The Loss of Respect
Last month we celebrated our mother’s with a special day. On June 16, we will honor father’s with a special day. However, it seems to me that the words “respect” and “honor” in our society have fallen on hard times. Erosion of respect and honor of God, parents, teachers and those in authority can be seen all around us.
A number of days ago, I showed a woman one of our apartments for rent. She had 3 teenage boys and 1 girl about three years old. One of the boys was wearing a tee shirt and on it in big letters was the sentence, “ I don’t give a _ _ _ _ what you think”. (I told him what I thought anyway.) Then, on my way home I saw two little girls riding their bicycles on the sidewalk. They both had training wheels on their bikes. How cute. They were about four or five years old. I couldn’t help but smile as I passed them. I can’t explain my disappointment as one of them raised her middle finger to me while staring me right in the eye.
WOW! What happened. There was a time, not long ago when these actions were unheard of. In today’s society it seems that this behavior is the rule rather than the exception. A week doesn’t go by without the news informing us of another policeman being ambushed and shot. We hear of teachers being beat up in the classrooms, of parents mistreated by their children, of political people ranting and demeaning their opponent. I believe the ever increasing violence in our society is a by product of the breakdown of respect. Respect of God, parents and for those in authority.
Romans 13:7 says, “Pay respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.”
Exodus 20:12 says, “Honor your father and your mother…”
1 Peter 2:17 says, “Honor everyone, love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.”
In Philippians 4:8, Paul tells Christians to lift up, “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable.” In a world without respect and honor, nothing is honorable, nothing is true, nothing is just, nothing is pure, nothing is lovely, nothing is commendable. And as we can see all around us no one is safe.
In 1970 Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young penned a new song called, “Teach Your Children”. Part of the song says this, “Can you hear and do you care and can’t you see we must be free to teach your children what you believe.”
Christ is the only hope for this broken world. The Gospel is the only hope for a world that honors self and dishonors God and the institutions He created. If Christ has become Lord of your life, and set you free then you are free indeed. You are free to love, honor and respect Him. After that, you are free to teach your children these Christian beliefs. That is the only hope for our broken world.
Happy Father’s Day. Don’t Forget, Teach Your Children Well.