A thought by Craig Groeschel from his book, Altar Ego: Becoming Who God Says You Are (p. 127). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
Ok, then what is the difference between honor and respect? Good question.
Craig says, “Honor lifts up, encourages, and builds. You might think, ‘I’m not going to show this person honor because they don’t deserve it. They’re not honorable.’ But showing honor doesn’t work like that. That’s mistaking honor for respect. Respect is earned. Honor is given. This is a crucial distinction. You should honor someone just because of the position where God has placed them in your life. We must show honor freely.”
Earlier he shared, “Years ago, Amy and I were working with this couple. Their marriage was hanging by a thread. When we’d get together with them, over and over again, the wife just continually dishonored her husband. She said mean things about him. She derided him, outlining in minute detail everything she felt was wrong with him.
“During one visit, I was formulating how I could tactfully address it, trying to remember what my Unabridged Pastor’s Handbook had to say about it (that big book you get when you become a pastor that has all the answers in it). But before I could say anything, Amy went straight for the woman’s jugular: ‘You know what I think is the number one reason your marriage is in such bad shape? It’s because you constantly dishonor your husband.’
“Leave it to Amy to tread gently.
“The wife went on the defense. ‘Well, if my husband was one tenth the man your husband is, maybe I’d start showing him honor!’ Amy shot back, ‘Or maybe my husband is who he is today because I’ve been showing him honor for all these years! And maybe your husband isn’t because you haven’t!’”
Later Craig says, “It’s been my experience that people tend to live up to — or down to — our expectations of them. When you choose to treat people with honor before they’re living honorably, often the very honor that you gift them will lift them, to the point that they actually begin living honorably.”
Good thought. Why not try it for a while and see what happens, OK?