I thought long and hard about what I could write for this column that would be relevant and impactful at this time. For several reasons, I decided to write about the value of honor — primarily because there is such a lack of honor being displayed across our nation, and because I need to do a better job at practicing what I preach.
I want to heighten our awareness about the biblical principle of honor and how the lack of adherence to it has affected us. I hope you enjoy what you read. Pray for me in the areas you disagree with, but let us admit to ourselves that we, as nation, have lost a great deal of honor.
It seems to me that many of society’s bedrock institutions such as the church, the family, schools, and our government are not as persuasive as they once were. The lack of consistent integrity and honor has reduced the powerful influences they once had on our society. I began to wonder if it had anything to do with a lack of understanding as well as a lack of respect toward God’s perspective on the value of honor.
In my humble opinion, the principle of honor, for all practical purposes, has ceased to be viewed by people and institutions as a principle that is ordained by God. While I understand there are people in positions of honor who live dishonorable lives, we should never confuse the fact that God ordained the principle regardless of any person who dishonors their position.
Institutional honor is suffering in our society. In the church, many leaders fail to honor the positions they hold. Consequently, honor toward leaders (not just from the pews, but throughout society) is dwindling. Moreover, many people — including those attending churches — seem to honor God less. These conflicts of faith and honor create chaotic and confusing situations in our institutions of faith and in our lives.
I have noticed that there seems to be a rise in dishonorable lifestyles within family structured institutions. I have the deepest respect and appreciation for single parents who are doing their best to foster honorable environments for their families.
However, there are far too many homes across this great nation that have wandered from the principles of honor such as, “Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee. (Exodus 20:12)
Jesus also reminded us to “Honor thy father and thy mother; and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matthew 19;19)
These are bedrock, biblical principles of honor — notions many families have dismissed as old-fashioned, unnecessary and too restricting.
Never before have I witnessed such dishonor and disrespect from children toward their parents as this current generation. But children are commanded to honor the position — if not the person.
The latest political scandals in our governments have caused many of us to stop believing there are any reputable candidates for these leadership positions. Maybe this is why the Apostle Paul said, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” (1Timothy 2;1, 2 ESV)
We are a frustrated society. We are frustrated with things that stem from our disrespect and dishonor for God and anything that is honorable, holy, pure and right. I believe that all is not lost. We see the trouble in our nation and in the world. On this day, would you join me and others in praying for families, churches, schools and government leaders? Let’s live honorable lives. I know we can make an impact when we practice what we believe — and what we preach.
Betton is the pastor of the Temple of Praise Church Ministries and a member of the United Ministerial Alliance.