Practicalities of Respect


In what ways can you and your spouse begin demonstrating respect to one another and to other family members today?

Let each of you regard one another as more important than himself. Philippians 2:3, NASB

One general guideline of respect is that before you make a commitment that impacts another person's life, you take the time to discuss it with that per­son. David and I have learned that it's important to discuss business com­mitments, trips, houseguests, and major financial decisions with one another, because those things impact both of us. We've even discovered that it's important for us to discuss certain things with our children before we implement them. We discuss family vacation ideas, household responsibilities, and changes of schedule or routine.

We've also learned that it's important to solicit and show deference to other people's opinions. In our home, everyone is entitled to an opinion, regardless of gender or age. We ask one another to share their opinions, and whenever it's pos­sible we try to defer. For instance, instead of telling our kids where we're going on vacation this summer, we'll ask them where they would like to go. Instead of handing down a decision about how we'll spend Thanksgiving and Christmas, David and I will each give our ideas and opinions.

Respect in our home also includes giving honor to one another and to one another's property and privacy. We've had many discussions about taking care of the shirt that you borrowed and filling up the gas tank when you borrow my car. We've learned that it's important to honor others' pri­vacy by knocking before entering a child's room. If David or I request a little solitude, then we work hard to honor that request.

Finally, respect includes honoring one another's time. Habitually being late indicates disrespect for others' schedules. We've found that it's important to call if you realize you're going to arrive later than expected, and we take care to respect one another's phone messages.

In what ways can you and your spouse begin demonstrating respect to one another and to other family members today?

God, make me sensitive to the need for respect in our family.

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