I’m going to be in charge of me. I can do what I want for a while.” However, for those of us who want to honor God, we know that part of that is respecting His authority in our lives. And, if we aren’t sure what that means, He provided us with an entire Book to teach us!

By: Linda Gilden

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