Honor – the secret of our marriage summed up in one word

by | Sep 2, 2018 | Marriage

This week we celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary. It feels like yesterday when we stood before the altar… and we promised each other to love and honor each other, through the good and the bad times. We wrote our wedding vows ourselves, they were beautiful.

After church, a friend of the family came to us, congratulated us and added with a sense of doubt: “Beautiful vows. Now you simply need to be able to keep them”.

Today, reflecting our marriage, I can say that we truly do apply those beautiful pledges we promised to each other. Not because we are perfect. Not because we never disagree, never struggle, never hurt each other. Of course we do. However, there is something we are diligently applying in our live, something that carries us trough the beautiful, intimate moments… in the same way as it carries us through situations of conflict, challenges, disagreements and painful moments.

HONOR

In our marriage, the way Benny is honoring me is what gives me freedom –freedom to change, to grow, to flourish and to have this desire to give myself.

What is Honor?

Well, we may be familiar with the words:  “giving God all honor”. That’s good. That’s wonderful. However, as Danny Silk puts it in this teaching :

“Giving God all honor is like giving Bill Gates some money.”

God deserves all honor, that’s not the point. The point is.. what about your spouse? Does he/she? I don’t think so. Benny doesn’t – at least not all the time, judging by his acts. I don’t either.

None of us “deserves” honor all the time.

Be it a child, a stranger, a police officer, a teacher, a boss, an employee, an elderly person, a homeless person, your pastor … or your spouse.

None of them will always act in a way they would “deserve” you honoring them.

However:

  • In an environment of honor in marriage, the couple honors each other because true honor doesn’t depend on the other person’s action. It is based on who this person is. On how God sees that person.

  • Threfore, an environment of honor In marriage is created when a couple learns to see the other in their God-given identities. Honor as a principle acknowledges who God says people are and will position us to receive the gift of who they are in our lives and our family.

  • In an environment of honor In marriage, spouses courageously treat each other according to the names God gives them and not according to the labels they receive from people.

For this post, Benny has put a list together, on what some practical ways of honoring are:
  1. Treat the other person according to who she is, not by what she does.

This requires focus. Can you see the God-made person opposite you, even if that person is not behaving that way? In order to have that godly focus, it helps tremendously to have that same focus on yourself.

  1. How you treat the other person is more important than what you feel at the moment.

Character and virtue define themselves in exactly these moments. Oh, sometimes it can be hard..

  1. Even if you KNOW, that you were right in an argument, treat her like it would have never happened

It can be even harder to honor, when you actually have reasons to be mad at her. Do you still see the lovable person in front of you, the way God sees her? With this, I don’t mean, that you shouldn’t bring forth your argument, that you shouldn’t open your mouth to say what’s right. But what if the other person just won’t get a grip on it for the next three days? How will you treat her during that time? Yes there’s still an opportunity to honor her in the meantime – and actually it will be the most rewarding one.

  1. Honoring is not always fun. It may even be quite hard and full of work to follow through. Be ready to move our own needs to the back end of the queue.

You’re tired and you’d rather watch a movie than listen to what she tells you about her day? Been there, done that. But these kind of sacrifices will always bear a fruit..

  1. Always consider the other person valuable and treat her that way

Even if you feel left out, even if you feel misunderstood, even if you feel wronged, always know that righteousness will find its way to you. God – the creator of the universe – will care for you. This will set you free to focus on loving and cherishing people.

Benny truly applies those points into my life. But he does much more than that:
  • He never puts me down. No matter how immature I reacted or what mistake I made – he always treats me with honor.
  • He always speaks highly of me. He would never talk about me in a way that attacks my value and my identity.
  • He finds ways to compliment and affirm me even in seasons when I don’t feel so lovable
  • He valuates my thoughts, opinions and the way I see things. He’s always interested in hearing them and never gives me the feeling that I’m stupid or dumb for anything I say or do.
  • He estimates my efforts: be it for cooking, for dressing myself nicely, for cleaning the house, for doing laundry, for me being open to be intimate even if I’m simply tired…
  • He never makes fun of me. Be it for my tastes, my thoughts or my actions.
  • He gives me the freedom to make my own choices and respects them. (sometimes with a feedback of why he thinks they aren’t what he would do)
  • He never punishes me with his words or his attitude for my shortcomings. His way of treating me is always honoring, no matter how much I deserve it.
  • His present for my 40th birthday was a set of business cards for my blog in the four languages I am running this blog. His way of saying: I believe in you.
There are many more ways he’s honoring me on a daily basis. I do the same for him. This creates this culture of honor in our marriage – and we are eager to keep it that way. Simply because it is like I wrote above:
  • In an environment of honor in marriage, the couple honors each other because true honor doesn’t depend on the other person’s action. It is based on who this person is. On how God sees that person.

  • Threfore, an environment of honor In marriage is created when a couple learns to see the other in their God-given identities. Honor as a principle acknowledges who God says people are and will position us to receive the gift of who they are in our lives and our family.

  • In an environment of honor In marriage, spouses courageously treat each other according to the names God gives them and not according to the labels they receive from people.

I believe that, for a large part, our secret of a happy marriage is found in that reality.

 

If you’re interested in the concept of honoring, I recommend reading the book “Culture of Honor”, by Danny Silk. It greatly explains the whole concept in a practical, achievable way.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!

%d bloggers like this: