Can you remember before you were married how you could spend hours upon hours together and still desire more connection? Prior to marriage, we practiced honoring one another with lots of grace, patience and time. It was easy; we were in love and we were doing our best to make a really good impression. Where does that go?
We can begin to take each other for granted. Or we can view our relationship as common or ordinary and actually dishonor each other at times. While we are forced to be at home day after day, facing the present crisis, our patience can easily wear thin.
Do you have a prized possession you cherish? Maybe it’s an expensive antique or it was your mother’s jewelry or a signed baseball. You protect it and you treat it as extraordinarily special. Perhaps you even keep that certain item in your safe under lock and key. That’s kind of how honor works. We cherish and highly value that possession, and we guard it against any form of damage or theft.
When we dishonor, we do not show value, we don’t care if the dog plays with an item or our grandchildren grab it. Dishonor will tear apart a relationship piece by piece, all the while we stop cherishing and believing in one another enough to keep “us” sacred. When we dishonor, we can speak harshly, we can treat one another with disrespect and we can, perhaps worse than anything else, just not care any longer. We might even add to that something I heard quite a few times while counseling couples, “I will start honoring him/her when he/she starts honoring me.”
Honor does not start when we feel honored or when we subjectively feel someone is deserving of our honor. The Bible tells us to honor our parents. It also tells us to honor our governmental leaders. God’s word tells us to honor those who have authority over us like our bosses or spiritual overseers. (See Ephesians 6:2; Romans 13:1-7; I Timothy 5:17) Wives are to honor the leadership of their husbands and husbands are to honor their wives with love and respect. (See Ephesians 5:22-33) Honor works because we submit to a spirit of honor in our hearts first. Honor works because we are fully and without compromise first submitted to honoring Jesus.
Staying sane in an insane season sure can be a challenge, but this I know: honoring one another as spouses, lovers, best friends and being on the same team can see us through. May I suggest that you read the verse below when you retire together this evening and then engage in a short time of prayer.
Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. (Romans 12:10 NLT)