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for themselves. They are placed in positions of delegated, not absolute, authority. They are answerable to God for governing in their respective spheres according to God's Word.

Your parents, for instance, are placed by God in their authority position of authority to train you in the way you should go, not necessarily in the way you or they would want to go. They are answerable to God for teaching and training you according to God's Word; for bringing you up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Honoring those placed in authority over us is more than simply obeying them. It includes all of the following aspects. We must:

  • Honor their position - as God-given
  • Willingly serve them - from the heart
  • Show prompt and careful obedience to them
  • Patiently bear with their weaknesses
  • Pray for them

The following stories and examples illustrate these aspects of obedience:

    Four-year-old Alice had been told by her father not to go down to the seashore alone. But seeing several shells lying along the shore, Alice disobeyed and gathered several attractive ones. She knew how well her father liked beautiful shells.

    She carried the shells to him and said, "Look, Father, here are some shells for you!"

    To her amazement, her father threw the shells away. "Alice," he explained, "I cannot appreciate any gift from you when you disobey me!"

    What important lesson does this example teach us regarding our relationship with those placed in positions of authority over us? What does it teach regarding our "gifts" to God?

    "Come on, Mark," his friends urged.

    "No, I'm not going."

  • Nurture - Careful training; education; nourishment
  • Admonition - The act of counseling, advising, warning, and reproving

  • How can we show honor to "fathers in authority" and "fathers in age"? How can we show disrespect for the same?

    Why would a parent be setting a very poor example for his children in the following examples?

    - Speeding, and telling his children to watch for police cars
    - Using degrading language to describe his country's president or prime minister in front of his children
    - Telling his child to disregard a certain school rule for which he does not see any need

    What had King Saul done that Samuel had to reprove him in the verse listed below, and teach him the same lesson illustrated by this story?

    And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LoRD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

    - I Samuel 15:22

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