• Johan

Proud men ….. RESPECT

Updated: Mar 31

Synonyms to the word “respect” include words such as admiration, esteem, regard, value, appreciate and acknowledge. These are words that, when expressed, indicate some form of higher level of consideration given by the person who expresses the behaviour to the person whom is being spoken of. It indicates a willingness to honour the person being respected.

Can we show respect?

South African men are mostly sport crazy as is evident to anyone who watches sport games live or on TV. We are willing to paint ourselves in colours, wear all kinds of “impossible fashion” or very expensive branded clothing and generally behave, well …. Lets just say not in a quiet manner! We do not hold back when it comes to sport.

But when we get the chance to meet the sport stars, we adjust our behaviour to become mostly very respectful, sometimes even to the extent that it borders on the painful for anyone who watches. We have the ability to elevate the sport star to nearly a level of super-human being, giving acknowledgement, esteem and appreciation for what they do and who they are. Even if we do not know them personally, we still offer our admiration and respect.

So, as South African men, we are known to be able to express respect in all the forms of its synonyms.

But is this also the kind of behaviour we have towards women? Do we have respect for them, for what they do, who they are, even though we may not know them?

Why would we not behave respectfully towards them if we are able to act in that way? It can only be because, for some reason, we do not admire them, value them or appreciate them.

Should we respect women?

We can claim many sources of authority, but none can be higher than that of God, Creator of man and woman, Father of Jesus Christ our Lord. He says, as recorded in His Word, the Bible, the following:

  • Proverbs_31:31 (Good News Bible) …. She deserves the respect of everyone.

  • 1Peter_2:17 (Good News Bible) Respect everyone ….

  • 1Peter_3:7 (Good News Bible) …. Treat them (wives) with respect …….

It is clear that God expects our respect to be given to all people, but especially also to women, as they were made to be our companions.

How do we show this respect?

If we know we can be respectful and we know we should be respectful, the only question that remains is how must we then act to be respectful towards women?

The following suggestions are made, and even when done to an unknown woman you may encounter, to teach you actions that accompany a respectful man:

  • Stand aside at a door when you approach it at the same time as a woman, and let her through first;

  • Hold open the door for woman to allow them to pass through;

  • Stand up when you have a seat and a woman is left standing, so that she can sit down;

  • Offer to carry heavy things for a woman, even if she does not ask for help;

  • Use respectful language at all times, but especially when woman is around.

You may ask (and I am sure some women will also ask) whether these actions is an attempt to show woman that they are the weaker sex and need a man to do these things for her?

The answer is simple, its NO ……. these are purely actions that show respect!

The way to test this is to ask yourself:

  • If I and the Springbok Captain Sya Kolisi approach the same door, will I stand back and let him through first or bump him out of the way?

  • If Nelson Mandela was sitting close to me, will I swear and tell bad jokes or be mindful of what I say in his presence?

The answers are surely simple ……… if I have any respect for them.

So also should it be towards women.

If we expect and allow men to show their respect towards women by doing such simple things as those above, it will eventually create a respectful attitude in men towards all women, resulting in respectful behaviour at all times.


Lets act out the respect we have for women, because of who we are, respectful men of South Africa that value, appreciate and acknowledge all women !