The second form of respect I want to talk about is respect for children. Though the bible speaks of kindness and consideration toward children, it doesn't directly command us to "respect" or "honor" them (as it does with authority and the aged). However, it is clear that children are not to be looked down upon. The Messiah Himself said, "Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (Matthew 19:14)
Since the hearts, minds, and lives of children are so important, should we not do all we can to honor that importance? The amount of respect a child receives plays a significant role in how they view themselves when they become adults. For example, if a child, when talking about something they consider interesting, hears only a disinterested and sarcastic, "That's nice," it is obvious to them that what they are saying is dull to the person to whom they are talking. If this happens to them repeatedly, they will begin to think that all their interests are dull, and consequently that they themselves are dull. This way of thinking may continue into their adulthood. It could lead them to assume they have nothing important to add to conversation, or that they have nothing interesting to say to anyone. After all, if they think themselves dull, they wouldn't want to make anyone else's life dull by their company. Simple things we do can make a big difference in how a child views his or her self.
It is important to show respect and honor to elders, but children also need respect. The kind of respect we ought to give a child is the kind of respect we would have liked to have had as children. The aged need respect because of the wisdom they've gained and the experiences they've had. The children need respect because they have great potential to become wise, and to experience great things. With our encouragement and support, the children in our lives have a much greater possibility of reaching their potential.
Children are no less important than grown men and women. The only thing that sets them apart from adults is growth (physically and mentally) and age. The golden rule applies not only to those equal in age, but also to those younger and older.
Other scriptures to read and consider would be Luke 6:31, Proverbs 22:6, Proverbs 14:26, and Galatians 5:14
Stay tuned for the upcoming article on honesty.