Love is Honorable
Live with your wives in an understanding way... show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life. - 1 Peter 3.7
There are certain words in our language that have powerful meanings. Whenever these words are used, an air of respect is associated with them. These words never lose their timeless quality, class and dignity. HONOR is one of these words.
To honor someone means to give them respect and high esteem, to treat them as being special and of great worth. When you speak to them, you keep your language clean and understandable. You are courteous and polite. When they speak to you, you take them seriously, giving their words weight and significance. When they ask you to do something, you accommodate them if at all possible, simply out of respect for who they are.
The Bible tells us to honor" our father and mother, as well as those in authority. It is a call to acknowledge the position or value of someone else. Honor is a noble word.
This is especially true in marriage. Honoring your mate means giving him or her your full attention, not talking to them from behind a newspaper or with one eye on the television. When decisions are being made that affect both of you or your whole family, you give your mate's voice and opinion equal influence in your mind. You honor what they have to say. They matter- and because of the way you treat them, they should know it.
But there is another word that isn't commonly associated with marriage and calls us to a higher place. A word that forms that basis for honor- the very reason why we give respect and high regard to our spouse. That word is HOLY.
To say your spouse should be "holy" to you doesn't mean that he or she is perfect. Holiness means they are set apart for a higher purpose- no longer common or everyday but special and unique. A person who has become holy to you have a place no one can rival in your heart. They are sacred to you, a person to be honored, praised, and defended.
Is this how it is in your marriage? Would your mate say you honor and respect them? Do you consider them set apart and highly valued? Holy?
Perhaps you don't feel this way, and maybe for goo reason. Perhaps you wish some outsider could see the level of disrespect you get from your spouse- someone who would make your mate feel embarrassed to be exposed for who they really are behind closed doors.
But that's not the issue with love. LOVE HONORS EVEN WHEN IT'S REJECTED. Love treats its beloved as special and sacred even when an ungrateful attitude is all you get in return.
It's marvelous, of course, when a husband and wife are joined in this purpose, when they're following the biblical command to be "devoted to one another" in love, when they're "giving preference to one another in honor" (Romans 12.10) "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure" (Hebrews 13.4)
But when you attempts at honor go unreciprocated, you are to give honor just the same. That's what love dares to do- to say, "Of all the relationships I have, I will value ours the most. Of all the things I'm willing to sacrifice, I will sacrifice the most for you. With all your failures, sins, mistakes, and faults- past and present- I still choose to love and honor you. That's how you create an atmosphere for love to be rekindled. That's how you lead your heart to truly love your mate again. And that's the beauty of honor.
Choose a way to show honor and respect to your spouse that is above your normal routine. It may be holding the door for her. It might be putting his clothes away for him. It may be the way you listen and speak in your communication. Show your mate that he or she is highly esteemed in your eyes.