The Substitute – Today’s Family Devotion

The Substitute


Bible Reading of the Day: Read Titus 3:1-2, 8.

Verse of the Day: “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good” (Titus 3:1, NIV).

Tess breezed into the bedroom she shared with her older sister, Karen, and dropped her books onto her bed. Karen sat at the desk doing homework.

“How was school?” Karen said absently, without looking up from her work.

“It was great!” Tess plopped onto her bed, folded her hands behind her head, and leaned against the wall. “We had a substitute teacher today.”

Karen looked up briefly, smiled, and then turned her attention back to the large textbook that lay open on her desk.

“We got away with all kinds of stuff today,” Tess continued. “Marcy told her we only have to hand in our homework on Fridays and that our regular teacher lets us go to the drinking fountain anytime we want to. And Ben Watkins sat next to Jerry Miller all day, even though that wasn’t his seat.”

Karen lifted her head and looked at Tess, who continued to talk excitedly.

“And everyone laughed really hard when I called her Mrs. Hog! Her name’s really Mrs. Hogue-get it?”

“You really did that?” Karen asked.

“Yeah, pretty cool, isn’t it?” Tess answered.

“You think it’s cool to be disrespectful?”

Tess stopped and answered slowly, “Well, she was just a substitute.” “Don’t you think even a substitute teacher deserves respect?” “Well … I guess so. I didn’t really think it mattered that much.” Karen turned her face back toward her textbook, but her attention was still on her sister. “Well, God says it matters. The Bible says we should respect people who have authority over us, whether that’s church leaders or government people or even substitute teachers, because God has put them in authority over us.”

Tess thought about what her sister had said. Karen pretended to read her textbook while she waited for Tess’s response.

Finally, Tess said, “I hope we have Mrs. Hogue tomorrow.” “Why?” Karen asked. “So I can apologize,” Tess said.

Karen smiled and went back to working on her homework.

TO DISCUSS: Take turns naming as many people as you can who have authority over you. For example, teachers, police officers, pastors, elders, governors, and other civic leaders. Do you show respect to all of them? Name some ways to show respect to those in authority.

TO PRAY: “Lord, show us how to respect the people in authority over us.”