Read: Romans 13:1-7
It is so easy to take your parents for granted. I remember when I used to have a journal where I would write about my crushes, my accomplishments, my hopes, and also my annoyance of my parents. I’d write horrible things, as if they never provided for me, sacrificed for me, or loved me more than I obviously deserved.
One day, as my mom was cleaning up my mess of a desk, she opened up my journal and unfortunately read the embarrassingly disrespectful contents I had written. She was understandably hurt, confused, and upset about the things I said. I called her names in that journal that I wish I could take back to this day.
When she confronted me about it, I was angry that she had invaded my privacy. But when it really came down to it, my parents were the ones who had provided everything for me. I was being so ungrateful, forgetting who they were in my life.
Parents are not the only authorities in our lives. In Romans 13:1-7, Paul talks about respecting the governing authorities God has placed in our lives. Verse 1 says, “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.Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.” In the context the reference is political. Paul is speaking about governmental authority. But the obligation to show respect also has a wider application. Embrace who these people are in your life, whether they are your actual parents, foster parents, teachers, tutors, bosses, or anyone who has authority over you.
We need to remember that these people are over us for a reason. They help us do life, teach us, encourage us, and train us to become leaders ourselves. Hebrews 13: 17 says, “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”
Even if it may seem like too much right now, know that for the most part, these authority figures, especially your parents, have your best interest in mind. When it’s our turn to be in their shoes, only then will we understand. Also, how can I ever expect respect from anyone if I can’t respect the very people who gave me life?
Romans 13:5-7 says, “Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 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.”
Respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
Take some time today to tell your parents, your boss, or your teacher that you appreciate them. Can you even remember the last time you did that? By doing this one small act, you will be honoring God.