Photo Credit: Fbvblog.baudville.com
Picture deference as a gift given from someone to another person. It is not something that is required and it means little when it is demanded. But in the right circumstance, deference can speak volumes that you value and respect another person. When deference is offered in front of company, it would elevate the recipient to a whole new level. It would probably make someone's week or month in terms of personal esteem.
Deference: "a way of behaving that shows respect for someone or something" (Merriam Webster Online Dictionary).
Deference can speak volumes of the quality of your relationship to others when it is offered during times of differences. It communicates the fact that you honor your differences and will follow suit out of respect to the other person. In this case, deference does not mean that you agree or think the other person is "right." It only speaks to the foundation of the friendship or marriage.
Deference doesn't have to be dispensed out of emotions but out of mental intention. It can throw someone so off guard that despite our appetite to indulge our anger, we would instead make a gesture that would hopefully transcend our emotions. It is a gift that will not go unnoticed. You might even feel a shift in your own demeanor or notice a change in the other person's posture.
Pastor Andy Stanley (of North Point Community Church and Ministry) suggested in one of his sermons that we should be arguing over who should defer to whom. That in that competition for deference is the highest form of conflict. I defy you to have bad feelings towards another person who would put you first. (SMILE)
You might even feel like this: