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What do we do when our child has a teacher or coach that is not the greatest? Maybe the person is incompetent, maybe it seems like they have it out for our child, maybe they lose their temper. Often as our child is involved in school, church, and extracurricular activities, we will face imperfect, flawed leaders.
How does Scripture say we should parent these situations?
The overall answer: We submit to our authorities. Here’s a definition of submission: We have a “voluntary attitude of yielding and cooperating.”
One great example of submission to authority we can use to teach our children is David’s submission to Saul for ten years – ten years! – as Saul chased him down and wanted to kill him. Even though David had chances to kill Saul, he did not simply because of Saul’s position God gave Saul.
Hebrews 13:17 says, “Have confidence in your leaders and submit (voluntary attitude of yielding and cooperating) to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.”
We submit to authority because we trust God is working to our benefit through those authorities. He has placed that authority over us and is working His purposes in our lives through that imperfect authority.
Remember when Jeuss was about to be sentenced by Pilate, He said, “’You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.’” (John 19:11)
What does this look like in real life?
- We do our best to follow even when we disagree with the direction.
- We speak well of the leader instead of criticizing.
- We encourage others to follow.
- We sacrifice for the greater good of the team.
- We appeal for change when necessary with a grateful and forgiving heart.
God uses authority and submission as a way to refine our hearts and teach us to submit to His Lordship in our lives. Teach your kids – and yourself – the value of submitting to authority.
One final note: As we honor authorities, we still have the right to ask questions about how those authorities are doing their jobs. In another post, we talk about the best ways to appeal to our authorities when we have issues