Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Romans 12:9–10 (ESV)
Communicating what you respect about those you love has great rewards.
You see, you will tend to move toward the people you honour, and those you honour also tend to move toward you. In this way, honouring has a powerful effect on relationships.
On the other hand, if you have feelings of disrespect toward someone and you communicate that disrespect, you cause distance within the relationship.
Disrespect can easily build within the closest relationships if you’re not careful. If you’re a teenager, you may struggle with this especially. As a child, you were blind to your parents’ weaknesses, but now you’re beginning to see all of their imperfections and inconsistencies. You have a choice to make. You can focus on their flaws and overlook all the love and effort they put into raising you, or you can choose to focus on the best in your imperfect parents. If you focus on the best, you protect the respect you have for them.
The same is true for parents. It can be easy to focus on your kids’ flaws and shortcomings, but the last thing you want to do is lose respect for your kids. Remember to value their strengths and communicate all that you respect about them, because honouring them will cause you to draw closer to them and it will cause them to draw closer to you.
Build strength into your relationships by focusing on the good. Remember all that you love and respect about those closest to you and let them know how you feel, and you’ll create closer relationships.