Biblical Respect and Obedience


Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.”

—1 Peter 2:17

Personally, I cannot count the number of times that I have witnessed complete disrespect from one person to another and as I witnessed the event, I just thought to myself “how can someone do that?” Yes, I understand that things do happen and people get aggravated and blow up but we have to learn to control ourselves but this can be very difficult especially when we are dealing with someone who is disgraceful and/or mean.

While I am guilty of this on many different occasions, since I have given my life to Christ, I have learned that we must treat people a certain way but for this article, I am not talking about an isolated incident of saying the wrong thing but rather, people who make the habit of being disrespectful and mean toward others. Sadly, we see this from people of all walks of life whether it’s parents and children or children and parents, husbands and wives, and on and on. Rather than this being just an isolated event in our society, it seems it has become commonplace.

While a husband and wife will have a spat and say things they do not mean, it should not become commonplace for two people to regularly disrespect and hurt one another. There are far too many marriages where physical and emotional disrespect exists and it seems that many of these situations and circumstances are defended by one or both partners. Typically but not always, this type of behavior existed before the marriage took place which is a red flag from the beginning and needs to be taken into serious consideration.

This type of behavior is unacceptable between a man and a woman but it gets worse when you add children and other individuals into the equation. Children are very impressionable of what they see so if they grow up witnessing physical and emotional disrespect whether it’s between their parents and towards one another or from one parent to other people, it is likely the child/children will grow up to repeat this behavior. Children are not born to disrespect others but are taught this behavior whether personally or from observation.

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

—John 13:34-35

Jesus gave this command to His disciples even after He had predicted Judas would betray Him and shortly before He predicted Peter would betray Him three times. While it’s hard to believe that anyone would betray the creator of this Earth and the giver of human life, it’s easy to see that disrespect has been a problem since the very beginning and we see this with Adam and Eve when God gave them one rule and they disobeyed His commandment. While Satan is the author of confusion and comes at us disguised as all the things we desire, we must stay strong with God and not give into Satan’s demands.

One of the best ways to do this is through love. When we love, we would not think about harming another. When two people love one another; a man and a woman bonded together, they only want the best for one another and would do their best not to disrespect one another let alone harm one another. While it’s clear that many marriages are not meant to be and this is an obvious sign that people are not close with God, we are instructed not to disrespect others even if they serve no personal interest to us and God is clear about this as well.

Think about the meaning of “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:27). God created all men and women in His image whether they are believers or not. While God does want all people to come to accept Him, He does not force us to and just as we are instructed to love one another in Christ, God expects us to treat all people of all faiths with respect. Sometimes this is difficult especially with people who are disrespectful to you or others or to those we disagree with but, as Christians, we are to lead by example and to act with order and discipline.

While it may be hard to do, we are to treat others with the same respect and love that God gives to us. The best thing to do if someone is disrespectful or mean to us is to stay away from that person but if, for whatever reason(s), we must be around them then we must do our best not to lash out at them with disrespect and/or harm. Alerting them to their wrongdoing is not disrespect but lashing out with vulgarity and personal insults is so we must be careful with our actions and behavior as someone is always watching.

This is also a lesson of keeping good company as the wrong company will corrupt your behavior. Too often, too many people believe that their behavior cannot be corrupt by the actions and behavior of others but this is not true. In fact, many people succumb to peer pressure and do things they would not normally do and this rule does not apply to just teenagers and younger people but to all people. Therefore, as we are instructed, be careful of the company we keep as it will dictate and determine many things in our lives.

He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”

—Proverbs 13:20

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Written by Billy Ray Parrish


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