When our little ones are in preschool they begin to be aware of civil authorities and to see them as the heroes that they truly are. I am thinking specifically of when my sons wanted to play Cops and Robbers and to dress up like police officers. I remember when we asked a Sheriff friend from church to drop by in his patrol car in uniform to talk to our children. Oh, the squeals and hollers! He even turned on his siren and lights for them! I remember them telling all their buddies about it and hearing lots of “COOL” and “Whoa!” responses from their friends.
It is so important that we teach our children to honor those who are law keepers in our communities. I have heard some of my mama friends talk negatively about being given a ticket from “the cops” for following the flow of traffic knowing that going 15 miles-an-hour over the speed limit isn’t right. The message those mamas (and daddies) send to their little ones is that police officers, sheriffs, and highway patrol workers are out to get them and not simply doing their job to help us follow the laws of the land to keep us safe.
When we are doing safety training with young children, don’t we teach them that if they are ever lost to find a policeman? Law keepers are there to keep us safe. We want to teach our children that they need not be afraid of people who uphold the laws if they are keeping the laws themselves. They should be afraid if they are breaking the laws, because there are consequences for such behavior in our society as in our homes.
We have a cool opportunity to teach our children to respect authorities, to follow the laws and to do those things to honor God. It is God who places people in authority over us and we can trust Him.
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. Romans 13:1-5
What do you do in your home to teach your children to respect civil authorities?