As I mentioned in a previous post, the concept of honor is lost on our generation. When New Testament writers reference the Fifth Commandment, they use the Greek word, timaō, which means “fix value on.” Let’s say you have a penny and you want to honor it. According to the Greek definition, you do so by simply deciding to fix value on that penny. You don’t care that everyone else believes your penny is virtually worthless. It’s worth a lot to you, so you treasure it.
But that’s not how most people approach honor. Most people wait until something clearly shows a lot of value. For example, it would be easy to fix value on a $1,000 bill. Its value is already well established, so anyone would “honor” its status and treasure it. Most often, the object of honor must have apparent worth before we place value on it.
However, the Biblical use of “honor” teaches that honoring your father and mother means simply choosing to fix value on them. You put value on those you honor—whether or not they have earned it or deserve it. (TWEET THIS) Honor isn’t contingent on their actions. When you decide to honor someone, you determine that they have worth. You add weight to them in your own frame of reference. You determine “This person is valuable.”
Does this line up with your understanding of honor?
Discovering the Honor Cycle has been a long journey for me. I’ve spent the last fifteen years intentionally growing in the practice of honor. Of course, there are still days where I catch myself wanting to forge my own path. But I’ve seen the advantages of this lifestyle in ways I never could have expected. Here are some questions that can help you get the Honor Cycle moving in your family. (tweet this)
1.) How do you see your parents’ generation?
Think about it for a minute. Do you see value in the previous generation? Given the chance to build something on your own, would you demand that they come and build with you? Or do you relish the opportunity to stand on your own without their oversight?
2.) How do you see the next generation?
Does your vision for the future go beyond your life? What are you invested in that will benefit future generations? Are you prepared to come alongside a new generation and empower them to flourish?
3.) Would you consider a new approach?
What if the Honor Cycle truly does have the power to transform our families and our society? Are you willing to change your lifestyle to take advantage of its power? The Honor Cycle won’t self-initiate, but it only takes one willing person to get it moving in your family. Are you willing to consider a new approach to life and relationships?
Would you like to share your answers to any of these questions?
I know it sounds like I’m confronting a national value. After all, we have a national holiday we call Independence Day. To be clear, I completely agree with the decision to free ourselves from tyranny. I completely disagree, however, with the choice of individuals to use their freedom to isolate themselves and their decisions from people who can help. As much as we are a free society, we are an interdependent society. We need each other to experience the best life possible.
I’m naturally wired to be very independent. I don’t like oversight. I fantasize about autonomous power over my life and decisions. I’ve always been that way. But I’m wrong…especially when it comes to family relationships.
The truth is that there is a blessing that fathers and mothers have to offer the work of this generation. Moreover, there is a blessing that we have to offer future generations. We’re uniquely positioned to build the future by not only focusing on our children but also by restoring the broken parts of relationships with parents. While we may choose to bless future generations, we need the blessing from previous generations to discover our own potential.
I believe this is where the Honor Cycle starts: learning how to open the door for blessing in our lives through the practice of honor, then discovering how to pass along the blessing to future generations.
Do you think our society has gone too far promoting independence? (tweet this)
What value do you see in submitting your life to the input of other people?
An ancient Thai tradition illustrates how the Honor Cycle works. In the ceremony of Wai Khru, students pay homage to their teachers to express their gratitude and to formalize the student-teacher relationship. The student honors the teacher, recognizing the role of the teacher and submitting to his instruction. The wai khru chant, which expresses respect for the teachers, ends by asking that the teachers bless their studies.
This tradition demonstrates that the posture of the student is supremely important to facilitate the learning process. The student places value on the teacher and positions himself to receive what the teacher has to offer. But notice that the teacher understands that he must release blessing. Instruction and guidance is only part of the assignment. The real power of the older generation is to bless future generations! (tweet this)
A posture of honor positions us to receive blessing from our parents, teachers and mentors. Giving our blessing to our children, students and mentees empowers them to honor. This is the power of the Honor Cycle. Adhering to these simple principles can restore broken families and societies, setting them up to flourish for many generations.
How have you seen the Honor Cycle working in your relationships?
Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise.
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