After you’ve identified a cyclical relationship like the Honor Cycle a natural question to ask is, “Who goes first?” Who should step out and jump-start this cycle? I remember sitting in Dr. Emerson Eggerichs’s marriage seminar, surrounded by couples looking for help improving their relationships, when this question came up in regard to a different cycle between men and women, Love & Respect. He paused for a moment, looked up at the eager crowd and answered, “I always say, let whoever is most mature go first.” [TWEET THIS]
What a perfect response! It shifts our thoughts away from who owes whom and who has neglected whom the most, to who is ready to take a step toward healing or improving the relationship. Who is ready to put themselves aside for a moment and put the other person first?
Of course, with young children, parents have the first opportunity to speak blessing long before the child even understands the concept of honor. But an adult child is perfectly able to kick the cycle off by looking for ways to honor their parent. It really doesn’t matter who starts. The trick is to be selfless, preferring the other, meeting their needs with no expectations in return. If you can accomplish this, you’ll see a huge difference in your relationship that will grow for years to come. Over time the other person will likely begin to respond naturally in ways that meet your own needs.
Who will start the Honor Cycle in your relationships?
A few years ago I had the privilege to speak at a night service in my parent’s church, the church I grew up in. While I was preparing my message, I felt an impression from God to use the opportunity to publicly acknowledge my dad as the great father, mentor and role model he’s always been for me. I shared how his words of wisdom had paid huge returns in my life, and how his example as a servant leader in church had shaped the way my siblings and I are committed to our own church.
For me, the result was a really powerful moment in our relationship. When the service was over my dad showered me with words of blessing, affirming me as a speaker, as a young father, and as his son. Because of our personalities, it’s not easy for people in my family to affirm one another, but that moment was a special one for me. I really saw how honor can open the door for affirmation in a powerful way. [TWEET THIS] As a result, our relationship grows stronger than ever.
Are you frustrated, looking for more affirmation? Do you think practicing honor can help?
When I was in college, many guest speakers visited our church, some of whom had a unique ability to hear what God was saying and communicate it while praying over others. I was raised to be pretty skeptical of such claims, so you can imagine that my posture was not immediately one of honor toward these people. Rather, I took an initially critical approach, watching from a distance, looking for holes in their theology or impure motives.
Yet as soon as the speaker began praying over me, my posture quickly changed. It didn’t take much, just a sentence or two about how God sees me, the significant person that He had created me to be, and my heart was turned. I thought, “This person hears from God! What an amazing gift!” I was prepared to believe and follow most anything else that would come out of their mouth.
The blessing they spoke over me automatically resulted in my honoring them and their gift. Even as a child, the more someone would affirm me, the more weight I would give to what they had to say. This wasn’t only because of my ego, but because I felt like they could identify the greatness I felt God had put inside of me.
You’re looking for your children to value you more. Have you tried speaking to the greatness inside them by releasing your blessing? It may just open their hearts to receive from everything else you have to offer.
Are you frustrated because you’re not honored? Do you think releasing blessing can help?
Learn more about Releasing Blessing:
Releasing Blessing is a powerful part of the Honor Cycle.
Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
(Don’t limit its potential to your children, only. Think how you can use its power to build students, mentees, spiritual children and other people around you.)
1) Understand the Power of Your Blessing. (tweet this)
The Bible says, “Life and death are in the power of the tongue.” The words you speak over your children have a tremendous impact.
2) Separate Your Child’s Behavior from their Identity. (tweet this)
You probably understand your responsibility as a parent to correct inappropriate behavior. What you may not know is that these moments are ripe with opportunity to bless (or curse) your child.
3) Let God Empower Your Blessing. (tweet this)
Chances are that blessing was not perfectly modeled for you as a child. That doesn’t have to be a setback. Faith in God is the perfect remedy, both as a model of blessing and as a source of empowerment.
4) Let the Blessing Flow! (tweet this)
I’ve learned that you don’t have to be conservative with your blessing. Make blessing your children a part of your lifestyle.
Got Questions? What would you like to know about releasing your blessing?
The Honor Cycle works synergistically among generations. You have the opportunity to initiate the cycle in two directions: first, by practicing honor toward your parents, and then by purposefully releasing a blessing over your children.
Blessing sounds to me like such a spiritual thing. And while it is deeply spiritual, it doesn’t have to be that far-out of a concept. One of the first recorded blessings was actually from God, when he first created Man.
“God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.“
Like this charge from God, blessings are simply words that come from the heart and speak identity and purpose over another person. When those words are inspired by God and received by the hearer, they have power to shape the future.
Biblically, the blessing of a parent is extremely special. In his final moments, Jacob lined up his children and blessed each of them. His words became accurate predictions of their future. When the writer of Hebrews referenced this moment, he used the Greek word eulogeo for the blessing that Jacob gave. I love this definition of that word: “to cause to prosper.” When you speak words of blessing over your children, you set them up to prosper in every realm of life! (tweet this)
Releasing Blessing is the other side of the Honor Cycle. It works hand in hand with Practicing Honor to empower generations to build a more prosperous future, one on the other.
Practically speaking, what does releasing blessing mean to you?