Tag Archives: Respect

R-E-S-P-E-C-T – part 6

(Part 6 – Grace & Respect Walk Hand in Hand)

Let’s make sure that the words we speak to our children include words
of grace and respect.

Chuck Swindoll

     If you’re a regular Listening on the Journey… reader, you know the last few blog posts have focused on the matter of respect. This topic has triggered many subsequent thoughts for me. In the last post, I communicated the notion that respect is linked to love.

     Today, I’d like to introduce another thought: Grace walks hand in hand with respect.

     One reader commented that respect is learned from childhood, and I couldn’t agree more. Children who are treated with respect and who watch respect modeled in the home will be more likely to grow into respectful adults.

     Nothing breaks my heart more than when I hear reports of child abuse.

     Like most conduct, abusive behavior toward children lies on a continuum of ultra-permissiveness to cruel violence. Most of us have at times fallen somewhere on the continuum.

     I’m a grandmother now, but I remember my parenting years well. Sometimes—usually, because I was too tired to expend the energy required—I was guilty of not administering loving, fair, consistent discipline.

     At other times—usually because I was too frazzled to discipline my own frustration—I raised my voice unnecessarily, made a comment I’d regret later or was overly harsh in response to my child’s age-appropriate behavior.

     Devaluing children has been common throughout the ages. I love the way Jesus acknowledged little ones:

     People brought babies to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. When the disciples saw it, they shooed them off. Jesus called them back. “Let these children alone. Don’t get between them and me. These children are the kingdom’s pride and joy. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.” (Luke 18:15-17 MSG)

     As I was getting ready to write today’s post, I decided to Google “grace and respect” to see if anyone else had linked these two attributes. My search unearthed the wonderful quote I used to introduce this post from Chuck Swindoll, one of my favorite contemporary Bible teachers.

     Showing grace and respect to children is a great starting point. Grace-filled words and respectful actions— whether to our own sons and daughters, precious grandkids like Emmi and Reeve in the photo below, or the disruptive little one in the restaurant or on an airplane—reflect the heart of Jesus.

     Today’s post concludes the R-E-S-P-E-C-T series. Next time, I’ll begin a series I’ve entitled, Grace Speaks… I hope you’ll join me.

     Until then, blessings on your journey. May your days be filled with grace and respect…

Sue Reeve

 

 

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Thoughts on Labor Day 2018

     Today, September 3, 2018, the first Monday of September, is a national holiday set aside to honor men and women who work hard and keep our nation running.

     The past couple weeks my blog posts have focused on the topic of respect, a value that is critical to me. Thoughts about what respect involves were ignited when Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul, died, and one of her signature hits, R-E-S-P-E-C-T, was played repeatedly.

     The other evening, my husband and I took an early evening walk along Coeur d’Alene Lake. While strolling through Mc Euen Park on our way back to the car, we stopped at a beautiful memorial which honors a local police officer who was killed in the line of duty. I imagine you won’t be surprised when I tell you the word RESPECT, etched on a large stone in front of a lighted water fall at the memorial, grabbed my attention.

     The sentiment etched above the word RESPECT, seems fitting for today:

As long as there are men and women among us who are
willing to put their lives at risk for our freedom and safety,
there is indeed great hope for the future of the nation and our world.
     I’d like to express the deep respect I have for those men and women who go to work, and in doing so, literally lay their lives on the line daily.

     I’d like also to voice my respect for those willing to get out of bed day after day, year after year, making their way to factories, stores, restaurants, offices, hospitals and schools. Your willingness to labor faithfully makes our families and communities better!

Thank you, and may you feel blessed on this day honoring you!

Sue Reeve

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

(Part 3)

     Today’s post is part 3 of posts prompted after listening to televised reports about the recent death of Aretha Franklin, a remarkable talent known as “The Queen of Soul.” As I heard one of Ms. Franklin’s signature tunes, “Respect” played numerous times, my thoughts returned to other recent headlined news stories and the matter of respect.

     In today’s post, I’d like to address the issue of religious abuse, which has screamed from recent headlines. Sexual abuse from trusted religious leaders, I believe, is some of the most traitorous. From stories I’ve been told over the years, I know it’s real and is not limited to only one denomination.

     The recent revelation of abuse by Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania coincided with my husband’s 50th class reunion. The intersection of the two events created opportunities for significant conversations.

     You see, for twelve years, Ron attended Catholic schools. His high school years were spent living at a preparatory seminary. Most of the 16 boys—now older, wiser and grayer—who graduated from the seminary, as well as several priests who taught the boys, attended the reunion.

     Although Ron’s religious education was imperfect, he feels mostly grateful, particularly for his high school years. Ron told me that he was aware of sexual abuse, and in retrospect, believes one of his best childhood friends was probably a victim. Yet, he had only the best learning experiences and appropriate treatment by numerous priests who taught in his all-boy high school. One priest, especially, Ron credits as his most significant role model.

     Certainly, sinful behavior—often with devastating consequences—exists. It always has, and always will. I will never minimize, nor excuse wounds inflicted on the innocent and feel glad when the light of truth exposes evil.

     My purpose in writing this post is not to excuse devastating and inexcusable behavior. It is, however, intended to express thanks to most religious leaders and teachers who reverence God deeply, and despite their imperfect humanity, honor vows and fulfill commitments. These men—and women as well—deserve great respect.

     Many with whom I’ve spoken blame God for abuse, especially when the abuse was from a spiritual leader. They remain angry and distance themselves from a Deity whom I’m convinced is all-loving and longs to heal hurts and recycle our deepest wounds for good purposes.

     The local church has been an important part of my life since I was a little tyke. I’ve benefited in countless ways from my family of faith. Like most biological families, there are some obnoxious or odd characters within church communities. Some gossip. Others are hypocritical or sanctimonious. Some act as if they ‘know it all.’ A few are cruel or predatory.

     Most, and I would include myself in the “most” category, realize we are fallible men and women. From time to time, we stumble, fumble, misstep, misspeak and miss the mark of perfection by a long shot. As we keep placing one foot of faith in front of the other, however, we visualize with increasing clarity what the psalmist David knew about The Good Shepherd:

     If you were a victim of childhood abuse perpetrated by an adult you should have been able to trust—parent, neighbor, teacher, coach, priest or pastor—I’m brushing away tears as I type these words, realizing I can never relate to the depth of your suffering. I wish I possessed the ability to ease the pain and shame of the undeserved treatment you endured, but I cannot. I feel the only steps I can take are to encourage you to seek help and to consider the claim of Jesus that He was sent to heal the brokenhearted… (Luke 4:18)

     If you did not suffer such abuse, thank God for protecting you. Show compassion to men and women who were victimized. Finally, extend much deserved r-e-s-p-e-c-t to those who attempt in the best ways they know how to show God’s love and who keep discovering ways to grow in goodness and grace.

Blessings to each reading words difficult for this ‘granny’ to craft…

     

Sue Reeve