Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Do We Understand Honor?

silver spray-painted pumpkins... their names printed on each pumpkin

I feel we are losing our grip on honor.  It is something that makes my hair stand on end when I see the lack of honor in our society.  Giving honor to someone else seems to be a lost art.

I may not agree with a politician's political position, but I am commanded in scripture to honor the position the person holds.   A community-servant position also requires honor...police, fireman, soldiers...etc. The position is what requires the honor from us citizens, not the person's actions.  God is the one who puts the person into their position and therefore, He knows what He is accomplishing through them.

God commands honor be given to our parents.  He doesn't list the "if they do this and that" then you honor...He requires honor.  His command also comes with a promise.
Clear glass plate transformed...thanks to trade secret from Debbie, the master of tablescape

The granting of honor to others is an essential experience in the believer's life. 
Christians are to bestow honor on those for whom honor is due. The believer is to 
honor God, for He is the sovereign head of the universe and His character is unsurpassed. The believer is to honor those in positions of earthly authority, such as governing authorities (Rom 13:1-7),  masters (1 Tim 6:1), and parents (Exod 20:12). 
As a participant in the church, the believer is also called to honor Jesus Christ, the head of 
the church (John 5:23), fellow believers (Rom 12:10), and widows (1 Tim 5:3). resolved youth article

Recently in a home group, a woman voiced, "I am so tired of everyone blaming their parents for what is wrong in their life!"  I felt her heart and thought of how we are losing this sense of honor.  Even in Christiandom, someone will give their testimony....."I was raised in a Christian home....but!!!!! my parents were too legalistic...etc, etc."  I have to ask you how is that honoring?  Does God receive honor when we trash someone else while pointing to Him?

This past weekend I was given the chance to honor my parents.  Both have moved into their 70's.  My father is almost completely deaf, making it hard for him to enter into social conversations.  As I prepared a birthday luncheon for them, I thought of how I could honor my parents... the honor due to their position as my parents and believers in the Body of Christ.
Silver spray-painted large pumpkin and stenciled-in-bronze, garage-sale table cloth and napkins
I gathered questions from my kids to their grandfather.  I typed these questions on a sheet of paper so he could read and answer.  He was delighted to share stories and talk.  Through some tears he expressed what was important in his life - his wife, his God and his education. This didn't require listening on his part.  My children were learning to extend honor by putting their own agenda aside...their own conversations, their cell phones and their time.

My mother enjoys beautiful things, so a fully-decorated table was in order for her. She sat at the opposite  end of the table from my Dad (listening to him talk, through the most loving and caring eyes) holding a bowl of pictures from years past.  She would randomly pick up a picture and tell the story behind it.  She picked up her family picture...out of the seven in the photograph, only three are still living.  She passed on her stories of losing her Dad at a young age then her two brothers.  She giggled at Dad's comments about meeting her...you watched them both become 16 and 18 again.

Honor was extended.  Their position in our family was placed as priority.  I pray that my children received a much-needed lesson this weekend.  I know I did.  They get to try it out again this next weekend as we visit their other grandmother, age 96, and celebrate their Aunt and Uncle's 50th Wedding Anniversary.

In order for us to turn the tide of dishonor in this land we have be begin at home.  I have to express honor to those God has placed in positions of honor in my life, no matter their actions.  I hope as I remember this lesson, my own family will be stepping toward giving honor to those it is due.

(I am not saying there shouldn't be "safe" places to share true life experiences.  Hiding abuse to show someone "honor" isn't honor.  Thanks to Vee for pointing out the need for true exposure in order to point someone to complete healing in Christ."

36 Joining in with more words:

JillAileenJones said...

What a beautiful honor for your parents. Loved the decorations and the questions on the picture-that was such a great idea. I am so glad that you got to honor your parents in this way.
It makes me very sad to see how little honor and respect are paid to not only to parents but adults in general, something I am trying to teach my kids every day.
Just beautiful. I know they must have been blessed.
Love ya

Sonja said...

Could I say that I am almost jumping up and down reading this post! You nailed it Janette. Oh, my goodness, if parents all began this way in the home, how different our society would look.

Bullseye my friend! I LOVE what your kids are learning.


camp and cottage living said...

You did a superb and creative job honoring your parents. They are fortunate to have you as a daughter
This is definite proof they were
pretty fine people!
I so agree with you about honoring our folks. I acknowledge that I didn't have perfect parents, but
they were great as far as I'm concerned! In reflection, I realize
now I would have done things differently in raising my kids-given the chance. But I believe all
parents feel that way.
I just love the ideas you and your children had for making your parents special day so memorable!
It's refreshing to read such a good post.

Vee said...

I don't agree entirely with your post, but that's not the important thing. The important thing is that it made me think!

How precious this must have been to your father to have you think so carefully and thoughtfully of him and his need to communicate and your family's need to listen to him. I'm blown away by it. Truly.

Farm Girl said...

What a wonderful way to honor your parents. Like your friend at your Bible Study I wonder the same thing. Just move on with life. We have become a society of whiners. My husband and I were having a date yesterday afternoon. We were just laughing and talking when a man walked up who knew my husband who has since moved away. He started telling his tale of woes and there was no honor in his speech.
I think we all need to honor those we come in contact with even if we don't agree with him.
I love how pretty your table is it is just lovely.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Amen, girl. It has to start in our homes, in our hearts and in our actions. lead by example. You did a beautiful thing for your parents. Bless you, Janette.

Petra said...

Honoring someone is a daily activity but what you've described here is a very beautiful activity to remind us of God's purposeful and meaningful command. Blessings, my friend!

Debbie said...

Oh Janette, I love this post. I don't know why, but I thought it was a birthday party for your mom that you were planning. I forgot that it was for both of them.

I loved what you said and think you expressed it wonderfully. My husband once taught a SS class of college aged kids. He was so troubled by some comments made in response to his lesson on this very topic. It seemed that somewhere along the line, that command (and it is one) became conditional. We were not talking about kids who had been abused or anything, either.

You honored your parents exactly as I think God intends us to do through this dinner. I can tell from reading it that it was simply a natural outpouring of the love that you have for them. You clearly didn't do it because you were checking off "honor parents" in some righteouness box. How well it shows!

My favorite part was what you did for your dad.

You know, I think a simple way that we can honor our parents is just to LISTEN to them. The easiest way to listen to ask questions.

And the table, as I've already said, is just beautiful. I love the painted and stenciled pumpkin and the individual ones at each place. I just love stuff like that. I also loved how you used the photos. (Laughing about "master of tablescape." I think you mean master of cheapskate.")

NanaNor's said...

Hi there, What a wonderful honor you paid your parents Janette! Loved reading about this and I"m sending it on to my daughters for their inlaws. You are blessed to still have parents to share with your kids.
Hugs, Noreen

Debbie said...

Oh Janette this could have been me on one of my soapboxes, haha!! It is just soo true. It is so necessary to teach our kids (and grandkids) the true importance of honor. If there is one thing I just cannot tolerate it is a disrespectful tone of voice or attitude toward an adult or parent.
And there just seems to be soo much of that in today's world.

Your party was just perfect. From the beautiful table to the questions asked, the pictures to look through, and the presence and undivided attention from all of you. What a treat for them!

When my mother turned 70 we had a HUGE family party for her at a park. There are soo many of us it is the only way to fit us all in. My middle son had put together a book from all of us that consisted of our favorite memory of our mom/grandmother complete with old pictures etc. and presented it to her. He is a graphic artist and so he had put it together quite creatively with sketchings, pictures (including old ones of my mom) etc. Called of course the rememberence book. My mom had me read aloud what everyone had written as she couldn't do it through all of her tears....a day none of us will forget no doubt.

Honor is not only important, it is a command directly from God. It cannot be ignored.

I LOVE that you have written this, and hope many read it and are blessed!

HUGS! Debbie

Christine said...

What seems so simple is really very important.
You have demonstrated to your family, to us, and everyone who has been touched by this, that you are pure grace.
Thank you for share this intimate meal with us.

Susan (My Place to Yours) said...

Janette, I agree that the whole concept of honor has suffered greatly through the last several decades. I'm glad to see you haven't lost the art of honor, though, and that you're teaching your children to honor their elders. Your party for your parents is a beautiful example. I had the privilege of honoring my parents with a visit over the weekend to celebrate my Mom's 70th birthday. Since I live many states away from them these days, it was a special treat. I think I know exactly how you felt being able to spend time with your parents, too! The time together and the telling of stories are memory-making days for them AND us!

Lemon Lane Cottage said...

What a beautiful post and sadly, it is true. I'm sure your parents felt honored and blessed. The table setting was gorgeous and I love the idea of gathering the questions before hand. We just celebrated my dad's 80th and while the party was terrific, what my dad loved was that three generations came together to set up and tear down after the party. I know your kids will remember the day forever. Patty

Sharon said...

Oh Janette! Just beautiful.

You know, what you have said is so very true. I just got home about an hour ago from a visit with my parents. Our parents have done so much for us, and we love them very much - it's the very LEAST we can do to spend time with them and listen to them. They have precious memories, and precious hearts.

They are due our honor. (Ever notice how people from their generation just seem to be more honorable??)

Thanks for sharing your beautiful time. I know it meant the world to your folks.

(By the way, you have your mom's cute smile!!)

PⒿ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

What I love about my almost daily visits here is that your posts are thoughtful and always require me to stop and consider. (What more could a reader want from a writer?)

I could get up on a soapbox about the lack of honor and a whole bunch of other things in today's society. It does start at home. You couldn't be more right. The saddest of commentaries is that I don't know too many grown ups who lead by example.

Marla and Steve said...

This is a wonderful post.

Cindy said...

What a lovely way to honor your parents! I admit I struggle with this with my own parents because of hurtful things that have transpired in the past, but while I don't go all out to be in their company, I do try to call them a few times a month. It's out of duty more than anything but is my way of maintaining a level of respect.

Canadagirl said...

Oh this has to be in the top ten favorite posts you have written now! I need to create a situation like this for my kids and their grandparents. What a wonderful way to honor them and your children being blessed in the process. Thank you for sharing this. I was in tears btw. [o=

Blessings and ((HUGS)) my friend

Karen said...

so precious!! How special you made this day for the both of them & what a great impact this time was for your children.

Sue said...

Every time I come here I am not only blessed, inspired, motivated, but left almost speechless, but thankfully not, or else I couldn't tell you of how much a blessing you are to me, and all who read this blog, not to mention your loved ones. I along with you and your family honor your parents and of the one to whom you will honor this weekend.
Now I am speechless!

Angela said...

Your efforts have resulted in a beautiful family memory.

(and yes this is me!)

Lori said...

I was J U S T talking about this with my bff yesterday! I love all your thoughts and actions! I need to do something special for my own dear mother... You inspire!

Sally said...

God is teaching us a lesson in honoring parents as we come become the "sandwich" generation. Following God's command is a lesson in obedience that, hopefully, is being translated to our children as well. Loved the table setting!

Jen said...

What a PRECIOUS truth! This really spoke to me. Thank you for sharing. What a beautiful and priceless gift you gave your parents. May God richly bless you for that.

Dayle said...

Beautiful post!

Sandy said...

What a precious post today, Janette. You did such a wonderful
job of honoring your dear parents.
And your table is beautiful.

Cecilia Marie Pulliam said...

I love your photos! What a great celebration for your parents, and the whole family. Yes, the best lesson is example, starting at home. Great post, Janette!

A multi-dimensional life said...

Janette, you honored your parents in such a beautiful way, not only by the luncheon and all the details you put into making it a heartwarming experience for them, but also by this blog post. You have honored them publicly as well.
I'm sure this is not the first or the last time, they will receive such blessings from their precious little girl. They've got to be so
delighted in you! May you have many more precious moments like this with them. xo

Joluise said...

People most certainly no longer honour people in particular positions any more or have any respect for them. Everyone blames everyone else, it is never their fault and they take no responsibility for anything. It is all very sad. In australia everyone whinges about the government but no one has any better ideas.

Love those questions, what a great idea.


Pom Pom said...

I love this Janette! How wonderful! Honor is a very special word. It simply directs us. We need it.

Debbie said...

How special that you did this for your parents and for your whole family to participate. Cherish these times with them and how wise to write down their responses. I wish I had taped my mom's voice.

Yes, we should honor our parents. I was blessed with good ones. I realize that parents make mistakes but don't we all?

Blessings and love,

Anonymous said...

Love this, Janette, and couldn't agree more. Sadly, it is written that rebellion and lack of honor would increase and we are seeing the Scriptures unfold before our eyes. It's all part of man's sinful nature but it's also setting the stage for the arrival of our King.
I think it's not only sad when we blame others for our actions avoiding that look-in-the-mirror moment of truth at all costs, I think it's even sadder when believers trash someone in authority, such as our President, simply because of different views. It is our duty not only to honor our leaders but pray for them that their eyes are opened to God's truth and wisdom.
I love your table. Honoring your father and mother makes you a very blessed daughter.
Much love to you.

Marsha @Spots and Wrinkles said...

This is a tremendous post on honor. And your pictures are soooo beautiful. Thank you for sharing them.
blessings to you - Marsha

Rebecca said...

So well said, Janette! I can almost picture your mother and dad at the ends of the table...

What a wonderful idea to include your father in the table conversation and let your children hear the stories!

Honor DOES begin in the home - and sounds like you're doing a great job of it there.

Angela Griffin said...

What a beautiful post! I whole-heartedly agree. My husband and I adopted our daughter from China, and in China, honor is very important. While my friend was there adopting her second child, they celebrated their first child's birthday. Their Chinese guide told my friend's daughter, after she blew out her candles, that she should serve her parents cake first. What a difference from the way we do it here, where the birthday kid gets the first slice!

I wish there was more thought about honor these days. But I'm so thankful there are still those out there who do care about it and are instilling it in their children. I pray that I do a good job of doing just that.

Angel @ Finding The Inspiring said...

I have been out of the loop for a couple of weeks so am just finding this beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas on how to show honor to whom it is due. Blessings!

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