Honor. Its a word that doesn't seem to have a lot of traction or get a lot of pub these days. But its at work (or noticeably absent) in every relational context.
It's pretty clear that some people are not particularly 'honorable'. They don't seem to warrant veneration or high levels of respect.
Then, there are those who we deem honorable, that we want to respect and lift in high esteem...and sometimes they don't reciprocate it.
But here's the thing...because Jesus is honorable and he sought to lift up and honor those who don't warrant or deserve it, we are called to do the same.
And when you honor someone who doesn't warrant being honored...sometimes, they become more honorable.
Craig Groeschel talks of a woman who did not respect her husband. She was talking to Groeschel's wife and this woman said "If my husband were half the man your husband is, I would honor him." To which, Craig's wife said, "My husband is the honorable man he is today because I've made it a point to honor him since the beginning of our relationship."
We get this backwards. We think that we should look down upon those who are less than honorable...thinking that dishonoring them will bring them to an honorable life. But more often they will just live more and more dishonorable lives when we force them to.
And the thing about honor? There's no guarantee that it will ever be reciprocated...but if you make it a way of life, you'll find that it does get reciprocated more often than not.
Who do you need to stop dishonoring?