Respect is another one of those desires that we all have. We want to be respected and when we are not respected then it affects everything about us. A lack of respect is very demeaning and a relationship will not last long or be intimate without it. Respect and trust go together. We have difficulty respecting someone whom we do not trust and in the same way we have a hard time trusting someone whom we do not respect. How do we get the respect we long for and need?
II Peter 1:5-7 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.
Trust is a prerequisite to respect. You must be trustworthy and to be trustworthy means that you must have moral excellence. Moral excellence means that you have high standards of morality and you do not compromise. You do not have sex before marriage nor do you stir up desires in a man which can not be fulfilled righteously. You exhibit godliness in the way you dress, act and speak. You do not lie, steal or cheat. You do not gossip or slander. These are just a few examples but they can all be summed up in the great commandment of our Lord, which is, “to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and your neighbor as yourself”. He who does these things will not stumble and will be found trustworthy.
I Peter 2:17-19 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.
To respect someone means that we treat them with honor. There are two aspects of respect. One aspect is that we are to respect those who are in a position of authority over us. They may be a king or president or policeman. The person worthy of your respect due to their position may be your employer and certainly your parents and if you are married then your husband also. Their character may not be respect worthy but their position is and you are to respect them. Another meaning of respect is to honor and the Lord commanded us to honor our parents from the beginning. All of these positions we are to honor and respect whether or not the people themselves are worthy of it. Not only are we to respect the people in positions of authority but the Lord tells us that we are to honor all people.
Proverbs 22:4 The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord
Are riches, honor and life.
The other aspect of respect is that some people earn the respect of others. This is the person that you want to be so that whether you are in a position of respect or not, that people will respect you for who you are and what you do. Respect is generally instinctive and that is why a man will instinctively respect a woman who acts like a lady and is a godly woman. He will respect her even if he generally does not respect women because her life commands a certain respect. A man has no problem using curse words around a female who also curses but if she does not curse then he will become aware of her gracious speech and it will be harder for him to curse.
Lamentations 1:8b All who honored her despise her
Because they have seen her nakedness;
Even she herself groans and turns away.
Another action that causes a man to lose respect for a woman is if he sees her nakedness. A female is not wise to dress in a way that is revealing. She may get attention for the moment but she loses the respect of the man who sees the revealing of her body. Ladies, if you want respect and you should want it, then live in a manner worthy of respect. A man will have a much greater respect for you and he will trust you more. You will be the kind of woman that he will be proud to know and the kind that he would want to introduce to others as belonging to him as his wife.
Proverbs 31:29b,30 “Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.”
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
It is not too late to start over if you have compromised in the past. The Lord makes us new creatures in Christ. He forgives us and cleanses us. He gives us a new start. Trust Him and follow His instructions and you will have the respect you long for and desire.