However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:33)(I tend to think that both sexes crave respect, but that it may come across differently for each. That could be a whole other discussion.)
The dictionary defines respect as: "esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability."
Much like worship, which is ingrained in the psyche of mankind, I think we all have a desire—not only to be respected but—to respect. This may be part of the reason we build our hopes in a person and are crushed by the reality. We strongly desire to think highly of, to trust in someone who proves unworthy.
Respect, for me, is harder than the dictionary makes it sound to nail down the full definition.
- There is the effort to give respect to someone no matter what you think of them.
- You have respect of some sort for friends (or they wouldn't be friends) and family (at least some of them).
- Then there are those few who you know and have the deepest respect for.
The peak of my pondering, if you will, is a discussion I had recently with my mother about three people where I live, who I think of with the highest respect. These are not men I believe to be flawless. They are not ones who I agree with 100%. They are, however, men with high values, proven character, and a gentle and humble spirit. They are ones who, if they gave me their word on something, I would truly expect they'd keep it (memory permitting).
When I mentioned my respect to one, he expressed his concern that he'd disappoint me, but then added that he hoped he'd recognise it immediately and make it right. Yes, that's exactly the attitude that makes me respect him in the first place!
So I conclude with my own definition of this "highest respect" and then await your response.
True respect is based on character and not perfection; therefore, it isn't lessened by mistakes or bad days.Oh, that we might all grow in God toward humility, holiness, gentleness and compassion, and might, therefore, be men and women worthy of respect!