Monday, July 22, 2013

Honor and Respect

Honor your parents. Respect them too. Big things. SUPER big things to God - big enough that He scattered His thoughts on it throughout His word.

But if I was being completely honest - and transparent (and vulnerable and open and fragile...) - then I'd say I struggle with this.

What did God mean?

  • At any cost?
  • No matter what?
  • Regardless of ________________ (fill in the blank)?
Trust me - it's high on the list of things I wanna ask Him over lunch when I get there - right up there with "Why did you make the Red Sox?" and "Talk to me about traffic..." and "Seriously, was humidity necessary?"

And as a parent - like probably all of us - I wonder about this. Will my kids honor and respect me in their lives? Being the pragmatic type of guy I am - I went to the definition of "HONOR" to start with. The noun was defined as this:

Okay - this was starting to make a bit of sense to my admittedly slow brain. So - for me to expect my children to honor and respect me with their lives - I should probably - at bare minimum - display some of these traits that define the word "honor." Right?

But what if I don't? What then? What if I treat their mother disrespectfully in front of them? What if I never show compassion or love to them or their mother? What if - one day after school - they came home to find me gone - forever casting doubt on all the days before and everything I had said or done up to that point? Am I still deemed worthy of honor and respect?

Or - what about their mother? Let's say Laura just decided to never practice patience or tenderness with the girls? What if she chose to use words that were hurtful, malicious and stinging? What if she was mean-spirited most of the time and focused on herself? Would she still be able to cash in an "honor voucher" with her children?

Or - worst yet - what if I made really poor ethical choices in my job, with our family's money and with my life in general? What if I chose to not focus on Jesus - to not make Him a priority in my household - to pay Him lip service when it seemed like it would benefit me? What if I cared nothing about morals and CHOSE to toss them to the wayside in favor of outcomes that favored self? Or - perhaps the worst example I could possibly set for them - what if I chose to degrade God, to cast doubt on His existence, to mock Him and blaspheme Him and to make fun of those who followed Him? Would my girls still be expected to honor me? Would they even be able to? Would honor even be possible for me anymore?

See... I told you. VULNERABLE here people.

So - I looked up the verb definition of this word "HONOR" to see what was expected of me. It's pretty straight forward. It states:
1a : to regard or treat with honor
1b : to give special recognition to : to confer honor on
Well all righty then... to pull off this action verb would mean i would have to be bestowing upon somebody the traits listed in the noun definition of the word. And if myself, or Laura or whomever has not displayed those traits - I think it's kinda fair to say it's not even possible for my child to pull off this task...

And at this point my brain blew up. Or it wanted to at least.

I won't even pretend to know or understand what God was looking for when those words of His were placed in the bible. But I will claim this:
  • our decisions and choices we make matter
  • taming our tongues - the words we use - they do matter
  • LOVE matters
  • how we live our life - that matters
Ultimately - I think the best measuring stick of honor for us from our girls will be how they end up living their lives. They can honor us and respect us as parents by living a life that honors and respects God as their Father and Creator.

Girls - your earthly daddy is a fast-moving trainwreck. But trust me - i think about this stuff!

My prayer tonight God - is simple - help me to live a life of example (and honor) for our kids that would in turn allow them to turn around and live one for theirs.

No comments: