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Posted by on Jul 18, 2013 in Generational | 0 comments

Honor is Counter-Cultural

Honor is Counter-Cultural

Western culture celebrates the value of independence and self-reliance. It’s almost perceived a weakness to seek out advice and support from others, especially parents. Our society makes fun of children who live at home past high school and disdains the success of those who build on platforms they’ve inherited.

In my own life, there have been times in which I didn’t value anything that I hadn’t earned on my own. “A real man provides for himself,” I would think. Maybe you can relate. I still struggle to place the same value on what I can learn from my parents, teachers and from my pastor as what I can come up with on my own.

The truth, though, is that each generation shouldn’t be starting from scratch. (TWEET THIS) I appreciate the confidence that comes from nurturing independence in children, but I’m also learning the importance of making sure we value other people, especially those God has commanded us to honor.

What do you think about the values of independence and self-reliance in our society? Are they hurting us or helping us?


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Posted by on Jul 16, 2013 in Generational, Uncategorized | 2 comments

Redefining Honor

Redefining Honor

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.”[1] 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?

[1] Strong’s: G5093

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Posted by on Apr 12, 2013 in Generational | 0 comments

But My Parents Don’t Deserve Honor

But My Parents Don’t Deserve Honor

My Parents don't deserve honorCheck out this story from the Book of Genesis. Noah’s son, Ham, finds his father naked and drunk in his tent. Ham dishonored his father by telling his brothers, so that they could all make fun of Noah together. Ham’s brothers chose to honor their father and covered his body. They went so far as to make sure that they didn’t even see him, walking backwards with a blanket toward him.[1] Clearly, this was not Noah’s shining moment. And while his actions that day were not worthy of honor, two of his sons purposed in their hearts to honor their father anyway. They even covered up their father’s moment of weakness and their eyes so they wouldn’t see it.

Scripture encourages you to value your parents, setting them up to be influences in your life, whether they deserve it or not! Seems crazy, right? But, God knows what He’s doing. He knows parents and teachers won’t be perfect, but He wants them valued anyway. With children of my own, I’m beginning to see how important this will be for their future. When I mess up, I’ll need them to be able to overlook it and still look to me for wisdom and guidance along the way. If they don’t, they’ll miss out on the good stuff I actually do have to offer them.

Three Misconceptions About Honor: (CLICK TO TWEET)

1.)   Honor is For Minors: The commandment to honor does not expire with age. Fortunately, neither do the benefits. In fact, they grow richer as you grow older. You can initiate The Honor Cycle at any age by choosing to put value on other people.

2.)   Honor is Earned: You don’t have to wait for a perfect person to earn your honor. Parents can be valued simply for being your parents, with no conditions. Withholding honor, even for legitimate concerns, only isolates you from the blessing that practicing honor brings.

3.)   Honor is an Action: This is an important distinction. Honor is not an action. Honor is a decision of the heart. It will produce action, but at its core honor is simply choosing that someone else is valuable.

You and I aren’t perfect. Do we ever need people to overlook our failures and value us anyway?

[1] Gen 9:21-23

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Posted by on Mar 22, 2013 in Generational | 3 comments

How do I Honor my non-Christian parents?

How do I Honor my non-Christian parents?

Thoughtful man in the living roomI was speaking on honor at an event a few weeks ago when I noticed a young lady quietly weeping during the message.  It was obvious something was heavy on her heart, so I talked to her about it when the event was over.  She really wanted to experience the benefits of an honoring relationship with her parents, but was having a difficult time reconciling that with the fact that they didn’t share her Christian beliefs.

If honor means to place value on another person, how do you value the input and ideas of people who don’t share your beliefs or system of values?

The Bible doesn’t put any qualifications on the commandment to honor parents.  It doesn’t say you’re exempt if your parents are imperfect, unbelievers or even abusive.  All it says is that if you will practice honor, it will go well with you.  In fact, Peter shows us that honor (in marriage) can actually help win people over to your system of values:

Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 1 Peter 3:1

I’m not saying it’s easy.  But, here are some suggestions to help you honor people who don’t share your values:

1.) Seek out advice.  It’s true – you may not be able to use everything they say, but it doesn’t have to stop you from asking.  Just taking the time to ask for input on decisions you’re making communicates a lot of value to the person you want to honor.

2.) Really try to understand that advice.  Even if you disagree, don’t just assume their advice is coming from a poor system of values.  Dig a little deeper.  Try to understand their perspective.  The goal isn’t to agree.  The goal is to understand.

3.) Compare and contrast points of view in open dialogue.  After taking time to truly understand their point of view, talk about how your view of the situation is different.  Take time and care with this step.  Give them a chance to understand you and offer critique of your perspective.

4.) Leave an open door for further input.  In many cases it’s OK not to act on the advice of people who offer a different set of values.  If you want to honor that person, though, don’t slam the door on them.  Purpose to value and weigh their input in future decisions.  It’s not the easy road…but it will add so much value to your life.

If this post has interested you, you may also enjoy “My parents are controlling. What should I do?” which gives more perspective on how to honor when not obeying.

How about you.  Have you ever faced a parent or someone with opposing values that you wanted to honor?  How did you handle it?


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Posted by on Mar 7, 2013 in Generational | 1 comment

Why HONOR rubs you the wrong way

Why HONOR rubs you the wrong way

hI’m never shocked when I hear people struggle with the idea of honor. Because honor is primarily thought to be associated with actions instead of the heart, this generation has concluded that honor is simply obedience, speaking respectfully or withholding an opinion in deference to another.  This kind of action-based honor has been demonstrated by previous generations.  It looks like this:

  • A kid who says “yes, sir” to his father, but despises him in his heart
  • An employee who represses his ideas to avoid a confrontation with his boss
  • A wife who submits to emotional abuse in reverence to her husband
  • A cultist who blindly follows a leader to his death

These are people hiding behind cloaks of “honor”.  This perverted idea of honor has been paraded as the real deal.  And for the most part, nobody buys it anymore…and rightly so!  A deceitful show of honor only leads to emotional hurt.  It leaves you feeling powerless and often causes you to hurt others.  You sense that this is not what true honor is about.  As a result you may have fled in the opposite direction.

What do you think is the true nature of Honor?

Check out these posts for some of my ideas:

1.) What does Honor look like today?

2.) Should every generation start from scratch?

3.) How to have a better relationship with your parents

4.) I’m an adult now.  Why should I listen to my parents?

5.) Young Adults – Are we up for the challenge?

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