Respect is an idea that is becoming more uncommon in our world. As parents behave like teenagers and raise their children to be even less mature it is a struggle to teach kids basic manners of respecting their elders or even respecting the atmosphere to which they have been invited.
What would happen if you were invited to have dinner with the governor? Imagine you showed up to this formal event wearing your most comfortable shorts and t-shirt. Would that not give an air of disrespect to the sanctity of the event? Then, when greeted by the governor you refused to shake his or her hand or even acknowledge his or her presence. How long would you expect to be allowed to remain at that dinner?
This concept is not hard. It is not a foreign concept that has to be militaristicly taught to the upcoming generations. It merely needs to be modeled and then expected.
Within our churches many have created a much more relaxed atmosphere. God looks at the heart and not the outward appearance. I believe this is good and creates the inviting atmosphere needed for people to feel comfortable coming and learning about and experiencing Jesus.
One of the concepts that we trend toward losing in our desire to be colloquial is that of reverence and honor before the Lord.
When we sing, we are singing to Jehovah, the Creator, in His presence. When we study, we are studying the very words of God. When we see our brothers and sisters, we are encountering those who have been clothed with Christ and in whom lives the Spirit. When we partake of communion, we are partaking of the body and blood that was shed for our sins by the One who Created us.
Malachi 1:6 says this:
“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the Lord Almighty. (NIV)
When we come together we should be showing our children what reverence looks like. If they do not understand it, then we should be instructing them in the ways of honoring the Lord.
God accepts us where we are, but He doesn’t leave us there. He wants us to grow in our understanding. He wants us to grow into the image of His Son. “Outdo one another in showing honor (Romans 12:10 ESV).”
Next time you’re in worship with your brothers and sisters pour out your heart. Worship the Lord with all of your might. Remember what He has done and is doing for you every day, and show your children what it means to honor the Lord. God isn’t looking for your suit and tie, but He is looking for your heart of reverence toward Him, and He’s looking to us to instill that mindset and heart of reverence in our children as well.