Show proper respect to everyone. 1 Peter 2:17
Love is an important means to building a healthy self-concept in your children, but it is only half of the equation. Respect is equally vital—and it’s entirely possible to show one without the other. For example, when your son starts to speak to another adult, you may cut him off in midsentence and explain what he’s trying to say. Or you lecture your daughter before she leaves for a weekend at a friend’s house on how to avoid making a fool of herself.
A child is perfectly capable of understanding that he or she fails to measure up in the eyes of Mom or Dad. “Sure, they love me because they’re my parents. I can see that I’m important to them, but they’re not really proud of me as a person. I’m a disappointment to them.” The first step in building a sense of worth in your children is to be careful about what you say and do in their presence. Then, rather than focusing only on their problems, be sure to communicate your respect for them and the wise choices they do make. When the apostle Peter instructed believers to “show proper respect to everyone,” he certainly meant it to include the impressionable members of their own families. As you display an attitude of respect and love toward your children, you’ll establish a home in step with the heart of God.
Before you say good night…
Do you show your children respect as well as love? How?
Are you sometimes disrespectful to your kids? In what ways?
Which of your kids’ traits and accomplishments are worthy of your respect and praise?
Father, by the restraining power of Your own Spirit, keep us from damaging home and family with careless, critical words. Help us to focus on building up one another. We seek Your strength to accomplish this. Amen.
- From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.