Everyone who is old enough to remember a bygone era has noticed it. Respect has been so terribly eroded in our social relationships that some of our citizens no longer speak to strangers and many even fear for their lives when they go out in public. Young people curse you to your face when you drive through their neighborhoods, momentarily disrupting their street play. Adults no longer scowl or shake fists when you display a mental lapse while driving; they now pull guns and shoot you down as if you were their worst enemy. These and many more subtle, and not so subtle, examples of disrespect are sweeping our land and dividing our people.
At the risk of oversimplifying the problem, let me cut to the heart of the issue. Jesus, in response to a question about the greatest commandment, said that the heart of the law is to love God with every faculty you possess and the “the second is like unto it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” All of life, he said, hangs on these two commandments. The order was significant. Without great respect for God we will be powerless to express it toward others. But we are a nation that has forgotten God. His Word and His ways are no longer studied. His thoughts and values are becoming foreign to us. So what can we as Christian citizens do as we watch the social disintegration of our nation?
Let’s first cut the problem into bite-sized chunks. I am not responsible to turn the whole world around. But I am responsible to turn around my own small world. Parents are the primary teachers of love and respect (the two virtues are inseparable). We must always be careful how we treat each other in the home. If you want your children to be respectful, then you had better be certain you are modeling it so they will know what it looks like. Parents, it works in the way you treat each other, the way you treat your children and the way you allow them to treat you. There will always be counterproductive examples surrounding your children wherever they go, but we must never underestimate the power of a consistent dedicated home life to overcome the worst examples from the outside world. Remember, we take back our nation for God one family at a time.
Senior Pastor of Cactus Christian Fellowship