"Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to the governors, who are sent by Him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right" (1 Peter 2:13-14).
Ever since I was a young child, I grew up with very keen interest in two main areas: God & government. I was raised to know Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior at an early age. I loved going to church. I loved singing songs of worship to God. I love sharing my faith and talking about what God has done in my life. I also grew up reading every book on American presidents that I could find. I have read research on every presidential campaign and election since the very first one that elected our very first chief executive.
As I have grown, I have observed two very distinct extremes when one attempts to combine these two areas of interest. One is that they become totally and completely separate. "Never the two shall meet." You've heard it said before, that there are two things you never talk about outside your close circle of friends: "religion & politics." The other extreme is that as they combine they morph into something that is rude, obnoxious, disrespectful, dishonoring, and so many other ideas that contradict the character of God.
This is what I believe God has and is showing me. And, as I read 1 Peter 2:13 and other verses like it, I am convinced of this: All leaders are ordained and placed by God. As a Christian, what does this mean to me? In short, I have a choice when I go to the ballot box to place my vote for who I'd like to see in leadership. After that vote has been placed, all votes counted, and a winner declared, my preference is now replaced by my responsibility.
We all have a responsibility to submit (which is to also respect) our leaders. It doesn't mean we have to agree. It doesn't mean that we can't oppose or campaign to replace. But what a travesty it is for Christians, those who proclaim to love and to honor God, to dishonor, disrespect, and disregard those who God has called us to submit to "for [His] sake."
How do I reconcile this with my views and beliefs? I pray for my leaders. I pray for my president. I encourage you to be cautious of the words that come out of your mouth and the attitudes that arise from your hearts in regards to the leaders God has placed over you. Whether it's your boss, your pastor, a councilman, or the president, we are called to respect and honor, as though we are honoring the Lord.