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.