Respect and Relationships – Today’s Family Devotion

Respect and Relationships


Bible Reading of the Day: Read Genesis 32:3-7; 33:1-4.

Verse of the Day: “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other” (Romans 12:10).

Joni and Missy were playing together in the backyard when Mom called them in.

“Lunch is ready, girls,” she called. Joni had asked if her friend Missy could stay for lunch, and Mom had agreed to prepare Missy’s favorite meal-sloppy joes.

As the two girls approached the sliding door, Joni stepped aside and waved her hand. “You go first,” she said.

At that exact moment, however, Missy had stepped away from the door and said, “You go first.”

The two girls smiled at each other and went through the wide doorway side by side. After they had hung up their coats and washed their hands, they sat at the kitchen counter to eat their sloppy joes.

“Jessica doesn’t like sloppy joes,” Missy said as she lifted her sandwich to take a bite.

Mom, who was working in the kitchen while they ate, asked, “Missy, do you still play with Jessica? I haven’t seen you two together for a while.”

Missy and Joni exchanged glances with each other. “My mom says I need to ‘take a break’ from Jessica,” Missy said.

“Oh?” Mom answered. “Why?”

Missy finished chewing a bite of sandwich. “Jessica does things that Mom says aren’t very respectful,” she said. “She calls me names sometimes and treats me like she’s special and I’m not.”

“I see,” Mom said. “Does she treat you that way, Joni?”

Joni nodded. “She treats everybody that way.”

“That’s too bad,” Mom said. “But it should teach you something.”

“What?” the two girls said at the same time.

Mom waited for them to finish giggling before she continued. “It should remind you why treating other people with respect is good and treating them disrespectfully is bad. If Jessica treated people more respectfully, she’d probably have more friends-friends who would probably want to spend more time with her.”

Missy nodded enthusiastically. “She could be fun if she treated people right.” “Like the way you two treat each other,” Mom said. “I like that.” Joni and Missy smiled at each other. “We do too!” they said in unison.

TO DISCUSS: In today’s Bible reading, how did Jacob show respect for his brother, Esau? Do you think that helped or hurt their relationship? Why? Do you think Jessica’s attitudes and actions helped or hurt her friendships? Why? Do you think treating other people with respect encourages good relationships? If not, why not? If so, how?

TO PRAY: Take turns praying for the people you respect. Give thanks to God for each person.