To some degree, each of us desires to feel respected as an individual and supported on life’s journey. We hope we can count on our family and friends for this, yet sometimes those closest to us let us down in this way. On the flip side, sometimes the respect or support we receive comes from the most unexpected places. That’s what happened this earlier this year at the U.S. Open when a champion showed real respect to her competitor.
Play this video for your students [2:19]:
Coco Gauff, Naomi Osaka share encouraging words after heated US Open match
- How would you characterize the exchange between these two women? (Accept all reasonable answers. This exchange was emotional, supportive, respectful, and real among other things.)
- What might have prevented the exchange from being so supportive and respectful? (Accept all reasonable answers. These two were competitors and the competition could have gotten the best of them; the crowd seemed to be behind one of them more than the other; Osaka could have done the usual thing and taken the interview on her own, not harming but not helping Gauff.)
- How does this relationship compare to other relationships we see portrayed in our world? (Accept all reasonable answers. Positive relationships—real or fictional— are sometimes shown and celebrated in the media. Sadly, there are plenty of examples of abuse, deception, greed, jealously, vengeance, and bad sportsmanship shaping our collective memories about what relationships are like. This story became news because it was not the usual thing done; it was a graciousness that went above and beyond.)
The Bible tells us stories of people as human and complex as us. They sometimes demonstrate good examples, sometimes bad, sometimes the messy in between. The Bible gives plenty of examples of relationships—good and bad, real and complex. Today we will see how the supportive and respectful relationship between two women experiencing loss and difficult circumstances results in a better life for their family as God works behind the scenes to bring about restoration.