Russell and Duenes

Honor the Emperor!

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Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.

Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

Whatever is honorable…think about such things.

Honor widows who are truly widows.

Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.

Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.

Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things.

Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

My wife and I were watching a talk on marriage by Gary Smalley, in which he was exalting the virtue of honor within marriage. His basic notion was that when husbands and wives seek to prefer each other in honor, rather than hold on to anger and frustration, their affections for each other grow. Their desire to truly love and serve each other grows as well. And I was struck by this because we just don’t hear all that much about honor in human relationships. As Christians, we know we are supposed to honor Christ, but we don’t often consider honor in our human relationships. We think of “honoring” others as something we do at an awards ceremony or a retirement party, or even, after someone has died.

Yet I remember my good friend, Duke Dillard, talking to me about honor in the context of birthday parties. He lamented that most birthday parties consist of a bunch of friends getting together, but where we do almost nothing to truly honor the person whose birthday we are there to celebrate. So he determined that when there was a birthday party that he was throwing, we would intentionally seek to honor the “guest of honor.” And I remember the first time we did this, sitting the birthday boy down and allowing each person a turn to speak words of gratitude, praise and blessing toward him. It was a transforming experience. You could see that such honor moved everyone there. It was like eating a fine meal the likes of which we’d never enjoyed. It was an entirely different experience than other birthday parties I’d attended. The power was palpable.

And yet, I don’t often think of “honor” as a key component in my marriage and in my relationship with my sons. Yet look at what God says about honor (see above). It is certainly important to God, and I assume will cause our relationships to flourish in ways we cannot even imagine. So, with God’s help, I hope to bring ever more honor into my relationships.



Written by Michael Duenes

September 8, 2013 at 7:10 am

Posted in Duenes, Reflections

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