3. Respect – “Treat people as they should be treated.”
Respect can be defined in so many ways, and by so many people, each with their own “exact” meaning. As men, it’s easy for us to claim that we desire to be respected, and we are highly discouraged when we feel disrespected.
I mentioned in episode 2 of the podcast that I was raised by my grandparents. Respect was one of those values that was held at the highest of standards. When walking into a room occupied with my grandmother and her friends, it was expected that I greeted her and then make my way around the room to each of her friends. I used to dread that moment, I would often try to sneak in the back door to avoid the circle of women. My grandfather would catch me as soon as I passed the kitchen table and would send me back into the room to greet my grandmother.
This small act of respecting my elders was just one way my grandfather would teach me about respect. These lessons carried over throughout my military career, and into fatherhood. It may sound old fashion, outdated, and something that’s forgotten, but to this day when I enter a room at work, church, or someone’s home I make my way around the room greeting each and every person.
Respect is something each of us wants to receive, but I cannot stress enough that respecting others should be a priority on our list. Respecting everyone in your life, your Family and Friends, Co-workers and Peers, Customers and Partners. Respect their time, Listen to their voice, Speak words of encouragement, appreciation, and gratitude. Remember showing respect is often the easiest way to receive it.
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12 ESV
4. Selfless Service – “Put the welfare of the nation, the Army and your subordinates before your own.”
Selflessness runs counter to human nature, which explains why it’s so easy for us to be ‘selfish’ rather than ‘selfless’. “Me Me Me”, and I want it now (key up the Veruca Salt music) comes naturally to us.
I’m speaking here from my own military experiences, which in honest may have been skewed by the amazing leaders I had coming up through the ranks. But I believe, wholeheartedly, that most Army leaders put the needs of their soldiers ahead of their own.
Quick story, as my unit prepared for another deployment, we had a field exercise scheduled right in the middle of a holiday. As a single soldier, holidays were often an afterthought and so my leadership had made the decision that those with families would be released for the evening. I was given the task of driving these soldiers back to battalion with my commander so they could enjoy the night’s festivities. I pulled up to the building, jumped out of the vehicle, released the rear tailgate, and helped my brothers unload. The last man left was a new sergeant that had just joined our company. He pulled the tailgate back up, looked me in the eyes and said, “My men are in the field, so I’ll be in the field.” This might sound absurd to those who haven’t served in the military, what kind of man would put his family behind these soldiers, but as a man who ended up serving under his leadership, I can tell you I still call him to this day for advice and counsel.
Now I’m not saying put your friends above your family, I’m just trying to provide you an example of a man that put his soldiers, the men he was responsible for, ahead of his own desires for a hot shower, a home cooked meal, and a warm bed.
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” - Philippians 2:4 ESV
Today, whenever I drop my son off for preschool I whisper to him “Be a leader. And what do leaders do?” and he responds “They take care of others.”
5. Honor – “Live up to Army values.”
Honor is our ability to execute, demonstrate, and live the values of respect, duty, loyalty, selfless service, integrity and personal courage in everything we do, everything.
I often find myself wishing I could find the motivation to workout, to be more disciplined with my diet. To read more, to write more. To edit our podcast in a timely matter (I promise it’ll be uploaded tonight, Jon). I even struggled to write the second part of this blog, but in doing so, I was reminded of the importance of honoring these values.
I wanted to write about my ability to display honor to its fullest in my everyday life, and if I’m being easy on myself I’m sure I could find some ways I’ve been honorable. But, to truly live out these values daily takes work. It takes work to honor your wife, to honor your kids, to honor every aspect of our life.
“Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things.” Hebrews 13:18
My friend Zach ran 25 miles the other day. I asked him, somewhat jokingly, why he didn’t just do 26.2 and knock out the marathon. He told me because the training plan called for 25 miles that day. Talk about discipline, talk about honoring a process.
How do honor your values, how do you respect the important things in your life, and how do you display selfless service? Share in the comments below. If you’re like me you’re working on them each and every day.
-Build up, Become Strong-