For the past couple of Sundays, Buddy has been preaching about some parenting issues. The first sermon focused on discipline, and today’s sermon was about respect, both of which are badly needed in today’s culture.

Although I do not have children of my own, I’ve done my fair share of babysitting and teaching young’uns (most recently, 4 year-olds this past quarter), and I found myself nodding in agreement as Buddy discussed the lack of respect that is prevalent among children as well as adults today. In many cases, children are not to be blamed for their lack of respect toward their teachers and other authority figures; respect is something that they have to be taught, and too many adults are acting disrespectfully toward their own authority figures and giving youth a bad example.

In life group today I found myself pondering the authority figures in my life and questioning my level of respect for each. I feel like I am respectful toward my parents, my bosses, our church leaders.

Then it hit me–sometimes I really struggle to act respectfully toward God, particularly when it comes to submitting to His will for my life. As a single woman living on her own, I don’t really have anyone to answer to. If I want to lay in bed all day, I can (although I wouldn’t unless I was deathly ill). If I want to go shopping and buy 10 pairs of shoes, I can. I can watch whatever I want on TV. I can eat whatever I want to for dinner. I answer to myself. I am my own authority figure.

EXCEPT–when I became a Christian, I yielded my authority to God. He is now the Lord of my life. But there are times when I still act like I’m in charge. Times when I make up my mind to do something and charge full-speed ahead, without consulting Him first. Even when I find myself wanting to do good things, if I don’t consult God first, I may ending up doing the right thing at the wrong time.

It’s easy to show respect and submit to someone who you feel always treats you fairly and only makes your life easy and happy. It’s much harder to be committed to submitting to someone who doesn’t always make decision that you’re happy about.

There are life lessons that my parents taught me as a child and teenager that I’m sure that I didn’t appreciate at the time, particularly when it involved discipline of some kind. But I can look back now and be grateful for the lessons that they instilled in me, that have shaped me into the woman that I am. Likewise, I know that there are times that God calls me to submit to His authority and I’m not happy about it, but I know that in the long run it’s for my own good.

I’m praying that God will reveal to me areas of my life in which I fail to show respect and submit to Him, and that He will exchange my selfish desires for a desire to follow Him no matter what.

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