Honor….and other Biblical words

This issue has been rattling around in my head for over a week now.  You will please bear with me if I sound like I’m ranting.  I’m really not….I could be 🙂 but I will refrain. I will however, warn you, that I have written and deleted and written again and I keep coming up with this MASSIVE missive. SO, I’m going to divide this into more than one part.

Last week we heard a situation where one family member spoke to another, in a way that would NOT qualify as honor. (Not our family – not that we’re immune, it just wasn’t us this time.) I was surprised.  My children were surprised. My husband was surprised.  We weren’t surprised that a family member would do that.  We weren’t surprised that a family member could speak like that – sinful flesh and all. What surprised us is that the member who did the dishonoring wasn’t corrected, nor apologized, and the one who was dishonored did. I realized in hearing them, that no one had taught them about the value of honor.

Now, before I go any further, I need to share with you our family’s journey toward honor.  I grew up in a family that was very concerned with being polite. In other words, they wanted to have honor show up on the outside, but what was inside – back to that old heart again – really wasn’t as important. Jeff’s family didn’t bother with even attempting to make it look good on the outside. (That’s not to say they were horrid to one another -they are too separated by age to have that type of volatile relationship.)

Coming to marriage, I had the expectation then that families should be polite to one another. They should use “please” and “thank you” when speaking to one another.  They should attempt to not interrupt one another. (Just so you aren’t the least deluded…we totally fail at this – we’re trying, but we stink.) They should excuse themselves if their body makes any strange emissions. (vomiting is exempt) They should just be polite.

HOWEVER, (you heard that one coming, huh?) my reasons for being polite were not the right reasons.  So, when our children began questioning why we did the things we did, I had to stop and consider… why DID we require politeness in our home? Jeff and I discussed it…and discussed it….and discussed it.  We knew it was important to us, but we couldn’t find a Biblical reason for doing so. (Believe me, I tried several Scriptures, but Jeff wasn’t falling for it. He knew proof-texting when he saw it.) Enter Turansky and Miller.

No we’re not waiting for them….nor are Turansky and Miller characters from Hamlet or any other Shakespeare production.  They are Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller.  They are the authors of the book, ” Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes ….in You and Your Kids” (and several other books) as well as the co-founders for National Center for Biblical Parenting. (I highly commend them to you!)

In the aforementioned book they discuss the principal of honor.  FINALLY, someone gave us a Biblical word for the heart attitude that we were after in our children. What a joy…what a relief!! We no longer needed to try and explain to our children why we expected them to respond to one another the way we do, NOR did we need to think through the way we wanted to respond to our children. God had already made it clear.

So, what is honor? Well, in our house it is considering someone else more important than yourself. Turansky and Miller give a bit different definition: “Treating people as special, doing more than what’s expected, and having a good attitude.” I think that is a fine definition, but for our family, we wanted it tied to Scripture, hence the definition we have put forth.

We have found that by having a Scriptural reason for the things we do, we have a basis for addressing behavior and heart attitudes.  Scripture is full of examples of putting off sin and putting on Godly behavior, however, when we neglect to call behavior by its Biblical names, we hinder our children’s attempts to apply the Word of God to their lives.

What good is honor in a family?  Honor means I don’t whine when I don’t get my way (or don’t feel good, or am tired, or, or, or…)  Honor means I don’t have the freedom to yell when I’m angry.  Honor means when Mom asks me to serve I do it to the best of my ability and do it well.  Honor means I don’t fight with my sister.  Honor means many things, but all of them mean “I am required to die to myself, in order to serve/minister to another.”

Now, see? Isn’t that an easy little way to remember it?  I’m sure, now that I’ve shared this with you, you and your family will excel at showing honor, just like me and my family do…………  What do you mean you aren’t buying this?  Hmph. 😆

I’m going to stop here for now, so that you may add your .02 worth, as I’m sure that there are many other families who are doing a much better job than we are – and their input would greatly serve us all!

If you are reading this, perhaps this post will minister to you as well.

11 Responses to “Honor….and other Biblical words”
  1. mea6 says:

    I like your coffee But also java is a programming Language

  2. javadawn says:

    mea6, 🙂 I know, (my kids told me :lol:) But those Java Chickens threw me for a loop though. 😆

  3. Jenna says:

    Great post, Dawn! 🙂

    I wish that I could say that our family has this honor thing “in the bag”, but we are working on it daily too. I don’t think there is anything wrong with being ‘in process’ though. After all, I think it is a life-long journey in putting God (let alone other people!) first. It is SO deeply ingrained in our society right now- the notion that we must take for ourselves because no one will give to us. It’s sad, and it robs people of the blessings and happiness that comes when we experience kindness from other people. Extending love and kindness to other people is such a great thing. It would be wonderful if more people stopped to think about whether they are honoring others, or if they are just seeking to fill themselves. *nods*

  4. ReneeM says:

    its funny, actually, as we were discussing this yesterday! (My son asked what manners were!) its not as bad as it sounds, because some ladies at my in-laws church where we go Wednesday nights sometimes commented on how well-behaved and nice mannered they were, so I passed the compliment along! 🙂 (Imagine my surprise!! I apparently was NOT around when they were so well behaved and well mannered!)

    Anyway, we were discussing why we say please and thank you… and we came up with similar reasons… and then we marveled at the fact that it has never (truly!) been acceptable to demand food, state “Mama, banana! I am hungry!” – and yet, it STILL comes out! I suppose something must be happening though, because in their little church class my 3yr old said “no thank you” unprompted… ??? I guess it is a CONSTANT teaching, and one day it sinks in!

  5. Margie says:

    Oh boy! Just as I was reading the paragraph before the point where you introduced Turansky and Miller that very book came to mind. I borrowed it from the library several years ago. AWESOME!!! I really need to invest in a copy and review on a regular basis. I DO have a copy of Good and Angry, Exchanging Frustration for Character…In YOu and Your Kids! Probably should be reviewing that one as well. These two are gifted authors.

    I am off to check out National Center for Biblical Parenting….. Thanks for the link!

    Oh and keep up with the Honor. I like that honor is going above and beyond what is expected. Up until you cross the line to “above and beyond” it is simple obedience. First we must learn to obey then we can honor. Hmmmm, something tells me that I need to consider going above and beyond in my relationship with the Heavenly Father to honor.

  6. javadawn says:

    Thanks Jenna, and I agree – we don’t have it down pat, none of us. I hope that it is a process I embrace my whole life! (As in, not give up)

    Renee, I just cracked up when you said, “we were discussing this yesterday! (My son asked what manners were!) its not as bad as it sounds,” BECAUSE there have been times it WOULD HAVE BEEN AS BAD AS IT SOUNDS, here at my house. 😆 It’s always wonderful though to find out that my children have been well-mannered when I’m NOT around. The constant teaching DOES wear off, some how – more grace, I’m guessing. 🙂 We have NEVER asked our children to respond with “Yes Ma’am.” (or “sir”) but they do. It came from their desire to honor us. The Bigs started it and it just trickled down to the Littles.

    Margie, YES – “first we must learn to obey, then we can honor” SO well said. The ouchy part came when you mentioned going above and beyond with Father. 🙂 It’s a good “ouch” without doubt, just hard, isn’t it?

  7. winkies6 says:

    Here here!

    Doncha think God gives us things to constantly attain so that we don’t get bored? LOL I mean life would be so boring if we weren’t contantly working on SOMETHING!

    I agree with everyone who says that they get compliments on how well-mannered their children are… when the parents are NOT around. That is ALWAYS happening to me. Especially with the one that is most defiant to us. He gets extremely huggy and lovey and pleasant when I am not in the vicinity. *sigh* Where’s the love?? LOL

    Is it the season? Is this not what I, myself, have been complaining about? Is it me? Am I causing the “trickle down” in my own children towards ME? Are they feeding off my own whining and complaining and tantrums?

    Thanks a lot, Dawn. HRMPF! Make me examine myself, not my reflection! 😉 Sarcasm aside, I’d rather it’s something that I can work on, than it be an outside source that I have next to no control over.

  8. whimsy says:

    Oh my. How timely. I’ve been really struggling with this. Having been raised in an abusive/not honoring home, I have learned some pretty bad patterns. I swore I would teach my daughters to stand up for themselves because they had WORTH!!
    Now, God is impressing on me that I need to teach them about serving and honoring others. OUCH. I just don’t know how. I keep feeling like I am setting them on a dangerous path.
    Now I know that God wouldn’t do that, but my flesh is bristling.

    Advice and prayers appreciated

  9. javadawn says:

    Whimsy, my dear, your comment pierces my heart – I want to just start pouring out my heart all over the comment box. BUT, I feel the weight of needing to pray before I answer. (That isn’t a bad thing. 🙂 It means LESS of Dawn and MORE of Father needs to come through my words.) 🙂

  10. Jesse says:

    I suggest taking a look at The Rules of Honor at: seekingtruthinreligionandpolitics.blogspot.com

  11. Miton says:

    Hello!!!! Woke up this morning with the word ‘Honor’ impressed in my heart, i googled the biblical meaning and this is me reading ur post. U’ve been a lot of blessing and an eye opener too. But i’ve got my work cut out for me. I’ve given myself reasons and excuses to be selfcenterd- upbringing and societal reasons, but it’s what God requires that counts so? I’ve got some weight to shed. Thanks for sharing.

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