The maintenance of public order-if you happen to look up the definition of police you will likely find this phrase associated with it. What is the maintenance of public order and how have we as a society grown so cold and heartless to the effort composed by good men and good women to establish and maintain public order?
There is no question as to the fact that policing today is by far a much more difficult task than it has ever been. In a society where we have taught our children that police are the bad guys and the bad guys are the good guys, it is safe to say that perhaps society at large may be responsible for the attitude being displayed towards those that desire to protect and enhance public order.
In the wake of the latest police shootings I have had to consider many things about my own attitude toward the police. Let me start by saying that I fully support the work and effort that officers put into maintaining public order, on the other hand I am extremely perturbed when I get pulled over for speeding, running a stop sign, or the many other possible traffic citations that one can get-I have probably been guilty of violating most.
This perturbed attitude bleeds over into comments made off the cuff when my children are in the vehicle. Say for instance that I have forgotten to put my seatbelt on and an officer pulls out behind me…my children would observe how quickly I remember such an oversight. The truth is I didn’t forget at all, instead I chose to break the law and if I am discovered I will pay the price. Unfortunately my children observe this as well as the attitude (or lack of concern) I have displayed in the past over breaking even the most minor of laws. This then teaches my children that laws are not important, that public order is not important. Likewise it teaches them that the ones trying to enforce it are the real bad guys. The truth is I must apologize to everyone that wears that badge for teaching my children that its more fun to be the robbers than it is to be the cops in the childhood game of cops and robbers.
I assume that I am not the only father who is guilty of using the police to my advantage in the most difficult task of life…raising my children. Yes, I have at times been guilty of threatening my children when they misbehave. Instead of handling the matter myself and resolving the issues that perhaps I have created, I have on more than one occasion told my children that if they don’t change their behavior I will take them down to the local police department and let them handle the matter. These are empty threats that only serve to cause my children to fear the thing that God has established on this earth to protect them. For that I am sorry.
Going forward I will teach my children differently, when we see a police officer out to lunch perhaps we will pay for their meal, shake their hand and tell them thank you, or pray for them and their families. but never again will I leave my children with the impression that the police are the bad guys in life. Please understand that I never did this intentionally but with the subtle things I was doing and saying this was the message they learned and they learned it from me. Police acting on part of our civil government to maintain public order have a shared responsibility to wield the sword of justice and to be a terror to bad conduct not to good. Therefore if I raise my children to seek good and not evil, then they will never have to worry about experiencing the terror that civil and godly government brings against those that would commit evil acts.