The Respect Game – Today’s Family Devotion

The Respect Game


Bible Reading of the Day: Read 1 John 3:1-2.

Verse of the Day: “See how very much our heavenly Father loves us, for he allows us to be called his children, and we really are!” (1 John 3:1).

“What’s wrong, Dad?” Kirsten asked. “You seem sad today.”

Dad set his fork beside his dinner plate and sighed as he wiped his mouth with his napkin. “I guess I am a little sad, Kirsten,” he said.

“Rough day at work?” Mom asked gently.

Dad nodded. “Lloyd came into my office today,” he said, referring to his supervisor. “He launched into one of his temper tantrums. He told me he had lost all his respect for me because I had objected to a new company policy that I thought was wrong. So, I guess I’m feeling a little down.”

“I still respect you, Daddy,” Kirsten said.

“Me too, Daddy,” her little sister, Kendra, added.

“Kids,” Mom said, “why don’t we play a round or two of our ‘respect game’?”

“Can I start?” Kendra asked. Mom nodded, so Kendra looked at her dad. “I respect you because … because you’re a good daddy!”

Dad started to say something but Kirsten interrupted him. “You know the rules, Dad; you can’t talk until we’re finished.”

Dad nodded and moved his hand as if he were zipping his mouth shut.

“I respect you,” Kirsten said, “because you work really hard.”

Mom reached a hand over and touched the back of Dad’s hand. “I respect you because you’re a wonderful father to two wonderful children . . . and because you always do what you say you will do.”

“No fair!” Kendra said. “You got to say two things.”

Mom chuckled. “All right, Kendra, you can have two turns in a row then.”

They continued for the next several minutes that way, telling Dad why they each respected him. Finally, they decided to stop.

Dad’s eyes were rimmed with tears as he said, “Thank you, ladies. I sure needed that tonight.”

“That’s OK, Dad,” Kirsten said as she stood from her chair, stepped next to her dad’s chair, and wrapped her arms tightly around his neck. “You do the same thing for us when we need to remember to respect ourselves.”

“I get a hug too!” Kendra called. She jumped up from her chair and hugged Dad from the other side.

TO DISCUSS: Do you think it’s good to respect yourself? If so, why? What good reason does today’s Bible reading give for respecting ourselves? How can you show respect for yourself more in the future? Do you think respecting yourself can help you respect others? If so, how?

TO PRAY: “Lord, sometimes we forget that we need to respect ourselves. Help us. Lord, to give ourselves and others respect.”