I finished a fine little book, Reverence: Renewing a Forgotten Virtue (Oxford Univ. Press, 2001), by Paul Woodruff, a classical scholar at UT-Austin who is into Thucydides and ancient political philosophy. For many today, "reverence" is just a polite Sunday codeword for "shut up and stop hitting your sister." For Woodruff, reverence is a forgotten classical virtue that has more to do with politics than religion--it is "the virtue that keeps leaders from taking control of other people's lives" (p. 4). "Reverence is the well-developed capacity to have the feelings of awe, respect, and shame when these are the right feelings to have" (p. 8). He is preaching virtue ethics from a classical, rather than a purely philosophical, perspective.
Furthermore, Woodruff's reverence is as secular as it is religious. In fact, religion might just entirely screw up a seeker after true reverence, as he notes in contrasting faith and reverence:
Worship is a confusing place to look for reverence. To begin with, worship is not always reverent; even the best forms of worship may be practiced without feeling (and therefore without reverence), and some forms of worship seem downright vicious. Besides, some forms of worship put great emphasis on faith, which is quite different from reverence, and this too may confuse a seeker for reverence. Reverence is not faith, because the faithful may hold their faith with arrogance and self-satisfaction, and because the reverent may not know what to believe.
The reverent leader is the opposite of a tyrant, and as tyranny was the enemy of democratic Athens, reverence was the virtue to combat tyranny's emergence. "Leadership (as opposed to tyranny) happens only when there is virtue, and reverence is the virtue on which leadership most depends" (p. 165). Mutual respect between leader, noble citizens, and commoners alike springs from shared reverence, in relation to a shared ideal if not a common god. It spells the difference between Washington and Napoleon. Jefferson had reverence; Aaron Burr was an opportunistic scoundrel.
It's really quite enlightening, even refreshing, to consider reverence as a virtue, an aspect of one's character, independent of religion. Woodruff covers leadership, teaching, and home life in the last three chapters. Reverence can make you a better leader, a better teacher, a better parent. Check your local library for this little gem (220 small pages).