COLUMN: How about a little respect?

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By Jon Rohr

Have you noticed how disrespectful we are these days? Simple civility and courtesy seem to have been forgotten. From the drivers that cut us off on the highway to the department store clerks that just grunt when we say hello, disrespect for others just flows through our society.
I see it a lot in children, but let’s face it, parents often are not much better. It seems that we have lost the ability to show respect.
For example, even if you don’t like the president, you should respect the office. It bothered me when the media referred to “Mr. Bush” instead of “President Bush,” and now I see the same thing with President Obama.
So what happened? Where did our ability to show respect go? Maybe television is the problem. Those late night talk shows that make fun of everything and everyone. Sitcoms and commercials where families and, in particular, husbands are made to look ridiculous and foolish.
But I think it probably started in our homes. The Bible tells us specifically in 1 Peter 2:17 to show respect to everyone. In Leviticus 19:13 we are told to, “Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly” (NIV). When did we forget to give honor to our elders? Husbands are to treat their wives with respect according to 1 Peter 3:7 (NIV). I am also reminded that the Bible tells a man to love his wife and the wife to “respect her husband” (Ephesians 5:33 NIV).
That love and mutual respect seems to be missing in too many families today. It is interesting that in Ephesians, God told men to love and women to respect, and I think that is how our children learn. They learn what love is from their father, so all you dads out there; learn how to show love and affection to your wife. Treat her with tenderness and caring; teach your children how to love.
Ladies, I think sometimes your job is harder. Your children learn respect from you.
When they see you appreciate and honor your husband they learn to respect themselves and others. Certainly there are exceptions, but the truth is when mom does not respect dad the kids don’t either. And if they don’t respect dad, they are unlikely to respect anyone.
So try to show respect to everyone, but particularly at home, in your family. Treat your spouse, your elders and your children with respect.  
Let’s show everyone that civility, courtesy and respect are still alive and well.