Maybe our kids are acting disrespectful to us, their teachers, and elders because we teach them to do that.
Dr. Bob Barnes of Sheridan House Ministries makes a great point: If parents are disrespecting authority, whether that be the government or their boss, i.e. by talking badly about them, talking back to them, being late to work, breaking laws, etc. how can we expect our children to be respectful?
By doing this we are setting an example for our kids to follow: Don’t respect authority, as I myself do not respect authority.
Maybe it’s the way you talk about your father or mother in front of your children. They hear you griping about grandma and grandpa and see the dishonor in your words and then when they act unruly toward their grandparents or Sunday school teachers, you can’t understand why.
Even if the government, our bosses, or parents are treacherous, we are not to speak badly of them for this is dishonoring and disrespectful and it will train our kids to be dishonorable and disrespectful. This does not mean we approve of their wickedness, it means we let God judge them, and in a respectful way, warn our kids not to behave in similar patterns and explain the consequences.
If we have been disrespecting authority, we are displeasing and dishonoring God first and foremost, and we are raising up disrespectful kids who will have difficulty respecting us and others, keeping jobs, and honoring their spouses.
May we all, as Christians—myself included—repent of this sin of disrespect, that we may be blameless before our King, and leave a legacy of respectful children and generations that shine brightly in this dark world—a complete rarity amongst youth in our day and age.
This passage sums it quite effectively:
“Be willing to serve the people who have authority in this world. Do this for the Lord. Obey the king, the highest authority. And obey the leaders who are sent by the king. They are sent to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do good. When you do good, you stop ignorant people from saying foolish things about you. This is what God wants. Live like free people, but don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. Live as those who are serving God. Show respect for all people. Love your brothers and sisters in God’s family. Respect God, and honor the king. Slaves, be willing to serve your masters. Do this with all respect. You should obey the masters who are good and kind, and you should obey the masters who are bad. One of you might have to suffer even when you have done nothing wrong. If you think of God and bear the pain, this pleases God. But if you are punished for doing wrong, there is no reason to praise you for bearing that punishment. But if you suffer for doing good and you are patient, this pleases God. This is what you were chosen to do. Christ gave you an example to follow. He suffered for you. So you should do the same as he did: “He never sinned, and he never told a lie.” Isaiah 53:9 People insulted him, but he did not insult them back. He suffered, but he did not threaten anyone. No, he let God take care of him. God is the one who judges rightly.” (1 Peter 2:13-23 ERV)