A child comes home in tears because she fears the consequences of her parents pertaining to her behavior she displayed at school. As she nervously gets off the school bus, she begins to explain to her mother her mistake of misbehaving "getting on red." She desperately cries, "I don’t know what’s wrong with me; I just can’t control myself." Her mother patiently listens but becomes disturbed when she tells her the news.
They enter the house and her daughter opens her pink backpack pulling out the note from her teacher and it reads, "Lately, Carrie Ann has displayed unusual behavior. She has been very disrespectful. She talks constantly, and when I correct her, she often smiles or laughs and does nothing to correct the behavior. Also, she has started slamming and shoving things to show her disapproval when I have to correct her for any reason. I’m not sure what exactly is going on with her."
Heatedly, the mother points her to her room, saying, "Your actions were not only disrespectful to your teacher, but you also disrespected me, your father as well as God." Being disgusted by disrespect, this mother takes a deep breath, placing the palm of her hands over her face collecting her emotions.
As I consider this scenario, my mind is captured by the warnings of embracing wisdom and reverencing the Lord. The book of Proverbs states, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline" (1:7 NIV). Until you respect God, you will not begin to have knowledge.
According to Webster’s Dictionary, disrespect is defined as a "lack of respect or reverence: discourtesy." To respect is to offer awareness and thoughtfulness, to honor with high consideration. If one does not respect, he lacks displaying honor, thoughtfulness and attention and shows little consideration to rules or others.
The Hebrew word provided is fool, meaning one who pursues their own agenda without regard or reverence to God. It further warns against temptation, "Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching" (1:8 NIV). In other words, pay attention, with obedience, to the chief, the father, for correction and not cast off the mother, the bond of the family and customs. When you respect your parents you get two for the price of one.
Disrespecting others is not wise but foolish. "Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is" (Ephesians 5:17).
Whose will are you following? Being disrespectful is often related to the behavior of a child; however, adults can be foolish. Are you respectful or disrespectful? How do you feel when you are disrespected? Possibly you want to do the will of God but the requirements are not appealing. Are you swift to be respectful? Maybe you are one that desires respect. Perhaps you know someone that lacks respect.
Consider paying attention to the will of the Lord. Reflect on disobedience as disrespect and choose your path – that of negligence or reverence.
Harris is a mother and local resident.