R E S P E C T!
This probably should have been step #1, in our series, because of the power RESPECT wields when executed, and destruction produced when it doesn’t exist.
Aretha Franklin made it popular a few years ago as she sang,
“When you come home – Or, you might walk in – respect me, I got to have a little respect.”
RESPECT is not as high a priority, in many homes today, as it was two generations ago.
When we were growing up, my mom told us a true story from the Old Testament regarding respect. Elisha was one of God’s most powerful prophets. One day, during his travels, some young people made fun of Elisha’s bald head and, with serious disrespect, made fun of where he was going, “Go on up, you bald head.” (I’m certain this is the abbreviated version)
Obviously, God took it seriously. He sent two bears, out of the woods, to kill those who had made fun of Elisha. (II Kings 2)
Whoa, that story certainly got my attention and kept it for many years to come. It probably kept my tongue in tow many times, as a child, fearing bears would appear out of nowhere to give me the consequences I deserved.
God’s Word is very clear when it comes to respect. He is not pleased when we disrespect those in authority- including, but not limited to- parents.
Young moms often ask me my suggestions for the critical necessities in raising a child. My advice, after teaching kids about God, is teach them RESPECT!
As a teacher of children’s musical theatre, I have – with great distress – watched a lack of respect escalate over the past 30 years when it comes to behavior involving kids.
A few years ago, a nine year old yelled and argued with me after I gave her a simple direction in class. Of course, it happened only once; because, I do not allow disrespect. I took the child to the side, explaining her response to my direction, in the future, was to be, “Okay, Ms. Kathleen.” Otherwise, she would be excused from the class and not allowed to participate in the show. She knew I meant it. I had no more problems with her. In fact, as the year progressed, she wanted to be attached to me at the hip!
Later, the mother asked me, in front of her daughter, “How do you get her to obey you? She won’t mind me at home at all.”
A fourth grade student was suspended from school – for one day – for spitting on her teacher. The parents complained it was too severe a consequence. (When I was young, that student would have been suspended for a much longer period, and some required counseling included for both parent and child) Had that child been me? Well, I probably wouldn’t be here writing this blog!
A high school student publically humiliated his math teacher, during class, by ridiculing her non-stylish clothes. He was asked not to do it again. So, he posted his ridicules on the internet so the entire school could see them. There was no consequence. He was a minor; and, his parents had threatened to take legal action if the school made a big deal about it.
A customer – in a hurry, at a grocery store – loudly demanded a different bagger for her food, instead of the special needs young man who was obviously struggling to bag her order as fast as she wanted.
This generation labels it, “bullying.” Actually, it demonstrates a serious lack of education in RESPECT. Yes, a lack of RESPECT will result in bullying.
I’m heartbroken, as I hear stories about what happens on school playgrounds today. Down through the ages, kids have been cruel – but secretive, so as not to be caught. Usually, there were consequences. Today, many of those deeds are considered to be acceptable behavior and carry no consequences at all. I hear from my grandchildren, “Nothing happens if we report it, anyway.”
RESPECT must be taught from birth. (This could be an entire series all its own.)
I blame many of the distressing divorce statistics’ on adults having grown up without having been taught to RESPECT others.
Marriages begin to disintegrate, first, because of a lack of RESPECT by the individuals involved. If RESPECT was uppermost on their radars, they could more easily weather the usual financial, communication and moral struggles – the top causes of divorce in today’s world.
God says it so plainly and simply, “Treat everyone you meet with respect. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government.” I Peter 2:17b (The Message)
This is not a multiple-choice suggestion. It is God’s instruction how we should live.
If only we would obey His instructions, we might be surprised with the results.
My guess is, we would be able to get along with anyone!