Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.—ROMANS 12:10-11 (NIV)
Human beings, made in God’s image, are all worth honoring. The word “honor” means to “treat with great respect.” As a caregiver, it can be challenging at times to respect the wishes of a client or family member. Particularly if that person does not express gratitude and/or is childish and demanding. The following three principles may be helpful in difficult situations:
Remember: This person was not always the way they are today. Trauma, illness and aging all have a way of reducing a human being to negative, possibly irritating behaviors. Choose something positive to “cling to” and know you are not just serving them, you are serving the Lord.
Empower: When possible, respect and honor a person’s choices, no matter how silly you might think them, as long as no one’s safety is compromised. We are all unique and feel best when free to choose.
Listen: Everyone has a story. One of the best ways to honor another person is to ask to hear their story. Be present and interested. The insight you receive into the person they are today may prove to be an unexpected blessing.