Use this free Youth Bible lesson in your High School or Middle School youth group when teaching about the importance of respecting others. God’s Word has a lot to say about respect and teenagers need to learn how to obey the scripture on this important topic.
Bible Study Topic: Respect
Scripture Text: 1 Peter 2:17
Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.1 Peter 2:17 NIV
Introduction: Teaching Respect to Teenagers
Modern definition of respect is to either admire someone or have regard for their feelings, wishes, and rights as they deserve as humans. Another definition says that it’s “to place a high price or great value on someone or something.” In other words, we respect people because they have either done something extraordinary or have lived in such a way that we think they are worthy of our attention or special honor. However, the Bible admonishes us to maintain an attitude of respect toward everyone, as our anchor text states.
People often say things like, “He hasn’t earned my respect” or “respect is reciprocal.” Although it’s normal to feel this way, this isn’t the attitude God wants us to have.
If time allows, choice a youth ministry game idea to break the ice and help the teenagers feel comfortable in the church group setting.
Youth Ministry Lesson: Why Should We Respect People?
We should respect people because:
- It’s God’s Command – Titus 2:7 (ESV)- Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching, show integrity, dignity.
- Ephesians 5:33b (ESV) – And let the wife see that she respects her husband.
- 1 Peter 3:7a (NIV) – Husbands, in the same way, be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect.
- Romans 12:10 (ESV) – Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
- Leviticus 19:32 (ESV) – You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the LORD.
- Exodus 20:12 (ESV) – Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
For clarity, the Bible points out the categories of people we ought to respect. These include God Himself, members of the body of Christ, government authorities, spouses, elders, parents (who should, in turn, respect their kids), and lastly, all people. In a nutshell, we are to respect everyone we come in contact with, whether they are deserving of our respect or not.
- They are created in God’s Image – Genesis 9:6b (ESV) – .. for God made man in his own image. It doesn’t matter if that person is a believer or not. We owe it to God to respect everyone because we are all made in His image and likeness. By despising or dishonoring anyone, we also despise or dishonor God.
- God Loves and Respects Them – 1 John 4:10 (NIV) – “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
Isaiah 43:4 (NIV) – Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life. Evidently, it’s wrong to disrespect someone God loves. Even when we want to address a problem or confront someone over a sinful act, the Bible still instructs us to maintain an attitude of respect toward all.
God calls us believers to demonstrate His character and our faith in Him by being respectful toward others, even in ways that are beyond the norm.
Youth Group Discussion: Why is it Important for Christians to Respect Others?
Reverence for God and respect toward people are not only the marks of Christians but also set us apart from others. We demonstrate who Jesus is to them, which contributes powerfully to our testimony.
- Whom do you have any trouble respecting?
- Which of the insights provided here will help you treat them better – even if they have not earned your respect?
Further Reading – Titus 2:7, Philippians 2:3, Deuteronomy 10:12; Isaiah 8:13; Romans 13:1–7; Leviticus 18:4; Psalm 119:67; John 14:15; Luke 10:33–34; 1 Corinthians 10:33; John 13:34–35, 15:12; 1 John 3:23; Luke 20:25.
Conclude the Lesson with Prayer
Heavenly Father, thank you for your word that has come forth. We appreciate your timely reminder of what you expect from us in our interactions with people. Help us treat everyone with kindness, consideration, and respect going forward. And as we do, we pray you will draw the unsaved toward you.
In Jesus’ name, Amen!