What is a relationship without respect? What is respect?

One of the things about my character I struggle with most is how to respect others, especially those who are the authority. I particularly feel this when something has been done unjustly toward me. When I feel as if I must give respect, immediately my defenses go up, the wall rises, and nobody is going to tell me what to do. However, what I’m proposing to you, is that to give respect is not negative, and even though it is scriptural mandate, it can actually reap positive blessings in your life.

Respect plays into all of our relationships, whether they be romantic, professional, or casual. We feel that we’re right and the only ones that matter. When we’re not heard in the relationship, then we feel disrespected and it’s hard to love/respect that person in return.

I did a random Twitter search, and found people who are talking about respect. Here are some of the results:

“Without respect, love is lost. Without caring, love is boring.”

“If they can’t respect u, they don’t deserve u. RESPECT is a requirement of all relationships, earn it, give it & demand it.”

“I don’t respect excuses, most excuses are just though out lies”

“I hate when ppl in the working environment try to challenge me bc I’m young, I am ur superior u must respect me.”

I came to the conclusion that people think a number of things about respect:

It must be earned
It must be given
It must be demanded
It is closely tied with love and relationships

I remember a time when it was really hard to respect a co-worker. He was hard to work with and I found it difficult to take orders from him. It’s like I had to show him respect before he would show me his. It was so frustrating!

This feeling of respect is felt at a very deep level. The problem is that when we don’t respect others, we hinder growth in our relationships and we block the blessings of God. Respect, however, is not a bad thing…its a Jesus thing. Respect puts us in a position of blessing from God because we are obeying His word and following His example. The Bible gives us way on how to respect someone.
Four ways the Bible shows us respect.

Submission: Showing respect because of position. (Romans 13:1, Titus 3:1, 1 Peter 2:18)

“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.” Romans 13:1

This shows us that respect is expected of us toward authority like our employers, spouse, teacher, or parents. By showing respect in these areas, we open up opportunities to show Christ, in us, to those around us.

Others Opinions:Showing respect for other view points and culture (Romans 12:17, 1 Corinthians 10:31-33, Matthew 17:24-27)

“Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men.” Romans 12:17

This is in the context of unity. We should always strive for unity in the body of Christ, and be willing to see others point of view. This may help you grow in your walk. Sometimes people do things differently than you. It doesn’t make them wrong, just different. We need to respect other people’s ways and culture as well. This doesn’t mean you give up biblical principles, but it does mean you take into consideration their background before making assumptions, and then accepting them as they are.

Character: Being respectable, that others may respect you. (1 Timothy 3:2, 2 Timothy 2:15, Luke 14:10)

“An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach” 1 Timothy 3:2

This calls us to be respectable people. When we are in a respectable position we are trusted with more responsibility and looked up to. God needs leaders in the church today that are trusted and respectable in order to bring the lost to Christ
The Benefits can be Life Changing

When we show respect we open our relationships for honor, love and respect in return. If we had to narrow all of this down to one phrase, I think this would be it: Think about others more highly than ourselves. When we do this, we open up opportunities and margin for better relationships and for God to work in our lives.

Remember that guy I worked with. Well finally, I did earn that respect. He was easier to work with. We could carry good conversations. I was able to open up to Him about Christ and we ended up having a better friendship because of it.
You may not change the world, but you could change yours!

Imagine what your family, workplace, relationships, church, or community would look like if you started to think of others more highly than yourself; to respect them. As I mentioned before, it’s not just a command, but it will reap blessings in your life and you will bless others as well.

Ask your employer his/her opinion on a matter that He cares about, even if you think you know better.
Try to really listen and understand what your spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend is trying to say to you.
If you’re not involved in your church, become active, take a responsibility and be respectable in the body of Christ.

What do you think respect is? Have you had an experience where you felt disrespected? How did you handle it?


Author's Bio: 

My name is Brandon. This blog is about studying God’s word that we may know truth. We may know the Father. Abide in Him. Him in us. We can worship in spirit and in truth. I live in Florida, went to Bible college for three years, and almost have my degree in Information Technology from University of Phoenix. I dabble in webdesign (like here and here) and in video (like here and here). My desire is to know the Gospel and then share it in love. That the love and message of Jesus Christ would shine through me, because of Him.

Now may the God of peace— who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood—may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen. -Hebrews 13:20