Teach Them Respect
Want to see someone’s blood boil? Ask a veteran teacher about the increasing levels of student violence, specifically assaults on teachers. Our American obsessions with freedom and the right to personal expression, coupled with weakening family structure, are eroding people’s trust and respect for institutions like government and schools. Angry, violent children are the result.
Satan laughs. What he knows, and not enough parents realize, is that there is a beast inside each of us that wants to be let loose, that wants to be wild. One of the greatest tasks that our society rightly expects from parents is that they teach their children self-control, that they learn to restrain their inner beasts.
Showing respect is learned behavior. It needs to be taught and modeled. It was needed as badly two thousand years ago as it is today. Jesus is our hero—though persecuted by both the religious establishment and Roman government, he always showed respect to both. Peter wrote, “Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king” (1 Peter 2:17). Our children need to know that you don’t build your own self-esteem by tearing down others. They need to believe that you don’t grow any more liberated by trying to destroy the authority around you.
And you’re just the one to teach them.
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