Is Respect Given or Earned?

The question may remain, is respect given or earned. It is both. We learn to respect those we are privileged to know; friends, colleagues, classmates, etc. Others we respect because of the position or office they hold; law enforcement, teachers, pastors, etc. There are always exceptions, but most of us follow the “norms.”

What about respecting parents whom did nothing but show you love and support both physically and emotionally for your entire life? What about the child that refuses to respect one’s parents, in their words and actions toward that person? I’m not speaking of an occasional sarcastic or condescending comment, but continually for years?

Is it a gift that the child gives this parent respect or is it something which should be due because of the position the parent holds in the child’s life? For over 25 years there have been long bouts of not seeing or hearing from my son. After his two daughters were born, I was excluded from family events and celebrations. I receive no cards, gifts, telephone calls, texts or e-mails for holidays and special events.

I continue to reach out to him, for as his mother and a child of God, this is what is right. Counselors have differing opinions on how to deal with the behavior of such disrespectful children, but each of us must also do what we deem is “right for us”. This is a long and complex sorrow, so will blog about this over the course of the next few days, as it is an emotional pain which is almost unbearable at times.  Exodus 20:12 NKJ “Honor…your mother, that your days may be long upon the land…”

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