Ephesians 5:21 (TEV) says “Submit yourselves to one another because of your reverence for Christ.” What a powerful affirmation about human relationships!
Submission to others, especially those who are of our same faith, should not involve us in conflicts over power. Neither should submitting ourselves to established authority in any way diminish our integrity as persons. This display of respect is given only because of our commitment to reverence Christ.
Keeping that in mind, we are also responsible for treating people under our authority well. We must show respect for all those around us. That respect is a consequence of our respect for God. In addition, it is important to show this respect for the environment, for natural resources, and for other living things, the plants and animals. Respect for creation as a response of faith to the creator is a basic principle of stewardship.
—Rev. Eduardo Montoya
- Discipline and respect are words which are more and more distant from the daily vocabulary in families, schools and work places. Looking at Ephesians 5:21-6:4, how important are these words in God’s plan for the Christian family today?
- In your role as a son or daughter, what does it mean to you to be faithful to the admonition: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right”?
- As a parent, what do you think about: “Fathers, do not provoke your child to anger”?
How Do I Act?
- Set up a context for a role play in which both parents and children participate. Let the children play the parent’s role and the parents the children’s role. In this role reversal, the context might be a discussion over how late the child can stay out at night. The participants will create their own dialogue in the light of the context proposed. When the role play is complete, have the participants gather to kindly discuss the issues raised. Emphasize mutual respect of participants.
- Prepare a panel to discuss practicial ways for the congregation to show respect for creation. List decisive actions that come from the discussions. Form task groups to plan and carry out these actions.