So God created man in his own image, in the image of
God he created him; male and female he created them.
Dignity. That word seems to invoke ideas of some regal queen with her nose in the air, looking down on her peasants with disdain. Yet, the word itself is an important one. One that we need to remind each and every one of our children of, both boy and girl alike. To have dignity means to be worthy of honor, and respect. Each and every person, whether they know it or not, is worthy of honor and respect.
You see we treat certain people in our society as having dignity. The President for instance gets a lot of respect. Having the highest job in our country is a very difficult thing and we show him respect for it. We stand when he enters the room. For the most part people are kind enough to stop talking while he's talking and listen to what he has to say, though we need to work on that as a society (we are losing our manners.) Yet we also extend that dignity to members of his family. The First Lady for instance gets respect, even though she is not the one in office. The children are seen as deserving respect and often get invited to do things. Even the children of previous presidents are known and respected for simply being their children.
They get dignity because of who their parents are. How does that apply to us as Christians? Each and everyone of us is made in the image of God! God IS our Father! Now some of us deny it. Some of us reject it. Some of us have no clue about it. Even those of us who do have a clue, often forget that simply truth. Being made in the image of God means that every single person, no matter how rough around the edges, no matter how they treat themselves, deserves to be treated with respect.
When we look at someone as an object, we remove their dignity. Pornography, strip clubs, dirty pictures.. all of these remove the person and only leave an object, a thing to be lusted after. There is no love in pornography. No love in staring at someones revealing images on Facebook. No love in turning a person into an object for our own personal pleasure. All of which removes their dignity, and our own. They deserve better! Even if they don't know it! Even if they put themselves in that position, we as Christians owe it to them and to God to still keep their dignity in tact as much as we are concerned and able to do so.
Remember this in every relationship: You are made in God's image. God loved us so much that he not only bragged about us, but he died for us on the cross! He loved us so much that he holds us up to the world and says, they are worth everything to me! Even my life! I will suffer ridicule, hatred, and anger.. I will be beaten, spit on and bruised.. I will lose all of my dignity so that YOU can have yours.
Every Christian man and woman are challenged to love with that same commitment. When we love, we should be putting them first. We should be showing the world how much we love them, by being willing to go through anything to prove that love. Not hiding them and only loving them when others aren't around.
Yes, we are in God's image.. and that's a huge responsibility. It means we should be treated with dignity for that very reason alone, even if that person doesn't realize it or act in a way that seems to deserve it. Even the vilest of people were still created in God's image. Ah, that people would teach their children, their sons and daughters this simple truth. That dignity is not optional!
So examine yourself. Examine your life, your heart, and your conscience. Are you showing dignity to everyone involved in your life? If you are married are you showing it to your spouse? If you are a parent are you showing it to your children? Are you teaching your children that THEY deserve better? Do your sons and daughters know that they are made in God's image, and a worth a sacrificial love? That part of that dignity means being worth waiting for? How can you show your family, friends, children, and spouses that you appreciate them and uphold their dignity?