Don’t Disrespect Me – Everyone is created in God’s image and for His Glory
I want you to think for a moment about what causes you to lose respect for someone. Usually, it’s because they’ve disappointed you by doing something or having an opinion that is far beyond your boundaries of acceptable thought or behavior. When I’ve experienced a loss of respect for someone, it usually centers around something that is important to me that I won’t compromise on. Or, sometimes it’s just a flat out ignorance of things you hold has important. It’s hard to respect someone who doesn’t understand the first things about being a good neighbor on my block, (don’t park on your lawn!), respecting my time, (don’t be late!), or respecting my possessions (return what you borrow, don’t make me come to you to get it!).
Most of the young men you will mentor in 365 Dad haven’t been taught much about common courtesy, basic aspects of life, and all kinds of things those brought up in a middle/upper middle/affluent background take for granted. Because of this, it’s easy to speak to them in a way that doesn’t show respect for their God given dignity. I have to remind myself often that I’m a sinner, saved by grace, and in need of the Lord daily. Had I been born into their circumstances, I would probably be doing the same things and making the same decisions they are.
Remembering that we all are created in God’s image and for His glory is key to treating someone with respect. We are all image bearers of God and as such have a worth and dignity that is equal to everyone else. When people are treated as valued, loved, and respected, they tend to respond in kind. All young dads will respond differently, but they will respond.
Understanding this basic principle will determine the success of mentoring your young dad. It will help you change your approach from something more authoritarian to something more of a coach and counselor. The coach/counselor approach allows him to make decisions that affect his future and feel like he’s taking ownership of his life. If we want to move them toward good decision making, we need to equip them to do so, and then let them make those decisions. The foundation of getting them to this point is respecting them as created in God’s image and for His glory.
Scripture for the week:
Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. 6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth— 7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” - Isaiah 43:5-7