I believe that our culture needs godly men more than ever. We live in a time when respect, honor, duty, and Christian manhood is often mocked and seldom taught. I believe that our society needs real men who will lead with love and strength. We need steel and velvet. Warriors and lovers. I want to challenge young men to step up and be what God has called them to be and do. While I believe that your relationship with God is the most important, I believe respect is also vital to becoming a man, not just a male with body hair.
Most of you are too young to think that Aretha Franklin is cool, but she has a song that spells out “R-E-S-P-E-C-T.” I think that respect is a huge thing in life. I have tried my best to teach young men about respect over the years. I truly believe respect is one of the key things that helps a person be successful in life. I also believe that it is one of just a few things that parents MUST teach their kids. Perhaps your parents taught you well or perhaps they did not. Either way, you can learn respect God’s way.
- You must respect God.The Bible refers to this as reverent fear for God. You must respect and revere God and keep Him at the center of your life. You will not always understand everything about God. He is far too vast for our finite minds to comprehend. You can know Him though. He loves you. Always approach Him with reverent fear.
- You must respect authority.You will not always agree with authority. I hope you have learned how to respect those that you disagree with. That is rare in our time. There is far too much venom in our culture today. Be a part of the solution not a part of the problem.
- You must respect yourself.Don’t go through life with a small view of yourself or the life God has given you. You are unique and have a unique purpose in life. You have been called to accomplish something great. You are a leader and can accomplish your mission when you trust God. Do not operate in ego or pride. Admit it when you fail. Be transparent with your success and your mistakes. Learn your strengths and weaknesses. Work on your strengths most. Surround yourself with others who are good at what you are not.
- You must respect others without fearing them.Fear God and only God. Respect all men. Cower before none. Stand in awe of God and his creation. Admire others and congratulate them for the good things in their life but do not stand in awe of men. They are only human, and the fear of man leads to failure. You are their equal and they are yours. Your attitude will separate you; your work ethic, and your lack of fear will also make a difference. Lead when others tremble. Do not be afraid to take risks.
- You must respect your woman.This is true for those who are married and those who hope to be. When God gives you a special woman that you love with all your heart, it is a great gift. Respect her, cherish her, and love her. Try to understand her but understand that some things are a mystery. What you don’t understand about her makes her mysterious and special. Some things are not meant to be understood. They are meant to bring us awe. You can understand football, hunting, work, how to fix things, and other dudes but probably not women. On the other hand, you will get to make love to your wife and become one with her. That is worth not understanding a few things. Be kind to her. Do not belittle or berate her. God has charged the man with the responsibility of sanctifying his wife.
One key to becoming the right kind of man is giving and possessing respect. You can do this. You won’t always get everything right, but you can always be respectful to others and yourself. My prayer for you is that you will be the change that our world needs.
Now go seize the day.