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7 Biblical Ways to Teach Your Child to be Respectful

Becoming a parent is one of the greatest gifts that God can give us. Children are such a blessing from The Lord (Psalm 127: 3). 

When we become a mother or father to our children, we have responsibilities as their parents, to raise them right in The Lord. We have to teach them right from wrong, the ways of the world, and what God says in the Bible on how we are to live our lives, manners, respect, and so on.

It is a full-time job raising kids. 

Thankfully though, God has given us instructions on how to raise our children, and in particular, how to teach your child to be respectful. We mustn’t turn to the world for advice on how to raise our children. Turn to the Creator who will guide us and direct our steps.

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How to Teach Your Child to Be Respectful

Being respectful, in Biblical terms, means to show honor or value to someone. As Christians, we should show respect to God, other Christians and everyone else. When we show respect towards others, we understand that all people are made in the image of God and no-one should be treated less than anyone else, regardless of their status, or whether or not they are saved. 

Your actions and words are clear examples to your child of how to be respectful towards others. If you are being kind, loving and considerate of one another, then you are showing respect towards that person. After all, God tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40). We should be treating others the same way that we want to be treated. 

Showing respect towards others is something that we, as parents, need to teach our children. They need to understand that we are to be kind and loving towards others in all that we do and say. And all of these teaching moments start in the home.

Helping Your Child Learn to Respect Others

There are several different ways for you to teach your child to be respectful to others. Here is a list of several different things that you, as the parent, can do to encourage your children to be respectful:

  1. Be Their Role Model

Your children will mimic your behaviors. They see you as someone they can look up to, or depend on for how they are to behave and simply be in this world. You need to make sure that your words and actions line up with the Bible on how to be respectful, or else you will essentially be encouraging your children to mimic any bad behavior displayed. 

  1. Talk to Your Child About Respect

Children’s minds are like sponges. From such a very young age, they are able to absorb so much information. They are a lot smarter than you think. From an early age, talk about what respect is to your children. Have those meaningful, intentional conversations with them. Even have the Bible with you to read out loud some scriptures, to further encourage them.

  1. Lead Your Children

The Bible says that children are to honor their father and mother. They are not to lead over you, or be in charge over you in any way. What this means is that, you are raising your children, not the other way around. You are the one who has the call the shots. You are the one that has to teach them right from wrong, and everything else in between. 

  1. Teach Your Children Manners

A great way to show respect towards others is by using manners. Teach your children to say “please” and “thank you”, “pardon” and “excuse me”. Don’t encourage bad behavior. Always reward good behavior when they are using their manners correctly. If they want something, for example, they have to say “may I please” or “can I please…”. 

Parents should also be using their manners towards their children as well, to further encourage them to use their manners on a daily basis. 

  1. Give Praise To Respectful Behavior

As I had said before, definitely praise good behavior and do not encourage bad behavior. Not every child is going to be the same. There will be children that are more difficult than others. Be patient, be consistent, and always show lots of praise and love when the child is behaving well and being respectful.

  1. Discipline Your Children For Disrespectful Behavior

The Bible says in Proverbs 22:6, Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. (NIV) You are to teach your children how to behave in this world. The teaching needs to start from a young age, and as long as you are consistent, that child will continue to follow through and not depart from that kind of raising you are giving them. 

When the child is being disrespectful, there are consequences for their actions. In Proverbs 29:17, God tells us to correct our children for their bad behavior. “Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire. You cannot let any kind of bad behavior slide. You must correct your child.

When you correct your child of their bad behavior, it teaches them to not go back to doing it again. Proverbs 22:15 – Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.

  1. What Your Children Should Call You

What do your children call you? Did you know that it is disrespectful to let your children call you by your name? You are their mother or father. Tell your children to call you Mom or Dad. You aren’t just some friend to them, you are a parent to them. They need to know the difference.

RELATED: Bible Stories About Honesty

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Six Examples of Respect in the Bible

There are many examples of respect in the Bible. More specifically, there are scriptures written for parents to encourage them on how to raise their children. All of the scriptures have the same foundation: children are to obey their parents, and the parents are to correct the children. 

  • Colossians 3:20 – Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.r this is well pleasing unto the Lord. 
  • Exodus 20:12 – Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
  • Ephesians 6:1-4 – Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”  Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
  • Proverbs 1:8 – Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
  • Proverbs 29:15 – A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother.
  • Deuteronomy 5:16 – Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

We are children of God and when we do the wrong thing, God will correct and chastise us. There will be consequences for our actions. We read this several times in the Old Testament when Israel would turn away from God and worship false gods, make idols, and get involved in all kinds of other wicked sins. 

When Israel would disobey God’s commandments, they would get further away from Him, and become in bondage to sin. As such, God punished Israel for their disobedience. So as parents, we must correct our children for their disobedience. 

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Activities for Teaching Respect to Children

Aside from talking to your children about respect and showing how to be respectful in your actions and words, there are some activities that you can do to teach your children.

Here are some activities that you can do that will help your children understand more about what respect is and how to respect you and others around them:

  1. Give compliments to your children for their good behavior (each day or week)
  2. Make a list of people in the Bible that show respect
  3. Make a list of people in the Bible that were disrespectful 
  4. Read the scriptures about respect with your children (such as the six scriptures shared above)
  5. Write down how you feel if someone was being disrespectful towards you
  6. Write down how you feel when someone shows respect towards you
  7. Create a recipe for respect – what do you need to add?
  8. Write out the word RESPECT and make an acronym
  9. Read the parable about the lost sheep
  10. Read the parable about the prodigal son

I pray that these words encourage you today to teach your children to be respectful, and how to discipline those who are being disrespectful. Being a parent isn’t easy, but we have the most wonderful role model to show us what we need to do, and that is God Himself. 

God loves us and cares for us. He corrects us and disciplines us when we are in the wrong. He guides us on the right path, on the straight and narrow, for we are His children.

Let the Word of God guide you on how to raise your children right in the Lord. Allow the scriptures to encourage you to teach respect to your children, and to get them on the right path in life.

Some books to help you pray for your child…

Sacha is the owner/creator of Clothed With Dignity Co, which is a Christian blog encouraging women to be strong, honorable and faithful to God. She has a free resources library on her blog which you can use to help grow and mature in the faith. Sacha also owns a small store on Etsy which sells Christian apparel and printables.

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