L et love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.-Romans 12:9-11 ESV
Being from the south, respect, sweet tea, manners and cornbread were staples at every house. When company dropped by on Sunday afternoon, each child had to get up and greet the visitors and offer them our seat. We used “please and thank you” and “yes ma’am and yes sir” in abundance. In fact, there was punishment if we misplaced our manners. As kids, we cut the grass on Saturday and swept off the walkways. We had to sit still in church each Sunday and try to pay attention. During the week we played outdoors on our bikes until dark after our daily chores were done. Backtalk was never allowed and we tried hard to be nice and tried never to make fun of our friends or anyone else. It was a simpler time and the rules of getting along with others were plain to follow.
Sweet tea and cornbread remains but where has respect and manners gone? I witness children yelling at their parents in all sort of temper tantrums. I see the elderly struggling with their wheelchairs or walkers with no one holding the door for them. Handwritten “thank you” notes are so rare now to receive. One definition for respect is to have due regard for feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions. The Urban dictionary says that respect is a quality seriously lacking in today's society. We are missing something. This wonderful virtue has all but sailed out of sight!! But we can get it back!! Respect begins at home. The Bible teaches that we are to demonstrate our love of God by loving others. But also part of respect is valuing those in authority over us. When we lead our families using respect and integrity, our children will have seen it in action and can use these important laws throughout life. It has been said that respect for ourselves guides our morals, respect for others guides our manners.