Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.
1 Peter 2:17
That word almost seems archaic in this day in age. I ask my children what honor means and they don’t know because it’s not exactly a buzzword or a high-frequency word from school. It’s for this very reason that we talk about honor at our house and use the actual word. Yes, honor means respect and a certain regard for others, but how does that look in the life of our boys? How do we cultivate attitude of honor that fuels the small choices which are foundational for a life that will eventually be labeled as honorable?
Honor is shown in many different ways and I think even from the earliest age, we can urge our boys to act honorably. First of all, using the actual language is important. Talk about honor. Discuss who should be a recipient of honor and how that could be shown. For the little guys, it can be as simple as saying, “We honor our mom and dad by picking up the toys they buy us” or “We honor our siblings by not stealing their toys.” As they get older simple sentences can evolve into full-blown discussions. Why do soldiers salute the flag? Why do we hold the door open for ladies? Why do the firefighters have a black band across their badge?
Act it out.
I’ve done some things that can be considered less than honorable. I don’t want my son to follow in my footsteps as far as that is concerned. Maybe you’re in the same situation with a less-than-optimal track record. Please know it is NEVER TOO LATE to start making honorable decisions. Turn, friends. Look up. Ask Jesus for forgiveness and then ask him for strength to make more honorable decisions. You’re not His black sheep, no, you are his beautiful daughter who he has gifted with some incredible little boys (or big boys). I promise no matter how messy your situation, he can take all the shards and piece it together more beautifully than we could ever imagine. Don’t allow yourself to wallow in dishonor, instead take Christ’s honor, which is what God sees when He looks at you and focus on imparting that honor to your sons.
We’ve all heard that actions speak louder than words and this rings true, especially with honor. Our boys can talk all they want about honor, but if we aren’t acting it out in our lives by making honorable decisions, how can we expect them to make honor a priority? It is through the small, every day honorable behavior and choices that a life comes to be characterized as honorable.
What about you?
1. How do you honor your boys in your home? How do you cultivate an honorable attitude?
2. Are there any areas in your story where you acted dishonorably? Make a plan of how you will discuss them with your boys when the time is right and they are the appropriate age.
3. How has God redeemed the dishonorable parts of your story?
Throughout the day, pray the ten scripture prayers found at the end of the Honor chapter in Praying for Boys!
Kristina never thought that the title ‘single mom’ would follow her name, but now that it does she writes about navigating life in this unexpected season. A native New Yorker who despises precipitation of any kind, she works as an American Sign Language Interpreter and writes about her adventures with her four daughters and one son. Her life is rarely boring.
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I will need to start using the word honor in our home. It is biblical, and since it is throughout scripture, necessary to instill in our whole family.
I have enjoyed sharing storybooks about knights & princes (ex. I’d Be Your Hero, The Squire & The Scroll, Brave Young Knight, The Princess & The Three Knights— though this last one is his sister’s book I tried to read it where he could overhear as it exemplifies how a knight should cherish & protect his lady) as well as books about other heroes (or ordinary men/boys) displaying honor. (ex.Chronicles of Narnia, Bible characters, biographies, etc.) Seeing honor fleshed out in the life of a character has often provided context for discussions about honor, and have been a source of inspiration for my son. When I see my son displaying honor, I try to make a note of it so he can see what it looks like in his own life, and to see that honor isn’t just something just grown-ups do. There is also a book called Raising A Modern Day Knight. It is written with a father in mind as he instructs his sons, but I have often been inspired by that thought—that I am raising a modern day knight.
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