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Friday, February 12, 2010

A Biblical Virtue To Pray For Your Child - Respect

photo by dcjohn

Have you ever had one of those moments when your child innocently (or maybe not so innocently) thrusted a convicting statement in your face, where you had to sheepishly agree that what he said was right? It produces mixed emotions in you. It’s hard to be proud of your child's keen insight when your pride is taking a hit.

Such a scenario happened the other day while we were sitting around the kitchen table discussing Sunday’s sermon with my husband, who had missed it while involved with some other things (he later watched the sermon online). Our pastor gave a very convicting lesson on being submissive and respectful toward others, especially those in authority.

Of course, he touched on how children should be respectful toward their parents, and wives to their husbands, but our pastor was teaching out of Romans 13: 1-7, the passage about submitting to our governing authorities.

Now, to put the rest of the conversation in proper perspective, you have to understand that, since my husband retired in October, he’s opened Twitter and Facebook accounts where he spends a good amount of time debating - a polite term, really - the virtues of the current federal administration. He’s acquired a healthy following, including some well-known liberal-leaning radio personalities who keep track of his “tweets”.

As the rest of the family outlined the high points of the sermon to my husband, we had a very lively discussion - a polite term, really - about the value of using a constitutional basis for determining our response to current policies coming out of Washington, and our level of esteem toward the authors of these said policies. Eventually my husband watched the sermon online and had to admit that his walk of faith needed some tweaking - a polite term, really - where it pertains to certain governing authorities.

At some point we came together to have our time of family prayer. We try to do this daily, not only praying for needs within our household, but going down a fairly lengthy list of friends and family who are in need of a saving relationship with the Lord. My husband leads this time of devotion and always asks if there is someone or something that needs to be added to the list.

More often than not the answer is, “no”, but this day our 17-year old daughter spoke up. With a slight grin on her face she said, “Dad, you need to pray for President Obama and what you’re telling your followers about him.”

There was a lo-o-ong pause from my husband. Then, in exaggerated humility, he hung his head, slumped his shoulders and said, “o-k-a-y.”

One of the biblical virtues we need to pray that our children receive is the virtue of respect - respect for self, for others, and for those in authority over us, even if we don’t agree with them. Teach your child 1 Peter 2:17. As you pray for your child, pray that he learns to apply God’s truths in his own life so that it may go well with him.

And remember, our children are always watching us.

Father, grant that my child may show proper respect to everyone, as your Word commands.

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