Friday, June 03, 2011

Honor

This past Sunday, I had the privilege of going to church with a friend in another state. I really enjoyed it and it immediately reminded me of my church in CO.

Oh, how I miss the worship there. I had three children hanging on me and I was still so very moved by the authenticity of the worship and how it called to a place in me that has been hungering. I could not keep the tears behind my eyes as they made their presence known and a lady behind me handed me a Kleenex.

Meaningful times in worship are so precious ~ I will treasure this memory...

Anyway, on to the point of this post. After the worship, their pastor played a little intro video to his message which used this text that was also printed in their bulletin:

"How is your home? Are there rounds of verbal ammo firing off? What bombs have been dropped? Do you feel the mortars of emotion shaking the foundation? Who will hold back the outside attack? Who can hold the inside walls up? ... Homefront. Our mission is to restore honor within homes."

Since it was Memorial Day weekend and a military community, how appropriate were all of these metaphors! Yet, they also really clicked for me and I'd be ashamed to tell you how much ammo has been fired in my words lately.

But, the thing that jumped out at me most of all was this word: honor.

Honor is not really a word we talk much about these days. It's not in any of our catch phrases or common thought processes.

To be truthful, I had to really put in a lot of thought to this idea of honor and what it meant in my home.

I started with my American Heritage Dictionary that I won in a Spelling Bee in third grade: honor - esteem or respect; honorable - worthy of honor or respect; possessing integrity.

Then, I revisited my notes from Sunday where the pastor shared that honor meant to value, give worth, carry weight.

And, as I looked through my Concordance I noticed that numerous references of course, are to honoring God. He is definitely worthy of honor!

Am I acting with honor? Or deserving of my children's honor (Deut. 5:16). Sadly, no.

I see the struggles I'm having with my children and I see myself in the faults and struggles.

I hear the tone of voice they are using and hear myself in how I speak to them.

I observe the lack of discipline and self-control and I know where they are learning that ... from me.

And, I see that I am not treating them with honor - I am not respecting them enough to treat them honorably or in a way that communicates they have value and carry worth.

How can I possibly take back all the lost ground? How can I hope to raise these little ones in The Way when I am supposed to be the mature/the responsible one and I am right there with them - overwhelmed with how much needs correction.

There is this thing about feeling overwhelmed. It makes me want to retreat or escape - I don't know where to start so maybe I just won't.

As I glanced through the Concordance again - I was focusing on the verses from Proverbs that mention honor. And, I began to see a theme emerging:

Humility.

* Proverbs 29:23, "A man's pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor." Lowly spirit.
* Proverbs 3:9, "Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops..." So, if I humble myself to be willing to obey the Lord and give Him the first part of my increase - that is showing honor.
* Proverbs 15:33, "The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor."
* Proverbs 18:12, "Before his downfall a man's heart is proud, but humility comes before honor."
* Proverbs 20:3, "It is to a man's honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel."
* Proverbs 25:27, "It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it honorable to see one's own honor."

Humility.

Yes, a constant struggle for me. And, this brings it back to the Sunday message. The pastor was speaking from Philippians 2 and I noticed that especially verses 3-5 describe Jesus' humility and example for us.

Humility.
Honor.
Discipline.
Self-Control.

As a mother - these things are jolted each day. I think of it this way: when I am bumped and pushed along the way - what spills out? Frustration, anger, attitude? If so, then I need to be filled up more with His Holy Spirit and walk in His ways. So much easier said than done.

Oh, how I need God's correction and strength. How far I need Him to take me from myself and my sinful nature.

I do want to be more like You, Lord.
Let it be.

I'll leave you with this song which is the one I could not get through on Sunday -

15 comments:

Mrs. Sheila said...

As summer is "officially" here in Texas both by temp and by the school calendar (not by the official calendar) ~ there are many things that it is time to "take back" and the things you speak of is one of the biggest on my list. Thank you for sharing your heart!

Crystal said...

What a wonderful post. I have always had those same feelings you are going through. I still do and two of my children are in college. But I know it is never to late to learn something or teach my children something no matter the age. We just recently switched and joined a different church and this church so touches our hearts. I have cried many services and the pastors words always touch my heart. We have been singing that exact song the last 3 Sundays. I just love it. On a side note please say a prayer of praise for my youngest daughter who is being baptized on Sunday at our local lake. We are so excited for her. Thank you for the post.

Annie said...

Thank you for this post, Monica. In so many ways, so many times, I feel like you and I are in the same place. These, too, are my struggles. Thanks you for refocusing my attention - especially now that my children are both home from school for the summer!

*carrie* said...

I can so relate, dear sister. Thanks for sharing your heart!

Agnes said...

Hi Monica,
It is so hard to be a mom sometimes. My oldest ones are at the age where they trigger each other constantly and it is so hard no to tell them to stop, to stay calm and loving. But they just learn with what they see...
Take time for you to refresh your heart.

Katie said...

Oh how I can relate to this Monica. In fact, what you shared here is exactly what was on my heart when I wrote my latest post a couple of days ago. Faint not, my friend ~ He will lift you up! Praying for all of us moms...

Blessings,
Katie

*Psalm 3:3*

Kristin said...

Thanks for sharing your heart in this post, Monica! It spoke to me and I can relate to all of it. How I need more of the Spirit in my words and attitude and so much less of me. We've had some very challenging days here lately where I feel like we're living in a war zone. How I don't want to contribute to it, but rather long for peace. It's my heart's cry these days! Thanks for sharing...press on!

Leah said...

Hey, I like your blog! I love your desire to be filled by the Holy Spirit. You're probably familiar with what Jesus says in John 14: "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever--the Spirit of truth." When you're overwhelmed or don't know where to begin, the Holy Spirit is with you to give you guidance. God's peace to you.

Lecia said...

Wonderful post and one that has given me lots to think about. Thank you...

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

This is a great post. I like that quote from the Sunday bulletin. I "copied" it and will add it to the list of things that have made me smile today :) :) I'm still single, so I can't totally identify with that :) :) However, I did say some unking words to my father this week, and I felt convicted about it later. I've really started to make my home a haven..officially as of today :) :) I even wrote a blog post yesterday about it.. H owever, I noticed today how my attitude was better. I noticed how the change in my words/attitude had a good affect on my dad. I really do love him lots ;) :) Thanks for all the awesome Scripture verses, too :) :) Have a great weekend. Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

Jenny's Heart said...

Monica, my mom wrote an article I have posted on my blog about the power of words, if you have a chance check it out or email me your address and I'll send you a copy. She said she felt led to write it and I felt it needed to be posted on my blog. God speaks to us in all sorts of ways.

Amy said...

A book I just read that talks about honor in the family is titled, "Say Goodbye to Whining, Cmplaining, and Bad Attitudes in you and your kids!" by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller. I really got a lot out of their other book "Good and Angry."

Anonymous said...

Monica, i love the post and the scripture you shared and the song. When i am found in the desert place ,blessed be Your name!! I love your honesty and humble spirit in which you shared your struggles. It is God who can and will reclaim ground. He will too, as you follow and obey, His spirit will minister and grow your precious ones. I have watched this happen in my own life, not by any good found in me, but ALL by His grace. Blessed be His Name and Lord bless you Monica as you seek Him. tammyp

Debra said...

Wonderful post. I thought about it all weekend. I knew I wanted to comment but really needed to edit what I was saying so as not to take over your blog. :) First, I think every mom feels like you do sometimes - most of us probably feel that way every day. Having 3 young children at home is hard - I only had one and that was hard so I know it's hard with three. We all say things regret (I do all the time) but I have realized that the best thing for me to do is admit I was wrong and apologize. I do it all the time! And I think the kids will remember the apologies and sincerity but not the reason for the apology. I hope so anyway!

As moms I think we need to remember not to be so hard on ourselves. There are enough people out there that will be hard on us - we don't need to do it. I am having a hard time this summer with my daughter home - she is used to so much stimulation and now things are slower and that's how I want them to be but it's hard to get her to that place.

Thanks for sharing your feelings and remember you're not alone. :)

Elise said...

Thank you so much for this post, Monica, and of opening up yourself. I think it helps to know we aren't alone and that we all share in these struggles, even if it all we ever wanted to do. We definitely have to be more intentional, don't we??
Elise