What is Honor?
Honor is when you show value, appreciate, esteem, hold in high regard and respect someone or something. Now, the opposite of honor is dishonor, to show no respect or value or to treat someone poorly. Honor has almost become extinct in our culture. The liar and deceiver, Satan, has been very crafty and has meticulously eliminated the power and importance of honor in our families and society these days.
Proverbs 13:18 says “He who will not listen to strong teaching will become poor and ashamed, but he who listens when strong words are spoken will be honored.” I pray you are listening.
Proverbs 4:5-8 has strong advise on how to attract honor. “Get wisdom and understanding. Do not forget or turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not leave her alone, and she will keep you safe. Love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is: Get wisdom! And with all you have gotten, get understanding. Honor her and she will honor you. She will honor you if you hold her to your heart.”
When you honor or pursue Godly wisdom, God will honor you. True honor always comes from the heart when we fear God, obey His word, and embrace true wisdom that comes only from Him.
Consequently Proverbs 26:1 says, “Like snow in summer and like rain at gathering time, so honor is not right for a fool.” Proverbs 26:8 says, “He who gives honor to a fool is like one who ties a stone in a sling.” In other words, it’ll come back and smack you.
Avoid the ways of a fool.
HIERARCHY OF HONOR
First Honor God!
Your vertical relationship with God is the most important relationship you can have. Proverb 3:9 says “Honor the Lord.” That means to value, esteem, respect, and reverence God above everything else. The only way to walk in true honor is to honor God.
1 Samuel 2:30b says “Those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed.”
Proverbs 22:4 says “Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life.”
Hebrews 11:6, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
Proverbs 28:20, “A faithful person will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.”
As you can see from these verses, Godly patterns carry the promise of reward or blessing. As Christ followers, we should be developing patterns of consistency honoring God. Honor always carries a reward whether you honor God directly or indirectly when honoring others.
In Matthew 10:40-42, Jesus says “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”
Replace the word ‘welcomes’ with the word ‘honors’, and reread the verses. Matthew 10:40-42 now says “Anyone who ‘honors’ you ‘honors’ me, and anyone who ‘honors’ me ‘honors' the one who sent me. Whoever ‘honors’ a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever ‘honors’ a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”
According to this verse we can see that reward and blessing always follow true honor. We also see that honor brings rewards or blessings that will strengthen your life.
Honor is the key to receiving reward and blessing from heaven. When you honor Jesus, you honor God. In his book “Honor’s Reward”, John Bevere calls this the ‘Honor Principle’. Jesus modeled this principle for us and is our example of how to honor others.
But remember, we don’t just obey God, we want to catch His heart. True honor is a by-product of having a healthy holy fear of God. Therefore, God promises honor if you pursue Godliness.
As Christ followers, you can see that when you do something to honor someone, you are actually honoring God and Jesus and will receive a reward or blessing. That means if we honor those above us, with us and below us from the heart, according to God’s Word, He says he will reward us. So, when we honor our wife or spouse, our children, authority and others, that honor is passed to Jesus and to God.
When we honor something or someone above God, we are dishonoring Him and carries severe consequences. Nothing or no one is to be honored above God.
To retain honor, stay humble. We do not honor just to receive a reward or blessing. We do it because it honors God. Reward follows true honor that comes from the heart.
Why couldn’t Jesus do miracles or heal in his hometown? The people knew him as the neighborhood kid who lived down the street and withheld the honor that he deserved. Even his brother James didn’t believe he was the Messiah until after his resurrection.
In Mark 6:4, Jesus said “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” Perhaps even Jesus own ‘hometown’ missed out on the opportunity of reward or blessing.
Sometimes, it’s easier to honor those who are seen rather than God who is unseen. In Isaiah 29:13, God said “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” Honor and keep Jesus close to your heart even if you haven’t physically seen Him.
Second Honor Your Wife or Spouse!
When we vertically honor God first in our relationships, He will honor the horizontal relationships we have with our wife or spouse, our children and others. Please check out my free download by clicking ‘here’.
The best thing we can do for our children is to love and honor our wife or spouse. 1 Peter 3:7 tells men to honor their wives. If they don’t, the Bible says their prayers will be hindered.
In Genesis, 1:27, it says that when we put the masculine and feminine together, we get the complete image of God. Husbands are to be equal to their wives in standing with God. Men don’t have an advantage.
Men, we are also to protect our wives. Treat them like royalty with small gestures - opening the door and pulling out a chair while dining out. Help with household chores. Have devotions and pray together. Men, to lead is to serve your wife well, not to dominate. Prefer her desires over yours. The Bible tells us to love our wives like Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. Are you willing to serve your wife like that?
Third, Honor Your Children!
Our biggest need for honor isn’t in the church or work place, but it’s in our homes. If we value our children like we should as parents, we’ll speak to them so that our words nourish them and help them flourish. Our communities would really benefit if moms and dads showed honor in the home to each other and their children.
Children need frequent encouragement and direction as well as to be shown that they are loved and respected. They need their parents affirmation. But, if parents focus just on their mistakes, negative behavior could result. The negative tendencies of children that parents criticize can often be reversed through honor. When continuous criticism is spoken, the fallout can be wide. Please see related post “Family Emotional Bank Account” by clicking ‘here’.
Constant criticism can also lead to a vicious cycle of negative behavior, which can bring more criticism, which can bring more negative behavior, which can bring more criticism and around and around the circle we go. Resentment increases when parents are harsh and dishonoring.
Godly conflict is good but when we attack the person rather than the behavior, we damage our children. Proverbs 13:24 says, “He who does not punish his son when he needs it hates him, but he who loves him will punish him when he needs it.” Balance love and discipline. Always pray for Godly wisdom in this area.
Speak the promises of God into children. They will ‘grow into’ those promises. As parents, we have the God given privilege and authority to release blessing into our child’s life. When children are valued and cherished, they will flourish. The returns are great when parents discipline children in love and honor them.
As we learned earlier in Matthew 10:40-42, how we treat others is how we treat Jesus. Honoring others displays God’s love. It should always be done without hypocrisy or pretense but with a right heart.
Remember, living a Godly life of honor is an endurance race, not a sprint. Hebrews 12:1 says “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,” May God richly bless you and reward you as you honor God, your family and others from the heart.