When my children were very young I observed many parenting techniques. My husband and I also attended classes at church that focused on Christian parenting. As I considered the importance of raising a child that respected and honored his parents, I also learned that respecting authority was crucial in anyone’s life. To start with, if a child climbs up on a roof or runs in the street they must respect and honor their loving parent who calls them away from the danger. It is a tragedy to see children that do not recognize their parent’s authority. Then as they grow older this translates to teachers, police officers, and other authority figures in their lives. The most important aspect of teaching children to respect and honor those who are in authority is their love and respect for the Lord. In the dictionary, “lord” is defined as a person who has authority, control, or power over others; a master, chief, or ruler. The Bible explains God as our Lord in a relational way.
Starting in Genesis, chapter 2, God is referred to as Yahweh, the LORD. Don Stewart, in the Blue Letter Bible, explains that Yahweh (the LORD) is God’s personal name and is used in the context of God having a relationship with His people. When God goes about creating humanity, it is Yahweh who does this act. When the Lord is personally involved with His people, Yahweh is the proper way to designate Him. In our English Bibles Yahweh is translated as LORD with all capital letters. There is another Hebrew term in the Old Testament, Adonai, which means my master. It is also translated as Lord in our English Bible but not with all capital letters. Therefore, when we see LORD, that is Yahweh or the divine name for God. When we read Lord, this is Adonai, or master.
In Deuteronomy 6: 4-6 the Ten Commandments begin— Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
Then, in Mathew 22: 36-38, Jesus answers this question, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.”
As we explain to our children the importance of loving God with all one’s heart, soul, and mind, we should discuss who He is. He is compassionate, merciful, slow to anger, loving, faithful, and forgiving, but also righteous, for there are consequences for sin. In Exodus 34: 6-7, God wanted Moses to recognize who He is: Yahweh! The LORD! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But, I do not excuse the guilty. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children and grandchildren; the entire family is affected…(NLT)
Additionally, in Philippians 2:9, Paul explains God’s love in sending Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior. God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
What an important message to teach our children: lordship. The importance of honoring and trusting in the Lord, our God. Not to trust and follow the crowd or to give in to peer pressure, but to follow God. To know what He says in His Word and to follow Him all the days of their lives. To know that God is faithful and is always good, even in His discipline.
This is what God says about His authority: I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides Me there is no God…there is no one besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other, the One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these…Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker—an earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, “What are you doing?” (Isaiah 45:5-9, NASB)
Dear Holy Father, You are my LORD and Master, the Creator of heaven and earth. I honor You and praise Your Holy Name. I worship You and seek to follow Your lead. Thank you, Father, for the Holy Spirit’s leading and guiding in Your Kingdom work. May You, Lord Jesus Christ, and God our Father, Who loves us and by Your grace, gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage our hearts, and strengthen us in every good deed and word. (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)
In Jesus’s Holy Name, Amen.