If we fear, love, and trust in God above all things – we will honor and obey the authorities that He cares for us through in our Homes, Congregations, and in the Civil Realm. We confess in the Small Catechism: The Fourth Commandment
Honor your father and your mother.
What does this mean?
We should fear and love God so that we do not despise or anger our parents and other authorities, but honor them, serve and obey them, love and cherish them.
Dr. Martin Luther further explains the 4th Commandment in the Large Catechism:
“150 The same should also be said about obedience to civil government. This (as we have said) is all included in the place of fatherhood and extends farthest of all relations. Here “father” is not one person from a single family, but it means the many people the father has as tenants, citizens, or subjects. Through them, as through our parents, God gives to us food, house and home, protection, and security. They bear such name and title with all honor as their highest dignity that it is our duty to honor them and to value them greatly as the dearest treasure and the most precious jewel upon earth.
151 The person who is obedient in this is willing and ready to serve. He cheerfully does all that deals with honor. He knows that he is pleasing God and that he will receive joy and happiness for his reward. If he will not do this in love, but despises and resists authority or rebels, let him also know that he shall have no favor or blessing. Where he thinks he will gain a florin, he will lose ten times as much elsewhere. Or he will become a victim to the hangman, perish by war, pestilence, or famine. He will experience no good in his children and be obliged to suffer injury, injustice, and violence at the hands of his servants, neighbors, or strangers and tyrants. For what we seek and deserve is paid back and comes home to us [Galatians 6:7].
152 If we would ever allow ourselves to be persuaded that such works are pleasing to God and have so rich a reward, we would be completely established in abundant possessions and have what our heart desires [Psalm 37:4]. But because God’s Word and command are so lightly esteemed, as though some peddler had spoken it, let us see whether you are the person to oppose Him. How difficult, do you think, it will be for God to pay you back! 153 You would certainly live much better with divine favor, peace, and happiness than with His displeasure and misfortune. 154 Why do you think the world is now so full of unfaithfulness, disgrace, calamity, and murder? It is because everyone desires to be his own master and free from the emperor, to care nothing for anyone, and to do what pleases him. Therefore, God punishes one knave by another, so that, when you defraud and despise your master, another comes and deals in the same way with you. Yes, in your household you must suffer ten times more from wife, children, or servants.
155 We feel our misfortune, we murmur and complain of unfaithfulness, violence, and injustice. But we refuse to see that we ourselves are knaves who have fully deserved this punishment. And even by this we are not reformed. We will have no favor and happiness. Therefore, it is only fair that we have nothing but misfortune without mercy. 156 There must still be somewhere upon earth some godly people, because God continues to grant us so much good! On our own account, we should not have a farthing in the house nor a straw in the field. 157 All this I have been obliged to urge with so many words, in the hope that someone may take it to heart. Then we may be relieved of the blindness and misery in which we are stuck so deeply. Then we may truly understand God’s Word and will, and seriously accept it. We would learn how we could have joy, happiness, and salvation enough, both now and eternally.
McCain, P. T. (Ed.). (2005). Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions (p. 376). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.
“Almighty God, You have given us this good land as our heritage. Grant that we remember Your generosity and constantly do Your will. Bless our land with honest industry, truthful education, and an honorable way of life. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion, from pride and arrogance, and from every evil course of action. Grant that we, who came from many nations with many different languages, may become a united people. Support us in defending our liberties, and give those to whom we have entrusted the authority of government the spirit of wisdom, that there may be justice and peace in our land. When time are prosperous, may our hearts be thankful, and in troubled times do not let our trust in You fail; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen.’ (Collect for the Nation, LSB pg. 313)