“R-E-S-P-E-C-T”… Yes, it was Aretha Franklin who famously sang that in 1967, even though I gave credit Sunday to Tina Turner. Tina did sing another song about respect, for what it’s worth; but the bottom line is this… We all want respect! We need respect. We’ve got to have it! Respect is an essential ingredient in healthy relationships.
Disrespect can wreck families, workplaces, classrooms, teams, churches and society in general. The Bible talks about the importance of offering respect. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Romans 13:7. The idea is that we wouldn’t consider not paying taxes or a debt we owe, so pay respect and honor in the same way! Who do we respect? Everyone! 17 Show proper respect to everyone, 1 Peter 2:17
I think we have a “respect” problem in society today. Generally speaking, “disrespect” is symptomatic of many problems we see in our imperfect families, but also in our schools and workplaces. So what is the answer? Offer respect! Christ-followers can show what that looks like when we:
1) Acknowledge another person’s worth.
2) Give honor where it should be given.
3) Speak highly of others always, never demeaning.
The Bible makes clear that parents are to be honored. Husbands are to be respected by their wives. Wives loved by their husbands. (Ephesians 5:33). And above all, God is to be feared and revered! (Deuteronomy 10:12).
So what fuels our respect for others? Our love for them! Jesus called us to love one another. (John 13:34-35). Respect is a must for healthy relationships! Disrespect creates division. It fuels disunity. Will you show respect this week to the people in your life, especially in your own family? If you are struggling to offer respect, ask yourself why? To learn far more, including the disrespect challenges of Jacob and Esau faced in their imperfect family, listen to My Imperfect Family, Part 3 - Disrespect.