Somehow that sounds like a platitude: Treating children with respect should be the most natural thing you do. But what does that actually mean – to treat a child respectfully?
Just consider the following situations:
“Oh please, give Grandma a kiss!”
“A little teasing is just fun, right?”
“Don’t make such a fuss about that, it’s not that bad after all!”
“You’re such a cute little doll!”
Would you consider that respectful? Would you feel treated respectfully if someone talked to you like that? However, that sure is the key question. What would you define as respectful?
I would consider the Golden Rule as a pretty good definition of respect. We can find the Golden Rule in Tobit 4:15, Matthew 7:12 and Leviticus 19:18. But I prefer the Golden Rule as it is written in Luke 6:31:
“Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
~ Luke 6:31
So, do you like to be teased? How do you feel about kissing random persons who consider you cute? Do you feel appreciated, when your thoughts and worries are not taken seriously? How would it make you feel when you’re called “a doll”?
Yes, treating a child requires a lot of thinking and pondering, it can be hard, it needs tons of patience and good will and willingness to personal development – but as a matter of fact not treating a child respectfully is really not an option!
God trusts us with our children as we can see in Psalms 127:3:
Certainly sons are a gift from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb, a reward.
~ Psalms 127:3
So we should treat children as the gift they are, we should treat them the way we want to be treated, we should treat as the little persons they are – not as cute little toys.