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Family Tip 14 - Restoring Respect in the Family

 

Respect is:

  • the honor due to someone because of his or her position, authority, and/or level of responsibility
  • the understanding that something or someone is valuable, important and worthy and must be treated in an appropriate manner
  • the consequence of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by abilities, qualities, achievements and virtue.

If respect needs admiration to survive, what do we give our children to admire?

Society goes to great lengths to tear down and ridicule everything that could be or should be admirable. It pokes fun at fathers, mothers, family and authority of any kind. What can we do about it?

 

Benefits:

— You will help children learn how to revere and respect God and His Holy Church

— You will help others to love God

— You will be respected and respectable

— Children around you will learn respect for others

— You will avoid loneliness as respect and courtesy attracts and selfishness and rudeness repel

— You will store up in Heaven a great treasure for the good you have done for souls

 


Restoring Respect in the FamilyFour Tips on How to Restore Respect:


1 – Revere God and His Holy Church

Who is more worthy of respect than God Himself? And if a child is not taught to respect God who is truly worthy of all respect and all admiration, then it becomes difficult to teach a child to respect anyone else.

Children are taught through both word and deed, it is therefore imperative that adults in a position of authority or influence show how much they respect God.

The starting point is taking the children to Church, attending Mass and teaching them to pray by showing them that you pray. The Family Rosary is a wonderful step in this process. All activities cease and are considered secondary in order to dedicate a period of time to Our Lord and His Blessed Mother. This teaches children that Our Lord and Our Lady are worthy of great respect.

Respect shown at Mass is crucial. If children are allowed to act in church the same way they act in the backyard at home, no respect will be cultivated.

When adults treat a church like an auditorium, speaking in loud voices, and conversing about things that have nothing to do with the Mass, the Church or piety, children are being taught that God and the Church are nothing different than everything else and that God deserves no special reverence or respect.

However, when adults are reverent, quiet, respectful and pious, it teaches children that God and the Church are worthy of unique respect and reverence.

  

2 – Be Respectable and Respect Yourself

Each of us are called to represent God to others. In a very unique way, parents represent God to their children. This also holds true for other family members. In a child’s mind, God is reflected by and oftentimes seen through the eyes, behavior, attitudes, body language, and verbal expressions of those around them. Sadly, and all too often, God is not made respectable by those who represent Him.

For example, if a person that the child perceives is greater than he, e.g. parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts, teachers, etc., always responds with anger to any situation, then the child will begin to associate anger with authority. God is the ultimate authority, therefore He is always angry.

This, of course, leads to the inevitable conclusion of the responsibility that each of us has to reflect God appropriately as much as we are able.
Make yourself respectable. The more you respect yourself, the more others will be able to respect you.

Teach by example. Always improve yourself and make every effort to increase in virtue. If you suffer from impatience, always be improving in some way, so that children are able to notice improvement and admire and respect virtue through you.

“Do as I say and not as I do” is the destroyer of all respect! Never have this contradiction in your life. Always be a shining example of consistency for children. If you wish to teach children patience, be patient. If you wish to teach children to be disciplined, then you be disciplined in your own life and in your own affairs. This cultivates respect and admiration in children.

As St. Paul teaches, honor (respect) your spouse. Do not argue with your spouse. If you display anger and animosity toward your spouse, then children will learn to do the same to you. If you honor and respect your spouse always, children will learn to do the same to you and to others.

Avoid the perfection trap. Do not demand perfection that you do not have. Always encourage and require improvement, but do not destroy respect by requiring from children what you do not possess yourself.

Beware of pride and obstinacy. Nothing will undermine respect and admiration quicker.

Strive to have in yourself and in the home a balance of firmness and gentleness. The American model of a man who has to be rigid, stern, unforgiving and always right is very, very far from the Catholic model of manhood.

 

3 - Expect Respect

Never allow, permit or tolerate disrespect or rudeness. Be counter-cultural. Teach children that actions and behavior have consequences.

Establish clear and reasonable rules, expectations and guidelines in the home for every age. Every child will go through a time when he challenges authority. Understand that this happens, but never tolerate the behavior that accompanies it. Help them work through this time in their life with patience.

Put family first. Do not create or cultivate the lie that the child comes first. If you do this, then the child will become self-centered, egotistical and disrespectful. Children need love, affection, a sense of belonging and direction from adults within the family environment, not weakness, inconsistency and permissive parenting.

As Dr. Leonard Sax recommends: “Prioritize the family. The family meal at home is more important than piling on after-school extracurricular activities. Instead of boosting self-esteem, teach humility.” With this in mind, strategize to undermine selfishness; no one is the center of the universe except Our Lord Jesus Christ. Make sure that this is clear, above all through your actions.

 

4 – Beware of the “Parenting Trap” (this point is specifically for parents)

Our modern society emphasizes that being ”liked” is one of the ultimate goals in life. This undermines a fundamental aspect of parenting, as many parents today abandon their mission and their duties just so they can be liked by their children.

Parents are not called by God to be their child's friend.

So what are they called to do?

Parents are called by God to:

  • raise their children and place their children's feet on the path that leads to Heaven.
  • teach their children the True Faith and how to live a life of virtue.
  • educate, to form, to teach, to guide, to support, to love, to defend, to discipline, and to care for their children in all things.
  • accept a full-time responsibility that is rich with blessings and tempered by sorrows.


Parents are not called by God to be their child's buddy. Trying to become their child's buddy will undermine parents' respectability. Children need to be able to admire and respect their parents, not have them as buddies.

This does not mean that it is wrong for parents and children to be friends. In fact, it is a true blessing when parents and children form true friendships. It is wrong and harmful, however, for parents to sacrifice their mission as parents just so they can be liked by their children and be their children's friend.

 

The great challenge:

Isn’t it about time that we stop following the beat of the drum of a culture that teaches tolerance of all that is evil and disregard for all that is good? Isn’t it high time that you and I become true reflections of Our Lord Jesus Christ to those around us, especially the children in our lives? Why not set a higher standard than mediocrity and complacency? Let us honor and respect God above all things, let us make ourselves respectable and let us give and require respect so children will also learn how to respect God.

 


 

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Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for April 8, 2020

Every virtue in your soul is a precious ornament which makes...

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April 8

Every virtue in your soul
is a precious ornament
which makes you dear to God and to man.
But holy purity, the queen of virtues, the angelic virtue,
is a jewel so precious
that those who possess it become like the angels of God in Heaven,
even though clothed in mortal flesh.

St. John Bosco

 
My Mother, I will stand with you on OCTOBER 10, 2020

 

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Julie Billiart

She was miraculously healed of the paralysis of her legs on...

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St. Julie Billiart

Born on July 12, 1751 in Cuvilly, France, Marie Rose Julie Billiard was the daughter of fairly well-to-do peasant farmers who also owned a small shop. From early childhood Julie had a keen interest in spiritual things and by seven years of age she had memorized the catechism and attained an understanding of it beyond her years.

During her youth, her father’s shop was robbed and her father attacked. This so traumatized his daughter that she became ill and gradually a physical paralysis took hold of her. Deprived of the use of her legs, she eventually had great difficulty in even speaking. Julie's paralysis lasted for twenty-two years, and throughout this whole trial she continued to teach her beloved catechism to children and to trust unwaveringly in the everlasting goodness of “le bon Dieu”. Her infirmities drove her to an even deeper life of prayer and union with God.

During the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution when the pastor of Cuvilly was superseded by a constitutional priest sworn to the new atheistic government, Julie influenced her friends and neighbors to boycott the intruder. Though an invalid herself, she worked to hide and assist fugitive priests who remained loyal to the Catholic Church, and for this charitable work she was herself persecuted and obliged to escape from place to place – on one occasion, hiding all night under a haystack.

While taking refuge with the aristocratic family of Gézaincourt, Julie met Françoise Blin de Bourdon, a noblewoman who had barely escaped the guillotine by the fall of Robespierre before her execution. The two became close friends and collaborators.

After the Terror, they both dedicated themselves to the spiritual care of poor children, and the Christian education of girls in a generation sorely neglected by the ravages of the Revolution.

In 1804, after a novena to Him, Julie Billiart was miraculously healed of the paralysis of her legs on the feast of Sacred Heart of Jesus. Now physically free to pursue a full range of activity, her educational work increased rapidly.

At odds with the bishop of Amiens through the meddling influence of a misguided young priest, Julie and Françoise were obliged to move to Namur, in present-day Belgium, where with the full support of the local bishop, they proceeded with their work, eventually founding the Institute of Notre Dame de Namur, today in sixteen countries around the world.

Julie Billiart died on April 8, 1816 while praying the Magnificat. She was canonized in 1969.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

He hung on a cross that day, writhing in pain and discomfort...

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And He Stole Heaven

He hung on a cross that day, writhing in pain and discomfort, the infamous highwayman.
 
On his left hung another man, covered in the matted blood of his wounds. Yet, with the exception of a few intermittent words, there was no sound from him.

As time passed, the thief became more and more engrossed in the silent crucified beside him, and less and less in his own plight.St Dismas Picture

Indeed life is ironic, mused Dismas, this man who had lived in the open, and was acclaimed as a healer and even as a king, now hung beside him who had spent his life lurking and hiding.

And now they were lifted up, both on a high parallel. He could see the roof tops of the city, he could see the highways he had stalked, and he could see the way they had walked. Now he looked down on those gathered around this place of execution, the Roman soldiers, the Pharisees, the curious, the friends of the man beside him…and a young man supporting a lady directly beneath them...

And then he knew her; that upturned face, that maidenly majesty now wracked by sorrow, her tear-filled eyes fastened on the man on his left–Yes, he knew that face.

As the wheels of time rolled back in his mind,  his heart gave a jolt as he remembered that blessed day in the desert, decades ago, when a young family making its way to Egypt, sought refuge for the night in his family’s hovel. The man was strong and kind, the woman was the fairest his child’s eyes had seen, and she carried a golden haired babe, as if nothing in the universe was more precious.

He remembered the lady’s gaze on him, her beautiful eyes full of concern for the leprous sores on his young body. Then she and his mother talked. And next, he was being bathed in the same water the lady had just washed her infant son.

And then the sores were gone.  His mother wept for joy, and kissed the lady’s hands, and the baby’s feet. And even his robber-father was moved, and offered the strong man and his family the best in the house.

Now, in one revealing flash, he knew the identity of the wounded man on his left.  He looked again at the lady, and her eyes, those same sweet eyes of old, were on him once more.  
He felt his heart quiver, as the power of gratitude filled his being and softened his criminal soul.  And then came tears, rivers of tears.  When he could speak, he turned to the left,

“Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

And the Lord turned his face to him, His divine eyes on him, and he heard the most beautiful voice he had ever heard, a voice at once full of pain and full of strength, full of sweetness and full of majesty, a judge’s voice, and a father’s voice,

“Amen, amen I say to you, today you shall be with me in paradise.”

 

By Andrea F. Phillips
Based on: A Legend of St. Dismas and Other Poems,
Copyright by P. J. Kenedy and Sons. 1927, p. 18.

 

Free Meditation Booklet - Be Still and Know That I AM GOD

He hung on a cross that day, writhing in pain and discomfort, the infamous highwayman.

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