There's something about the way we expect to be treated by others than seems almost built-in. We easily identify its lack when others appear to have no regard for the dignity of another, and as authority gets continually questioned (and yes, even in the Church) it seems like this quality is about as watered down as it can get. What used to be a given, is now something that needs to be taught, and if you don't believe me, just take a quick looksie at the world we're living in. Respect gives way to appreciation, love, and trust, and I long that we might return to a spiritual understanding of this word which can help us better live it out in our relationships with ALL our brothers and sisters in Christ as well as who are made in His image but don't know Him.
Implicit in the Biblical definition of "respect", at least according to the Greek, is a reverence based on the fear of God, NOT of man. It is the way we are to go about defending our faith (1 Peter 3:15), how we are to submit to those God has placed over us (1 Peter 2:18), and it even appears to be associated with the command to repay it as a debt (Romans 13:7). We'll talk about that last one more in a moment, but for now here is our working definition of the word:
the very least we can do to demonstrate the love of God,
the action which reveals that it is Him we reverence.