In our society, in families, in many marriages, at the workplace, and even in the Body of Christ today, there is a lack of showing honor and respect to one another. The world has promoted a spirit of independence and self-will to the point where the predominant attitude is one of self-centeredness with little regard for others.
Agape love involves showing honor and respect to others. Our society is puzzled by all the broken relationships that abound. Yet how can relationships survive, or be joyful and peaceful, if we show dishonor and disrespect to one another? Honor and respect is one of the most important keys to successful, lasting relationships.
In the Webster’s Dictionary, “honor” is defined as: high regard or great respect given, received or enjoyed; dignity; repute; esteem; to treat with deference and courtesy.
The word “respect” is defined as: to feel or show honor or esteem for; hold in high regard; to consider or treat with deference or dutiful regard; to show consideration for; courteous regard; to avoid intruding upon (such as respecting others’ boundaries and feelings).
The term “deference” is defined as: a yielding in opinion, judgment or wishes; courteous regard or respect; honor.
In certain passages of the Bible, some translators use the word “respect” while other translations use the term “reverence”. Reverence is similar to respect, except has deeper meaning. Reverence implies deep respect together with love. To revere is to have high esteem or awe for; to venerate. Reverence suggests a regarding with great respect, affection, honor and deference.
In 1 Peter 3:7, Peter said for husbands to dwell with their wives according to knowledge (know her, know what she likes and doesn’t like, know what is important to her, know her heart). Then Peter says to give honor to the wife as the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers be not hindered. The Greek word and definition of “honor” in this verse is timee (Strong’s New Testament #5092). It means: “honor which belongs or is shown to one; to value and esteem to the highest degree; to hold in high dignity; to esteem as very precious; of high price.”
So Peter is saying to husbands to show honor to their wives, to value and esteem them to the highest degree, to hold in high dignity, to esteem as very precious and of high price.
The word to wives in Ephesians 5:33 does not just tell wives to respect their husbands, but to reverence their husbands. Reverence implies deep respect together with love, affection, honor and deference (yieldedness, submissiveness).
The Bible commands us to honor our parents. The Greek word for “honor” in the verses that refer to honoring parents is timao (Strong’s New Testament #5091). It is defined as: “to prize; to fix a valuation upon; to revere; to venerate; to honor.”
In Matthew 15:3-7, some of the Pharisees and Scribes provoked Jesus by asking Him why His disciples transgress the tradition of the elders by not washing their hands when they eat bread. Jesus then asked them why their traditions violate the direct commandments of God. Many of the religious leaders failed to honor their parents by not caring or providing for them in their older age, when they had means to do so. Resources that should have been used to take care of their parents was instead given away to be used for other purposes.
Peter said to honor kings and those in authority (1 Peter 2:17). Romans 13:7 tells us to give honor to whom honor is due. First Timothy 5:17 says that the elders who rule well should be counted worthy to double honor, especially those who labor in the Word and doctrine.
Romans 12:10 tells believers in the Body of Christ to be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love, in honor preferring one another. In the Greek, to prefer one another means to show deference to one another or to outdo one another in showing honor.
Paul said to show special honor to widows in 1 Timothy 5:3.
Peter commanded us in 1 Peter 2:17 to show honor and respect to all people.
Most importantly, we are to honor the Lord. We show Him love and honor in our personal relationship with Him – not only in words but also in our hearts and in our deeds. We also show the Lord love and honor by the way we treat other people. Jesus said, “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me” (Matthew 25:40).