Long ago, when you were still wetting your pants, you probably didn’t respect your dad. You were glad about him, might have depended on him, but respect him? Not so much. At two, you probably stomped your foot and shouted, “No!” As a teen you may have thought you hated him. But as you matured and experienced the knuckle balls life likes to pitch, you probably gained more and more respect for him. Now, at the age when hair grows out of my ears, my dad looks a lot smarter than I used to think he was. He now has my full respect.
God deserves our full respect. Through the prophet, Malachi, He complained about the lack of respect shown by His people:
“A son honors his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the Lord Almighty. (Malachi 1:6)
And, when Jesus taught us how to pray, He began with a prayer that Our Father would be respected, His name be hallowed.
But, it seems to me our respect for God also emerges gradually as we mature. As spiritual toddlers we don’t much respect God, even though we cry out for His help occasionally. Most of us have stomped our feet and defiantly shouted “No!” Nevertheless, Our Father’s love for us does not change; He knows all about the spiritual terrible twos and the heady independence craved by young adults. He reaches out to us through His Son. If we respond, our relationship with Him grows as we are led by Christ.
Eventually we grow to understand the importance of “Hallowed be Thy Name…” Our emerging respect eventually becomes abject awe and deep reverence. We join Him in yearning for the day when that same attitude permeates all of humanity, as it does among heavenly beings. Keep growing in your understanding of God. Keep deepening your relationship with Him. Your respect will grow too, perhaps even before you once again start wetting your pants.