When Grace Meets Honor

d69bb40339eea5397b058c09e1264772It started with a divine appointment. There I was, about to dig into the Word with God. The phone rings. I answer only to hear my husband’s freshly awakened voice on the other end.

Normally, I get uneasy, much rather annoyed when my time with God gets interrupted. My mind has prepared for nothing else but that special time with Him. Hey! That time is vital. Yet at this particular time, I felt the need to simply listen. My husband’s topic of conversation? Honor.

My husband is the kind of person, that when God is dealing with him about something, he presses in until he fully understands what God is saying. I love that about him. So I listened to him.

I listened to him explain in detail what God had revealed. As he was talking I, too, began to see understand some things about honor.
Then I thought about my mother; my teenage years growing up in her house.

Have you ever heard of the saying that if you are ticklish on the back of your neck, you are “boy crazy” (which now that I think on it, made no sense)? Well I was that ticklish on the back of the neck, boy crazy girl. I did things. Things I’m not proud to say I did. In my mother’s house (I know, kill the visual, right?). This conversation with my husband about honor had brought those things back to my remembrance.

A while ago, maybe a couple of weeks ago. The Lord had laid it on my heart to call my mother and apologize to her, for the ways in which I did not respect her, for doing what I did while under her roof. My mom, at the time, was married to my youngest sister’s dad. But they had been separated for years. It was just my mom, my brother, my sisters and I. She worked during the day and night; two jobs. And the rules she had set, we did not follow. Let’s just say that there was much disrespect going on.

Now, years later, I’ve realized that my lack of respect was really my lack of honoring my mother.

Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. -Exodus 20:12

It could be said by me that I honored my mother in other ways. I have never called her out of her name. I have never talked back to her. I didn’t even feel comfortable using a curse word in front of her in my early adult years (back when I cursed). Yet, with what I know about my teenage years growing up and having shined in the truth of God’s word, I can say that my failing to obey her rules really means that I did not properly honor her at all.

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. -James 2:10

Having hung up with my husband, the call that I had been putting off………well, I made. I called my mom. I am not good with heartfelt talks which is the reason why I prolonged giving my apology. I have never been good at communicating in that way. It’s only recently as of 2014 that I started moving beyond myself to do such a thing. And on this particular day, I am so glad I did. My mother was instantly forgiving as I expected that she would be.

Honor Defined:

Honor, in the dictionary is defined as to hold in honor or high respect; revere: to honor one’s parents. According to Strong’s Concordance, the Hebrew word for honor as it is used in referenced scripture (notice how the spelling has changed) is kabad or kabed. The vowel sounds are long in pronunciation. And it means to be heavy; abounding with; lay heavily; bring to honour.

In comparing the two definitions, one could only see that parents are to be held in high regards. They are to be revered and greatly respected. My opinion from what I know about the Truth is that because, next to God, after He spoke the foundations of the world into existence He created man and woman; male and female. Other than the animals, there was no one next to Him in his likeness and image. God had set things in divine order and expected His order to be followed. He gave man and woman the authority to have dominion over the earth. He also later made them to be parents. And He commanded that parents be highly honored.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. -Genesis 1:27-28

And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. And she again bare his brother Abel.  And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. -Genesis 4:1-2

In Ephesians 6:2, the apostle Paul calls this the first commandment to honor your parents, a commandment with a promise. That promise was to live long in the earth.

We live in a society today where the biblical standard of respect for parents seems to be nonexistent. Children today are not being taught to honor their parents. This is mainly because parents are failing to teach them. They are too busy giving them what they want (their way and material things) over what they need (biblical correction and teaching).

There was a lot of things I was not taught growing up. In fact, the one thing I was taught was to respect parents an elders. I was taught, that I had to do what they said because they were my parents and elders. It was the thing to do when it came to them being the adults. Yet, there were instances that I chose not to. And I reaped the consequences of my disobedience. In my adult life however, this lesson that I’ve learned, I have taught to my own children.

In view of that, things are much different today. A lot of parents have walked away from the biblical foundation of teaching their children to honor them and respect their elders. Their claim is that it’s an old-fashion tradition. And the result is that of what would be considered children gone wild. That’s why they can go to school and get into fights (fist fights) with their teachers. What’s sad is that they think there’s nothing wrong with their behavior. In their eyes, it has been made justified.

For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; -2 Timothy 3:2-4

Is it safe to say that there are some parents today who were not taught about respect and honor themselves growing up? So therefore, they can’t teach their children what they themselves have not had the privilege to learn. Maybe this is where grace comes in.

Having the conversation with my mother allowed me to consider some things that I had not considered before. I had not considered her childhood and what it was like growing up for her. I had not considered what she may have and may not have been taught. Because in reality, these things make a major difference in how you parent your own children. And suddenly I extended to my mother grace. I took a moment to consider her upbringing. I considered the fact that just as God has graced me in the raising of my children, He has graced my mother too.

But here’s the thing. I call it the flipside. God in His grace sees all and knows all. Therefore He is merciful. Yet, though He gives grace, He still requires us to learn in the now what we had not in the past. Some things are excusable for children who have grown up into adulthood who don’t know. But once the Light of Truth has shined, those things become no longer excusable.

If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. -John 15:22-24

God has commanded all of us as parents to teach our children (Deuteronomy 11:19). We are to teach them how to honor God first. We are to teach them how to honor us as well. God said it. He is the One who has given and set the divine order. We would do well to obey God.

We see what our world looks like as the second coming of our Lord and Savior draws near. All that has been prophesied is coming to pass. But what if we could just for a moment paint the picture in our minds, what the world would look like should we all truly obey God? How beautiful that would be!

Do you know that you have a world? Yep! You do. Your home is your world; and all that pertains. Though it be small, the responsibility you have been given to keep it is major.

I propose a challenge. This challenge is twofold. First, I challenge you to think back on how you treated your parents growing up. If you know that you didn’t truly honor them, then call them and honor them today. Make it right by admitting that you were wrong. Second, I challenge you to take a survey of your world (your home). View it light of the Scripture (Exodus 20:12). And ask yourself do your children really honor you? Are you teaching them to honor you? What about respect for their elders? Should any of these questions be met with the answer of “no”, then I challenge you to change that.

This change will not be easy. But through grace it can be done. Let honor come to be where honor is due (according to the Word of God). It’s never too late to do the right thing while you have the chance now to do it.

 

 

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