I recently saw on the news that Anna Duggar from the show 19 Kids and Counting is being slandered for the fact that she re-tweeted a comment about abortion and how all lives should matter. I found it quite ironic, that someone would be slandered for placing value on human life. As I thought about this situation, some things that God has been sharing with me have risen to the surface, and I’d like to share them with you.
Imagine this scene with me from the early 1900s. The rustic handsome man knocks on the door of the woman he loves and has just begun courting. He politely asks her parents if he may sit with her in the parlor. Once he has been granted permission, he begins to sit and respectfully talk with her about the things they like and dislike. Towards the end of the evening, they decide to take a small walk around the block and as they do, he asks her permission to hold her hand, and then takes her home and expresses to her how he looks forward to their next meeting.
This seems almost ancient in its approach and sometimes when we read stories like this we thank God that we don’t have to go through all this pomp and circumstance. But there is one thing from this story that I miss. Something that has gotten lost in our culture of quick fixes and selfish living and it is the concept of honor.
This comes to mind because it is a concept that we have been trying to preserve both in our family and in our ministry. How many of us in frustration have said, “The Bible says to honor your father and mother, so you better do what I say!” What’s so wrong with this picture is that we are demanding honor without giving it. In Romans chapter 2 Paul shares with us that the fruit of righteous living is glory, honor and peace. If you look up the definition of honor, you find that it means to treat something as valuable or as a priceless treasure. There is not a qualifier on this. We tend to think people deserve honor only if they obey us or honor us or do something respectable. But God models a much different kind of honor for us when He finds us in the dirt and calls each of us a most valuable treasure. And then, much like an archaeologist, He sweeps away the dirt and unearths the treasure.
I would like to challenge each one of us to revive the concept of honor beginning in the circles of our families and then reaching out to each life we touch. It starts with understanding how valuable we are to God and receiving the value He places on our lives. Then to our husbands, (you know those guys we committed to love, HONOR, and cherish J) we need to communicate their value, something that may have gotten forgotten or pushed under the rug due to the cares of life. And then to our children, let’s model for them how to lower ourselves in order to bring value and honor to the people around them.
As a final note, this also includes our relationships with people both in the church and outside of it. For too long the church has looked at the unsaved thinking they somehow deserve what is coming to them: the payment for their wrongdoing. Let’s turn the tide and release honor instead; showing them in a tangible way the Father honors them, even in the middle of their sin. Let’s pick them up and unearth the treasure that God created on the inside of them.
We may never go back to the culture of the early 1900s or that way of living, but I believe we can impact our families and generations to come by restoring honor by. It may mean that we are publicly slandered like Anna Duggar, but I believe if we each do our part we can advance the Kingdom of God.