What is the relationship between love and respect? Is love possible without respect? Is it possible to 'love your neighbor' without having respect for their opinion, beliefs, religion etc? As the word 'respect' is as losely used as 'love' what is the Biblical view of 'respect'? This question arose from a discussion with a rabbi that held the belief that respect for one's neighbor is enough to fullfil the love commandment.
closed as too broad by Flimzy, fredsbend, David Stratton, Affable Geek, wax eagle♦ Oct 30 at 15:43
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We do not fully know what love is until we see Christ, whereby the divine love of God became the possessor of a human soul.
We understood love before Christ as we were commanded to love, but it becomes a new command because it is re-defined under the brilliance of the witness that radiated from the God-Man.
Now when answering questions about love we simply need to look at how Christ behaved to understand what 'love' means. Did Christ respect other people? Yes, he was very respectful giving the impression that the value of a human soul is more then the value of the whole world's wealth. He also showed unusual interest in those that society had contempt for, making love equal for all human beings. Did he respect peoples opinions, yes in that he respected a persons limited knowledge and the choice to have incorrect views or correct ones according to their own peculiar weaknesses and their faith or unbelief. Did he pretend this respect should also include a theoretical possibility that they were right and he was wrong, no. Of course those he loved he often warned that if they continued to disbelieve in him they would suffer God's eternal wrath. Therefore love respects the choices that men make, it respects man's limitations and therefore various differences of opinions on non-central matters in salvation. Love also hates any soul damming opinions of men, who reject Christ on account of them, juts as love hates all sin
Basically we are to try to respect others in the way Christ did, no less and no more. So 'no', love without some measure of respect, according to the example of Christ, is not possible.
What is Love?
Love is showing respect to others, helping them, irrespective of their status, occupation, nationality, education, race, colors etc.
Is it possible to 'love your neighbor' without having respect for their opinion, beliefs, religion etc?
Showing respect is not the same as showing love. There is a form of respect that we pay to those that we fear, but generally we do not love. An extreme example would be Adolph Hitler, many showed respect to Hitler out of fear, but few loved him.
The Bible implores us to fear God, because the truth is we are vulnerable to God. The Bible also implores us to place our faith (respect) in God’s love (grace), because God is a loving God, but history proves that this is not so with others, generally those that we are vulnerable to, those that we have to respect are often the least lovable.
There is a higher perspective where there is a marriage between love and respect. Wives are to submit (show respect) to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22) in the same way that the Church is to respect Christ. Husbands are to love their wives (Ephesians 5:25) in the same way that Christ loves the Church.
We are also to show respect to those that have been placed in positions of authority; this does not indicate that they are loved as a result. A leader that is loved and respected is a leader that has extended love to those that he has authority over.
So while love and respect are designed to be in union they are not individually the same, just as a male and a female are not individually the same.
So in answer to your question: Jesus Christ loves the World, but the World does not show respect to Jesus Christ. Faith is the only respectable response to the love Christ has extended to the World. Respecting a neighbor is not the same as loving a neighbor.
Finally, God loves persons, but "God is not a respecter of persons" (Acts 10:34).