“Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.”
I Peter 2:17
The Bible teaches us to show respect in a variety of relationships. We are to “Love the brotherhood.” This has to do with the special love and commitment we have to those who are a part of God’s family. Jesus emphasized strongly the responsibility Christians have to love each other. This should be a badge of true discipleship. We are to “Fear God.” There should be a heightened respect and reverence for God, more than for any other thing or person in our lives. The fear of the Lord is largely absent in our day of watered down doctrine. We are to “Honor the king.” Those in places of government leadership are entitled to a special respect or honor because of their position. Although elected officials do not always demonstrate the kind of character that deserves respect, we are taught to honor them as our leaders.
The verse begins with the words, “Honour all men.” Although special respect is shown to the brethren, to the Lord, and to those in positions of authority, a certain degree of respect is appropriate for all men. The word honor means, “to place a value on or to have a high estimation for others.” Most of us would readily agree that there is a need in our society for the restoration of respect for others. Like many of life’s simple virtues, we have witnessed with great sadness the deterioration of respect in our generations.
We know that we are to respect our elders, our leaders, and our Lord. But whom else should we respect? We are to show respect for all. The person that waits on you at the grocery store or restaurant deserves some respect. Your neighbor should be respected. Your children should be respected. The mailman, the mechanic, the barber, the flight attendant should be respected. Parents should be respected, as well as brothers and sisters. Your teachers, students, or classmates should be respected. “Honour all men.”
As parents, we must demonstrate to our children and grandchildren this important principle. They are learning from us. If we are not respectful to others, our children will probably not be. Also, we should require respect of those in our homes. Children should be taught to acknowledge the presence of adults and show respect to their elders. In a disrespectful culture, we are to “honor all men.”