When we travel Karen keeps a pen at the ready as I drive, because God often speaks to me as we talk and cover the miles.  I really enjoy these times as God gives me short bursts of thought and revelation that later becomes an article or is used to help write our newsletter.  So was the case on our last trip, but I did not share my thoughts with Karen because I was resisting God’s word.  I thought if I just ignored the thoughts and prompting of the Holy Spirit they would just go away, not so.   I really wrestled writing this article maybe because we (that means me too) all have a lot of disrespect moving in our lives that we must allow God to remove if not we will never be able to come to the plan and purpose God has for our lives.

We have known a nice young lady for about one year or so who is a good friend of one of children. This young lady was having some problems with the older woman she was staying with and knowing her husband is a U.S. Marine serving in Afghanistan Karen and I opened our home to her until her husband comes (about three months) home.  No money for rent, no money for food, no money for utility was asked of her, an unconditional invitation was extended and she accepted.   Not a bad deal Karen would even make her breakfast and dinner.  At first all was well no problems, but we noticed when we invited her to church she declined, strange for someone who claims they are a Christian. If you are a real Christian and have a honest walk with the Lord you will make time for God’s people or even talk about God once in a while.  As time went on we noticed she was very disrespectful to her friends and especially some teachers at the college she attended.  One evening after her first class I asked her about her teacher she relied, “he is an old fart in his 70s, wears hearing aids, and laughs at his own jokes.”  I was shocked at her disrespect, but I did not say anything.  One night the three of us went to a high school football game during the game (not once but three times) she called me by my first name and tried to correct me in public, I am older than her father, what disrespect.  I had to speak to her with a stern voice she was shocked when I spoke to her that way.  Now you can disrespect me all you want (I have tough skin) it is not really a big deal I am usually longsuffering, but when you disrespect my wife I must, before God, draw the line.  When you have no respect for someone who cooks and cares for you, someone who has opened up their home to you this reveals an inward spiritual lack of honor and respect.  Someone who really respects and honors someone would never ever think of speaking against them.  My father was not a perfect man as we all are not, but even when I saw him do or say something he maybe should not have done I never thought about correcting him I had no right before God he was my father (God placed him there) in a superior place of spiritual authority and I was his son, my place was to keep my mouth shut, honor him, and pray if need be. This younger generation (even young Christians) has a big problem with respect for their parents and those in authority over them.  After disrespecting Karen the three of us had a come to Jesus meetings.  I told her she should be ashamed of disrespecting us and her teacher and she has no right, before God, to correct me even if I am wrong.  Karen and I could not abide her open rebellion to us in our home so we asked her to leave.  Later we softened our position and said she could stay, but she left anyway. We told her many times we would rather she stay, but it was her choice, not ours, to leave.  Open rebellion and disrespect to authority always runs away when confronted with the truth. Disrespectful people always cast off restraint this is why they can never grow to any maturity in God.  Restraint (restrictions) and limitations enable us to come to fulfillment and purpose they enable us to work well within the guide lines and rules God has laid out for us to walk, but a disrespectful person wants to operate outside God’s guidelines, they are the center of attention, the main attraction, the captain of their own ship, they think they lack for nothing, but in reality they are naked, poor, and blind to their own spiritual heart condition.  I am really concerned about this younger generation, say 20-30 year olds (for the most part) have not been taught to give honor and respect.  Their lives (for the most part) seem to be so plugged into screens, keypads, and electrical gadgets to the point they have forgotten how to be caring and respectful to peers, parents, and people in authority.  Paul in Ephesians taught the kids, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)”  (Ephesians 6:1-2)  What is the promise Paul talking about?  Long life?  Maybe so, but I think Paul was talking about much more here. Children are to be taught to honor and respect their parents, the elderly, and those in authority from an early age and from this single lesson they begin to learn how to honor God when they become of age.  In school I can always tell the kids whose parents have taken little to no time in teaching manners and respect.  They are the one who always seem to be in trouble, dress poorly, and get poor grades.  Honoring our parents has nothing to do with taking care of them in their old age.  But, the real honoring of our parents is only achieved when we become what they have tried to instill into our lives, when we become the value set and standard of what they believe and tried to work into our lives.  This alone is honoring to our parents as obedience alone to God is honoring to him. In some churches today they sing, clap, and wave flags thinking they are honoring and giving God glory, oh no my friend they are sadly mistaken.  Our obedience alone (as it is with kids honoring their parents) is honoring to God.  

Being disrespectful or dishonoring is a big big deal to God.  Did you know in every sin is an element of disrespect moving.  If we truly honor someone we will not try to kill them or take what is not ours. We will find value in them and encourage them in areas they may need to improve.  But people who are disrespectful quickly speak and seek to deflect their own short comings and failures.  A respectful person does not like being the center of attention even if they have earned it.  I am reminded of the archangel Michael when he contended for the body of Moses with the devil, “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.”  (Jude 9)  Michael could have said I rebuke you and probably would have won, but he did not he was not so presumptive to think he was that important and powerful. Disrespectful people know not how to give honor to someone who rightly disserves it. Oh the number of people I have met in my life that are jealous of someone else’s victory.  If we cannot be gracious in someone else’s victory God will see to it that we have no victory.  We must be able to “render therefore to all their dues.”  Paul told the church in Rome, “Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.”  (Romans 13:7)  If God cannot get us to give honor to whom honor is due then He cannot use us, we disqualify ourselves for service out from our disrespect.  Now please know I am not talking about a honoring as the world says to show honor; through tolerance and diversity oh no.  The world’s way of showing honor is by allowing sin to continue in lives.  The world says I will honor your choice to reject God and His word.  The world says we are to abide or be tolerant with ungodly, immoral life styles like sodomy and lesbianism, liars, thieves, etc., but God said these lifestyles are an abomination and He will destroy those who would dare reject and disrespect His word. The world dishonors a baby by killing them in the womb while the world would be tolerate and accept a woman’s right to choose.   God too will destroy those who would murder an innocent life.  Today we (even many Christians in the church) protect homosexuals and even give then a special status.  I find it amazing those once powerful “men of God” (you know their names) who have been openly rebuked by God and found out for their homosexual desires and tendencies are now openly embracing this ungodly life style in their church and give permission to others to allow their fleshly desires to control them and the many Christians in their church.   

 This honoring and respecting is a big big deal to God. It is a part of our daily sincere, Godly walk with our brothers, sisters, and most of all our walk with God. Unless we can learn how to honor and respect people God will never give us His spiritual goods.  Unless we can give honor where honor is due God can not use us, He cannot trust us to be faithful and honest.  It is always about honoring and respecting.