The Disney movie “Mulan” comes to mind when I am thinking about honor. A journey of one Japanese girl, conflicted between giving honor to her family and culture and yet still following her passions/desired life goals. One of the songs the family, neighbors sings to her is “You’ll bring honor to us all.” Honor in this culture is expected and highly valued. I am not sure that our American culture fully gets this honor concept. And yet as believer’s within the American culture, we should get it. Because it is valued by God and He asks it of us. What I found this week was a little more dishonor happening, even if it was in my heart and not spoken out loud, than I would like to admit. The “Love does not dishonor” (The Greek word for honor means “to revere, prize, and value.”) was a harder challenge than I was expecting. But if I desire to value the things God values, I must look squarely at my own life and the “lack of it” and be willing to make some changes.
Dishonor/disrespect versus respect/honor moment #1-My Mom and Dad- This “week of honor” fell on our family vacation week. Which I found quite fitting and definitely not a coincidence since we were vacationing with my parents. The scripture “Honor your Father and Mother” (Eph 6:2a) was going through my brain even before we all set foot on the plane to leave. I was contemplating how this scripture doesn’t have an end date on it. For example, “When the child reaches their thirties, they no longer are under the honor their parents rule anymore”. And there are no exception or escape clauses like “If the parent is not a believer”, “If the parent is undeserving of respect based on making extremely poor decisions”, or “If the parent conducts all timers and cannot think clearly” then God’s command to honor them is null and void. God says “Just do it” in Nike terms-Just honor your parents, respect them not based necessarily on merit but on their rank/position they hold in your life. So, on our trip, there was not any “aha” moment in which I got to “crown my parents with honor” but I can tell you there were many moments in which I thought twice before speaking. For example, instead of commenting sarcastically to my parent’s suggestion to pack a huge lunch for everyone rather than go out (I was feeling lazy and not wanting to put in the work to do this) I simply kept my mouth shut. And helped pack a lunch. There were many more of these kind of moments. Small moments. Of. Shutting. My. Mouth.
Dishonor/disrespect versus respect/honor moment #2-My husband- When I talked with the Lord about what relationships in my life needed some tweaking in the “honor” area, he brought my husband to mind right away. Sure, I have read the “Love and Respect” book which pretty much states in a nutshell, women need love and men need respect in a marriage. But I have some work to do in this department. So I went through some testing questions to get my respect odometer back to where it should be “Do I value his opinion above a psychologist author of the book I’m reading?”; “Do I value him above my need to be right in a given disagreement”; “Do I value him above my intense desire to control the way we do things rather than simply going with his suggested way we proceed?”; “Do I value him above the project I want done in my time schedule?” All these questions were followed up this week with opportunities to up my “respect odometer” reading with my husband. I will tell you that in the case of wanting the kids swing set built, I chose nagging to get the project done over respecting his way and timeline. Bummer. But in many other situations this week-I decided. To. Lay. Down. My. Control. And. respect. him. Instead.
Dishonor/disrespect versus respect/honor moment #3-The Shaming Game- I have a couple books that are my “bathroom reads”. The book I picked up this week during this precious, uninterrupted time was “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown. And the topic was “shame”. She says, “The shame tapes are the messages of self-doubt and self-criticism that we carry around in our heads.” I began to explore my “shame tapes” and recognized how my need to have approval from others (or therefore my shame tapes would begin to roll) was tied to how I viewed myself. This unhealthy negative inner talk caused me to shame my husband and children at times, rather than fesing up to my own mistakes. For the sake of my personal “honor”. I would shame others in order to not be shamed myself. In reading through the definitions and “shame resilient” strategies and the reality of the “why” behind these behaviors, I feel courageous and confident to speak to myself with kindness and honor, even in the “tapes” I play in my mind. Through this journey of self evaluation I have “grown up” in 3 areas having to do with honor: 1. I honor God above all else, allowing Him to convict me of sin (recognising the act was bad-I am not bad). 2. I am then free to respect/honor who I am in Christ-seeing myself as worthy and whole, no matter what anyone else says. 3. This flows into honoring others, without feeling a need to put down, disrespect another because I am enough and they are enough through the eyes of Jesus.
© 2012 Standing on Peace