I actually had a student tell me recently that I had to earn their respect and that it was not automatic. When I asked if their parents had taught them that, they said no and added that their parents also had to earn their respect. Of course I asked them if that was what they wanted from me; to have to earn my respect? The student continued the discussion with comments like, “just because you are an adult doesn’t mean I have to respect you”. Of course these ideas are coming from everywhere, the media, movies, video games, TV … they all are filled with youth that have no regard for authority, position and have little, if any sense, of decorum. Much is learned from parents as well, who show little respect to others. It is the ‘do as I say do, not as I do’ syndrome.
The Bible mentions the word ‘respect’ and/or ‘honor’, in several forms. All are signs of character and/or because of good character. These are traits we want to teach our children.
- Leviticus 19:3 ‘Each of you must respect his mother and father, and you must observe my Sabbaths. I am the LORD your God.’
- Leviticus 19:32 ‘Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD.’
- Exodus 20:12 ‘Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.’
- Ephesians 6:1 ‘Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.’
- Receiving honor: ex. birthright – Exodus 4:22; Psalms 89:27; Jeremiah 31:9; Romans 8:29; Colossians 1:15
- Showing honor: ex. diligence in what you do Proverbs 12:24;22:29
- Place of honor: ex. at the right hand – Psalms 45:9; Psalms 80:17 ; 2 Chronicles 24:16,25; 21:2
- Position of honor: ex. placed in a position to honor – 2 Kings 25:27-30; Jeremiah 52:31-35
- Act in honor: ex. actions of honorable men and women – Acts 17:10-21
- Dishonoring: ex. Not honored among peers – Matthew 13:57; Luke 4:24-27; John 4:44
- Honor to the elders: ex. honoring the aged – Job 32:6,7
Respect and honor, both are important to the Lord. You must show Him respect (another blog), then your parents (no age limit here – they are always your parents), and then others. Many of the Beatitudes relate to respect … they are ‘attitudes to be’. Do as you say do, your children are watching.