Alphabet of Manly Virtues: “R” Is For “Respect”

4 Jul

(“The Alphabet of Manly Virtues” is a 26 post series examining various character traits of godly men. Check back every Tuesday and Thursday for new posts! To view other entries in the series, click here.)


rRespect – it’s a tricky thing. You can’t touch it; you can’t really see it. Respect lives inside a man, and you can see the results of respect through his actions.

Respect is a thought, a mental happening. When you respect something, you ascribe value to it in your mind. The higher the worth or value, the more you respect it. Therefore, you show respect any time you add value to a person, or display that you value someone else, with your actions. It then follows, that if you respect someone, you will not do anything to devalue them. When you respect, your motivation is to increase value in others.

Respect isn’t limited to individuals. Although this may be our primary focus, respect also has other applications.

Three places of respect:

You respect the power. For instance, you respect the awesome ability of destruction an automobile has. This is why you do not jump out in front of a moving car. You also care for your personal automobile, giving it tune-ups, oil changes and such, because you respect the ability it has to make your life easier.

You respect the person. You give them honor, view them with a sense of dignity. Not because of anything they have or have not done to deserve it, but because the Creator of all life endowed them with everything to be respected. When you respect people, you are respecting God.

Respect the position. Sometimes people do dissolve all aspects of which they should derive respect from others. Regardless, sometimes these people are in positions in which the position itself demands respect. When this occurs, the position is respected, and consequently, the person is given respect. (A great example is David refusing to harm King Saul in the Bible.)

It’s often said you have to “earn” respect. How do we do that?

Be a man of your word. If you say you’ll be there on time – be on time. If you say you’ll send the email tonight – send it tonight. If you say you’ll pray about it, don’t give yourself a chance to forget, pray about it on the spot or immediately afterwards. This holds up your standards, and shows you honestly value the person.

Work hard, do not be idle. When it’s time to work – work. When it’s time to play – play. Respect is about earning value in the eyes of others. When you do what you’re supposed to do, people appreciate that. Your employer and your kids will value you for giving them the actions and the time they are desiring.

Live with the highest integrity. Act the same when it’s just you in the room. Then when it’s just you and your wife, keep acting the same. Finally when your with family and friends in public, you guessed it, act the same. A quick tidbit to help: If you embarrass your wife or family or friends in public, apologize in public.

It’s also often suggested, that in order to earn respect, you have to give respect. Here are some ideas on how to give respect to others around you:

  • Look people in the eye when you’re talking with them.
  • Stop what you’re doing and give undivided attention.
  • Open the door for your wife, and other individuals as well.
  • Apologize when you have done something wrong.

When you live with respect, people like you, trust you, and honor you. Remember, having respect is holding something as valuable in your mind. Giving respect is showing the value that you hold in the form of words or actions.

There are countless ways to give respect. What suggestions do you have for all of us on how to give respect? Leave your suggestions in the comments below.

-Brad Andres


Brad Andres writes thoughts, questions, comments, and explanations on God, Bible, and Life. His passion is to help people understand the Bible and maximize their God-given potential for life. Follow him on Twitter. Find him on Facebook. Circle him on Google+.

4 Responses to “Alphabet of Manly Virtues: “R” Is For “Respect””

  1. For the Love of God July 4, 2013 at 10:06 #

    This title made me think of the Love and Repspect series. It really changed how I communicate with my wife. Basically the part regarding the crazy cycle. This post is awesome and goes along the same lines in regard to respect. I will definetley be making more of an effort to open her door for her. Thanks for this Brad!

    • Brad Andres July 4, 2013 at 15:21 #

      I’ve heard great things from the Love and Respect series. I’m sure your wife will enjoy having the doors opened. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Shelley DuPont July 4, 2013 at 10:51 #

    Respecting someone is to add value to them. Sometimes, I fall short in this area. Thank you, Brad for a great post.

    • Brad Andres July 4, 2013 at 15:23 #

      You’re welcome Shelly. I hope you have some good ideas on how to show more respect towards others.

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