THE RIGHT RESPONSE.
Which do you think would be the right reaction to the following situations?
1. Your mom reminds you that you haven't finished your chores today. You answer:
a. "Don't have a cow! I'll do it when I feel like it!"
b. "OK, Mom. I'll do it in a minute."
2. Your dad wears a pair of shorts with black socks and sandals to the store.
a. Tell him he looks stupid and you never want to be seen with him.
b. Keep your mouth shut and hope he asks you for fashion advice.
3. Your parents drop you and a friend off at a youth group meeting. As they pull away, you turn to your friend and say:
a. "Finally! I thought we'd never get away from Dad and his corny jokes! He's so pathetic!"
b. "Parents can be corny sometimes, but Mom and Dad really do a lot of cool stuff for me."
OK, so maybe you wouldn't quite do or say any of those things, but at least your reactions would be closer to (b) than to (a) in each case, right?
Chances are, you recognized that the (a) answer to each question was inappropriate, even wrong. Why? Because you know that respect is right and being disrespectful is wrong.
God commands us, "You must be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy." Then he says, "Each of you must show respect for your mother and father ... for I, the Lord, am your God" (Leviticus 19:2-3). That means that respect isn't a favor you do for your parents, as if you were offering to shovel the sidewalk or shine their shoes; it's more than that. Respect is right. Anything less is wrong.
REFLECT: How do you know that being respectful is the right way to be? If you got a grade (A, B, C, D, F) for respecting your parents, what do you think your grade would be right now? (Be honest!) Can you bring your "grade" up? If so, how?
ACT: Make a list of five practical ways you can show respect to your parents (such as "opening the door for Mom or Dad," "not talking back to Mom or Dad," etc.) and try to do everything on the list before the end of the next week.
PRAY: "God, I don't always show respect for... when..."
Help me to do what's right."