Respect is something that is getting lost in our society more and more. Most young people today do not even know what true respect is. They think that an authority disrespects them for disciplining them.
Today we look at what the Bible says about respect (commonly referred to as honour in the KJV Bible).
We are to show basic respect to everyone.
1 Peter 2:17 “Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.”
Notice the Bible does show different levels of honour. It says to “honor all men”, but then it says to “love the brotherhood”, then “fear God”, then “honor the king (any government authority).
- We are to show basic respect to everyone
- We are to have a deeper personal respect for other Christians
- We are to have the deepest respect for God and put Him above everyone else
- We are to show a more formal respect to all government leaders than non-christians, but to the lost government leaders we would not have a deep personal respect like we would to other Christians.
All Christians are to submit themselves to each other with the Bible as the standard
Ephesians 5:21 “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”
Therefore, if it is not unbiblical, don’t fight about it! Churches have been split over color of carpet!
The Bible also says that we are to treat others the way we want to be treated.
Matthew 7:12 “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”
This includes our enemies.
43 “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.“
Romans 12:20 “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.“
Furthermore, Children are to respect their parents.
Exodus 20:12 “Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.”
Ephesians 6:2 “Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;”
This also means that you take care of them in their old age.
3 “But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.
5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;
6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.”
The words father and mother can be figurative (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible with Greek and Hebrew dictionaries # G3962 and G3384), so if you were adopted this level of respect would be shown to your adopted parents.
This does not mean that you have to put yourself or others at risk by having a relationship with a dangerous parent. Just like a murderer has lost their right to life according to the Bible, a parent who has proven to be truly dangerous has lost their right to receiving the full honour due to most parents.
Ephesians 6:1 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.”
Notice it says “in the Lord.” Therefore, if a parent tells a child to do something wrong then they are not to obey them in that, but they should still show respect.
The younger are to respect the older.
Leviticus 19:32 “Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.”
Husbands are to respect their wives
1 Peter 3:7 “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”
Wives are to respect and submit themselves to their own husbands as unto the Lord.
Ephesians 5:22 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”
It says “as unto the Lord.” If a husband tells his wife to do something wrong she is not to do it.
Also, a wife or husband does not have to stay in a dangerous relationship. God has called us to peace.
1 Corinthians 7:
12 “But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.“
The word pleased in that passage means to “think well of in common” and to “assent to” (Strong’s #G4909). Therefore, If someone is abusive, then they are not truly pleased to dwell with their spouse, because there is not peace. They have also proven by their actions that they are not a truly saved, no matter what position they have in the church or how loudly they proclaim they are saved. Jesus said you would know them by their fruits (Matthew 7:16). Therefore the victim can leave.
Christians are to respect their Pastor and other Church leaders
Hebrews 13:17 “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”
Although Pastors and Church leaders who are found to be guilty of sin are to be rebuked before the whole church.
I Timothy 5:19-20 “Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.”
If everyone would follow these biblical rules for respect, most of the problems in our society would go away.