As a child I was taught to respect my elders, people in authority, my parents, my sisters and my neighbors. I was also taught to love and honor God. I am talking about things like, when the elderly man or woman needs a seat; give them yours. Or when the teacher tells you to do something; do it. Or at the checkout line in the grocery store, let the one with fewer items than you go ahead of you. Respect is a biblical principle that is becoming increasingly invisible in our world today. Respect, honor and esteem are very closely related words and in the Bible we see these words used interchangeably. Let’s take a look at some Bible verses about respect.
Respect for the Lord
Deuteronomy 6:4-5 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
Romans 1:20-22 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools
1 Peter 3:14-6 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.
Revelation 4:11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”
Revelation 5:11-12 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”
Respect for Elders and People in Authority
Leviticus 19:32 “You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the LORD…”
Romans 13:2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.
Romans 13:7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
1 Timothy 6:1-2 (KJV) Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.
Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
Respect for Family Members
Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
Matthew 15:4 For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’
Colossians 3:21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.
Ephesians 5:33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband
Ephesians 6:2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise)
Hebrews 12:9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?
1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
Respect for Neighbors and Others
Philippians 2:3 (KJV) Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
1 Peter 2:17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
How Can You Help Keep Respect Alive?
Teach your children these simple Biblical principles about respect. Respect begins at home and the best way to start is by instilling the Word of God into our children from birth. It is never too late to remember what the Lord commanded us to do in Deuteronomy 6:6-9
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
The Holy Bible, King James Version
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version
“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”
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