1. a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe;
2. the outward manifestation of this feeling: to pay reverence.
3. a gesture indicative of deep respect.
4. the state of being revered.
verb (used with object)
1. to regard or treat with reverence; venerate
Reverence is a basis for all human values. The reverent attitude will recognize something greater than one’s own pleasure and will. It is the foundation of all moral conduct toward ourselves, our neighbors, our Country, and, most importantly, God.
Teaching our children the value of being reverent and the gratitude that follows, is a gift that will benefit them for a lifetime.
For me, understanding true reverence came in my early 20’s after the birth of my first child. Although I already considered myself “reverent” to God and my Country, I understood the meaning of reverence better as a mother who loved this tiny child with all of my being. There is nothing like holding a precious child in your arms and feeling the awe and respect for Creation. I have cried many, many tears of reverence as a mother along life’s journey. I work daily now to honor God for granting this special privilege. I have also been a family chilcare provider/teacher for the past 25 years. Outside of holding my own children, one of the times I’ve felt most reverent was during the funeral of a small child I cared for who had congenital heart disease. The funeral included the song, “Jesus Loves Me”…as all began to sing along, it became a powerful and humbling moment. It was apparent the entire room felt as I did. When we are given the opportunity to completely lose “self” in the greatness of all that God has created and is capable of taking away, it is always an overwhelming and reverent gift.
Reverence is a feeling, but also an attitude that is an active, not passive choice. When I was a child, my parents insisted that all children stand, sing, and place our hands over our hearts anytime the National Anthem was played. We were also taught to participate, again with hands over our hearts and our voices, in the Pledge of Allegiance as it was recited. We were asked to regard the American Flag with great respect. Did I always do so with a reverent feeling….no, but always with the choice of a reverent attitude as my parents would have expected and accepted nothing less. Today, I still do the same, but now the reverent feeling accompanies the act.
When we are irreverent, nothing becomes greater than ourselves. We cannot truly have respect and love in our homes, neighborhoods, or Country if we cannot deeply appreciate all the preciousness and plenitude that we have been given often at a great cost to someone else. Reverence can be a feeling that takes us almost by surprise, but it is also a conscious thought to be active in honoring goodness and greatness. I challenged each of you to consider the value of…Reverence. How does it apply in your own lives today and everyday? Have a WONDERFUL Memorial Day!