If you’re a parent, a teacher, an aunt or uncle, or even just a person who works with kids a lot, chances are that you have some drawings or coloring pages tacked up on the walls of your cubicle or on the side of your fridge. These may not be framed in a museum anytime soon but they are there because you know who made them. You value the kids who made them. You have a relationship with the people who made them.
To put it another way, you respect the art because you know the artist.
During August, we’re talking about respect—showing others they are important by what you say and do. Honestly, it’s easy to respect a flawed painting when you value the person who made it. But when it comes to respecting people, it gets a bit messier.
This month our memory verse comes from 1 Peter 2:17. It just says, “Show proper respect to everyone.” (NIrV) Pretty simple. If your child memorizes the monthly or the weekly verse and can tell it to any member of the Children’s Ministry staff, they will receive a prize!
But really, it’s not simple, is it? I mean … Respect. Everyone?
If a painting has a few flaws, those are pretty easy to overlook. But people will do and say things that frustrate, anger or hurt us. People—especially those who have some level of authority—may ask us to do something we don’t want to do, or even worse, they may tell us not to do something we really want to do.
In fact, if you think about people only in terms of how they cooperate with what you want, it’s pretty much impossible to show respect. But if we stop and look at people with the knowledge that God made them, then we see things very differently. Suddenly, we can realize two incredible ideas.
First, that God made them.
Second, that God put them exactly where He wants them to be.
Unfortunately, knowing those two things doesn’t make respect any easier. It doesn’t mean that we will agree with everything our boss says. It doesn’t even mean that we submit in every situation—especially if it goes against God.
What it does mean is that we can respect those who have temporary authority in this life, because we know the One who has the ultimate authority, and we trust in Him.
Thankfully, the Bible includes stories and principles that can help encourage us as we seek to show respect to everyone in our lives.
This week, we’ll take a look at Matthew 8:5-13. Here, we meet a centurion whose servant is terribly sick. This powerful centurion goes straight to the one man he knows can help: Jesus! And when Jesus asks, “Shall I come and heal him?” the centurion shows unbelievable respect for God!
Our Bottom Line is: Respect God because He’s in charge of everything. God set the world in motion. Respect is the proper response to the awesome character of God.
We hope that as kids discover what the Bible says about respect, they’ll head into their new school year knowing they can respect those in charge because they know the One who’s in charge of everything.
Our curriculum, Orange, has great “Parent Cues” that we’ll be sending home each month, both in hard copy on Sunday morning and in these posts. For this week’s cue, use these conversations starters:
Ask a kid: When is it hardest for you to show respect?
Ask a parent: Share a story about a time when you showed respect even though you didn’t feel like it.
In addition, they have live podcasts on the topic of the month. Download the podcast on www.OrangeParents.org. Also check out www.Studio252.tv and the Parent CUE App for your smartphone. I have the app and love it because it pops up and gives me conversation starters – it’s a great trigger reminding me of the weekly and monthly focus and how to bring it home. My son and I had a great discussion one week on forgiveness, using some of the questions the app popped up for me. There’s even videos and songs for the kids!
For our teachers, here’s this week’s lessons:
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By Dan Scott ©2014 The reThink Group. All rights reserved. www.ThinkOrange.com *Used by permission.