February 25, 2011 § 6 Comments
Honor has become an important word in my house. In fact it is a word that has changed how I parent, how I think, and how I view my life before God.
The idea started when I read a book, Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes in You and Your Kids by Turansky and Miller. They give a definition of honor that my kids can understand and now quote:
Honor: Treating others as special, doing more than what is expected, and having a good attitude.
I discovered that I should allow honor to shape all of my relationships and all of my actions. This was news to me, yes I am slow and stubborn so if this isn’t news to you please disregard or follow my thinking and laugh with me that I am slow… 😉
1. God’s laws should be followed
not as a religious check-list to prove how righteous I am…
not to show how smart I am that I figured out I needed God…
not so that I can get God’s blessings on my life…
We follow God’s laws as a way of honoring Him because He gave us eternal life, life, gifts to use, a purpose, all those gifts I am thankful for and more.
In fact Jesus tells us that, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.” (John 14:23)
2. Honor changes how I teach my kids.
I have been teaching my kids to honor each other, honor me and their dad, honor their teachers and friends. I have also been teaching them to honor God. Here is the hook…
I have to show my kids honor in order for them to honor me. Ok this is not revolutionary thinking, but let’s make it real…I need my kids to pick up their rooms. However they are deep in an imaginary world…How do I show them honor? “I will give you five minutes to finish what you are doing and then you need to pick up your room.” Honor. I don’t respond well if I am not being treated with honor, so how can I expect my kids to respond well if I don’t treat them with honor?
3. Honor is the backbone of the “Golden Rule.”
Matt 12:7 says, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” So loving, honoring, treating others as we want to be treated is the crux it binds up all the things God calls us to do and puts flesh on it. I ask this of myself and of my kids…“Would you want to be treated like that?” Often I have to be even more specific. “If someone said the same thing to you would you like it?” Ouch the words sting but my calloused heart starts to heal. It starts to bleed for the people I have wounded and it is then that I can ask forgiveness. It is in that moment that I can confess my sins and do what I can to reconcile.
What are your thoughts on honoring others? I hope you stick around and discuss this topic with me!
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January 21, 2011 § 1 Comment
“Hooters?!” I said incredulously as we drove past what used to be an empty commercial lot.
“Yep,” my husband nodded and he made the first left turn after Hooters to head to our lot. The lot we were building our new house on.
How do you do it?
How do you teach modesty to children who see the world in black and white when grace is in the picture?
How do you teach your daughters that you feel God’s desire to dress modestly means you don’t wear a two-pieces swimming suit, but others who love and honor God may not have that same view?
How do you make sure your kids don’t tell others that Santa isn’t real because we don’t pretend, but others like to pretend?
My answer is it is all about honor.
1. We are to honor God (1Cor 6:20).
All we do, all we say, what we wear, where we go, all of it should be in an effort to honor God. Brushing your teeth? Do it because you want to honor God by taking care of the body He gave you. Teaching your kids about dressing modestly? Do it because we want to honor God with our bodies, not because it makes us righteous. No it only helps us honor a God who died that we may live.
The question we must ask ourselves is am I honoring God in what I say, do, think, wear, my attitude? Then we must step back and know that there is freedom in Christ. Your definition of modesty may be different from mine, but if we are looking to honor God, it doesn’t matter as long as we encourage each other to honor God.
2. Romans 12:10 tells us to “…Honor one another above yourselves.”
Honoring others means extending God’s grace and love in times when we disagree. I have some sweet Godly friends that go to Hooters. I don’t feel I have that freedom in Christ, but they do. I may even tell them in a loving way why I don’t go to Hooters, but love and honor rule that conversation. All covered in the freedom Christ gives. It is about honoring and loving those around us.
Honoring others also means treating them the same way you want to be treated. None of us want to be judged or misunderstood. None of us want to be told because you wear something or go somewhere you are in sin and wrong. Romans 14 tells us about our freedom in Christ, not freedom to sin, but freedom to live out honoring lives to God whether we go to Hooters or not.
Does adding grace into the black and white world of my children work?
Amazingly, yes. I think kids get grace so much easier than we adults do. We try to add things to it.
We add living a “good” life to grace so we can be called righteous, when we know we are righteous by faith in God. (Gal 3:1-6)
Kids just accept it for what it is. We are not righteous by what we do, we are righteous because of whose we are, because we have faith in Him, who died that we may live.
What do you think? How do you teach God’s grace and freedom in Christ in the midst of God’s precepts?
February 28, 2010 § 4 Comments
So lately I have been thinking about obedience. The first thing my heart does when I think about myself and obedience is it twists inside. I can practically feel the flight or fight response begin, I am on my guard. “ME, Obey? Whom am I to obey? I am grown. What do you mean OBEY?” Frightening, but true. My sin nature likes to think I am in control and I don’t really need to “obey” anyone. However, that isn’t accurate at all. I have always been a pleaser to those in authority over me. It is part of my make up. I don’t want to disappoint so I do my best to please them, but is that truly obedience? NO. I had every pretension of obedience, but I didn’t always obey. I didn’t have the right attitude and I was willing to disobey as long as I wasn’t caught.
The same can be true today. I have the pretension of obeying God. I read my Bible, I pray, but am I truly obeying? See God is more interested in where my heart is rather than my actions. Psalm 51:16-17 says, “You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” So obedience is more than just going through the motions. I have been reading a book called Say Goodbye to Whining Complaining and Bad Attitudes in You and Your Kids by Turansky and Miller. I will tell you it dives into the issue behind obedience, it is honor. Honor is more important than obedience and for God it is part of obedience. As He calls us to honor Him. He taught us how to honor Him as well. Look at all the rules He gave the Israelites. Look at the sacrifices, the clean and unclean, the offerings, the commandments. God was teaching the Israelites THIS is how you obey and honor ME. No other god could do that!
So not only is obedience something I fight, not only is it about more than my actions, but it is also about love. WHAT? How is obedience about love? I so often think of tyrants when I think of obedience. What does love have to do with it? Well, first thing, obedience when coupled with honor (or the right attitude) is a gift you give the one you are obeying. Kids, when you obey your parents it is a gift. Wives when we obey our husbands it is a gift. Students when you obey your teachers it is a gift. Now this isn’t the feet stomping, eye rolling sort of obeying, this is the honor filled obedience. Secondly look at what Jesus has to say about obedience. (I must be slow that this is such a revelation to me, but it is true) John 14:21 “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” So It is easy for me to gloss over my part and say ok, if I do what God wants me to do He will love me, but that isn’t the point. The way we show love to God is OBEDIENCE! What? Seriously, we can say we love God, but unless we are obeying His commands that “love” is just lip-service. It is just a bunch of garbage.
So I have been convicted lately that if I am not obeying God then I am not loving God. That really changes they way I think about obedience. Praise God that He gives me more chances than I deserve to obey and honor Him.