Giving Honor Where Honor Is Due
by Angie Ketcham
As I was cleaning the house today, I allowed my daughter to turn on the television to keep her occupied. As we were flipping through the channels, we stopped at Cartoon Network just to see what kids were watching nowadays. To my disbelief, all I saw was characters that treated each other with unkind words, adults that were presented as knowing nothing and the children had to run the show to keep order because their parents were incapable of doing the job. It got me to thinking about what the Word of God looked like compared to what is being planted in the minds of children everyday.
So, my mind wondered further today on this issue of honor. What exactly does it mean to honor a person? The dictionary tells us that honor means "to hold in high respect, as for worth, merit, or rank". It is equally paired with obedience in the Word, which shows that the words of someone of honor deserves to be unquestionably listened to. Unquestionably. It seems the popular culture of today leads us to question everything, and only then decide what works for you to follow. No one is held in a higher regard that they obediently follow without questioning the order. Now, don't get me wrong. Obviously, some people in this sin-sick world must be questioned before blindlessly following them. But I strongly believe that, if we follow God's command to honor our parents, even when they are mistreating us or leading us in the wrong direction, God's hand is upon them and He will be with them as they go through live's struggles, because they obeyed and honored those we are suppose to honor.
Once again, from a Children's Pastor perspective, I think about how I can make the Word real to the kids I lead. I have thought about the bombardment that hits them day in and day out on the T.V. leading them away from truth. I have thought about what would have to happen to turn the tide back to honoring parents in the homes of this generation. I think about my own children and how I have directed them as an example to honor those who are in authority over them. The lightbulb moment was quite simple, really. Our children are a product of what we exemplify. In the area of honor, we lead by example! What is your relationship like with your parents and your spouse? Do you put them in a position of worth? merit? rank? Do we use words of someone that is in submission to those in authority or do we talk bad, derogatory, sarcastic statements that show their worthless? Do we obey, even as adults, making decisions after hearing out those that have already been there? If not, maybe there are chances that need to be made to lead our children into the future generation.
Secondly, I considered that, once again, children learn by example. It is our job as parents to make sure our children know their worth. When we belittle or tear down our children, resentment and angry hearts become the result of low self esteem. Do our children know that they are valuable? Do they know that they are worth more than the touch down they made on the field or the grades they made on the report card? Do they know that their words are valued and that they have a voice and it means something? Do they know that their words and actions shape eternity and the future before it ever even comes to be? Do they know they are loved? This evening my daughter was very upset at me because I made a decision to keep her home from a pool party. She is just on the edge of puberty and her hormones are unbalanced at best (smiley face). She exploded on me, telling me she hated me and hated her life, and not to be surprised if she ran away tonight. I could have easily been hurt by her words and spurred out my feelings at the moment, but I chose to stay level in my tone and care and told her I was sorry this was her feelings but I still loved her. Within minutes, she did a 180 and was telling me she didn't mean it. She was just upset and mad. She was sorry for the hurtful words. We agreed that everybody has their moments and I already forgave her right when she said it, she will just have to work harder next time with the words she says when she's mad, because words have a lasting impact on the person who receives them. Where are your words? Are you speaking life?
There is no doubt that there are many other things that play into dishonoring behaviors, but if you want a respectful child, remember, it begins with you. For their sake, shut off that television that feeds negativity and begin to teach the value of honor.