When Judy and I were raising our family, we had the practice of having family devotions after our evening meal. I always tried to make our conversation relevant to our children’s lives. On one particular evening as I was sharing, I said to my gathered family that, “Dad got spanked today.” The kids got real wide-eyed, wondering how this could happen to their father. It so happened that I had gotten a speeding ticket that day for going 45 in a 30 speed zone. I told the kids that I had been wrong and deserved the ticket, even though I had been in a hurry, not realizing how fast I had been traveling.
I tell this story in order to make an observation about the recent riots regarding the death of two black men at the hands of police officers. I have no intent to assign blame or innocence. I want to reference something that all the national discussion often misses. That is the disrespect of authority. We read in the Message, “The police aren’t there just to be admired in their uniforms. God also has an interest in keeping order, and he uses them to do it. That’s why you must live responsibly – not just to avoid punishment but also because it’s the right way to live.” (Rom 13:4-5). I told my kids during devotions that the police officer is a servant of God, put there to bring law and order.
Men, we need to model to our children, respect for authority. I knew I had to honor authority and follow the laws, even when no one was watching but my family. We taught our children to obey authority by our example. It was not always easy to be under the authority of a church council or to submit to the leadership of my bishop. We told our children that their teachers were authorities that they need to obey while at school. There were a few incidents where it was rather painful to have our children submit to the final authority of others. Rules are meant to be obeyed ; those placed in authority were to be respected.
Men that is missing today. I think we all know that. There are a lot of very angry young men today, who literally hate the authority imposed by the police. Granted, police make mistakes. But why is there so much hatred. In my humble opinion, it again comes back the the lack of fathering. Young men are growing up without having a loving, caring male to establish limits in their lives. They are been taught by misguided elders to push the limits of the law. Young men gather in groups that only fuel their anger. I believe we are seeing the brake down of our civil order, because of the failure of absent fathers. Society will not change till the fatherless issues is addressed in our culture
My plea to the fathers who read this blog is this. Place yourself under the authority and Lordship of Jesus. Literally tell your kids that, “Jesus is the boss in this house. Starting with me, as your father, we will honor Jesus and live as respectable members of our community.” I know from painful experiences that your children are watching and will learn lessons that all the education in the world cannot provide. Remember the words of Joshua, “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)