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:
* 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."
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.
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 -