Our family recently visited the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, LA. While there Ben had the opportunity to meet and talk with 3 veterans of World War II.
Ben has been very interested in this war for quite some time, studying on his own about the military vehicles, countries involved, and reasons for the ward mostly independently. The word honor came up a few times as I shared with him what an honor it was for him to meet and be able to ask questions of these now quite elderly gentlemen, and how we should honor them and other veterans because of their service to our country.
In our time at the museum, Ben and I honored these veterans in a few ways —
1. By shaking their hands
2. By thanking them for their service to our country
3. By asking thoughtful questions and then listening attentively to their answers
4. By listening to the stories they wanted to share with us
Honor is a word that gets tossed around quite often. Probably a little too much without thought for the significance of its meaning. When I asked Ben if he could define it, he really struggled with coming up with the right words. He knew it was good to honor someone, but I wasn’t sure he really grasped the significance of the word. Or how simple it could be to honor another person.
It became apparent that honor would be a good choice for a word study.
If you’re unsure about what it means to do a word study, or why I do them, take a peek back at A is for Attentive. I explain more there.
Today’s word for study is HONOR.
Key Word Definitions:
Esteem: high value or estimation; great regard; favorable opinion, founded on supposed worth
Worth: value; excellence; importance; valuable qualities
Respect: regard; attention; course of action which proceeds from esteem
Revere: to regard with fear mingled with respect and affection
Veneration: the highest degree of respect and reverence
Dignify: to invest with honor or dignity; to exalt in rank; to make illustrious
Distinction: a note or mark of difference
Honor Defined in My Own Words:
To honor a person is to hold them in the highest regard because they are set apart, different, and worthy of high esteem due to qualities they possess, deserving actions, or supposed worth.
Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. (Romans 13:7)
Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. (Exodus 20:12)
Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. (1 Peter 3:7)
You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:32)
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. (Romans 12:10)
We are living in a world filled with dishonor.
Children do not honor their parents.
Husbands do not honor their wives (and vice versa).
Families do not honor the elderly.
People do not honor God.
I have to wonder if Paul has the reason in his letter to the church at Philippi when he commands them to “count others more significant than yourselves.”
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)
We are so busy, distracted, self-absorbed, or otherwise focused on ourselves that we are missing out on simple ways to honor others every day. Honor does not have to be a huge act. As the definition tells us — honor can be any expression by words or actions. Honoring each other can happen with the simple things of everyday life. Those daily tasks where we are mindful of making others more significant than ourselves.
Let’s all challenge ourselves (and our kids) to think of ways to show honor to someone today. When was the last time you wrote a letter of appreciation or made a simple phone call to say thank you? Are you teaching your children to honor the elderly by opening doors for them or by helping load their groceries? At our local grocery store, Wednesday is senior citizen day. The opportunity to honor seniors is all around us on then.
How often do you look for kind ways to honor your husband by cooking his favorite meal or make sure you go to bed at the same time he does? Are you honoring your children by giving them focused attention — actually looking in their eyes when they speak to you (not at your iPhone or computer)?
I love the idea of outdoing one another with honor. If we spend more time focusing on others and how we can honor them, I believe that relationships can be radically changed.
God commanded us to honor each other for a reason. In doing so we are serving Jesus and honoring him with our obedience. And then He honors us in return.
If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. (John 12:26)
How will you honor others today?