A few weeks ago, my family went to the beach. As I was walking along, I noticed a teen girl. She was holding out her phone on a “selfie” stick, snapping pictures of herself sunbathing in her string bikini with the blue waters of Lake Michigan in the background. A beautiful, summer selfie. The kind of picture that is so rampant on facebook.
I can just imagine the 321 “likes” and the comments:
“You look so beautiful!”
“Nice pic, Gorgeous!”
“Wow, Babe, you look so hot!”
“Great picture! You look so honorable.”
Oh, no, wait. She probably won’t get the “honorable” comment. Lots of attention – Yes. Honor? – No.
Because there is nothing remotely honorable about taking a picture of yourself barely clothed and then promoting it around social media for all of your acquaintances to “like” and praise.
But then, “honor” isn’t really something that we are seeking in our culture, is it?
My heart breaks for this young girl. She probably has no idea how foolish, self-centered, and desperate she looks as she snaps pictures of herself. Perhaps she doesn’t care. I wonder if she realizes that her actions are robbing her of true honor?
Teaching Our Children to Value and Protect Honor
As I wrote about in Honor Lost, we must teach our sons and daughters what true honor is and why it is worth fighting for.
Our culture is fighting against the concept of honor. It is offering our children a sparkly counterfeit that will rob them of true honor. This counterfeit is called popularity.
We Need to Teach Our Children the Difference Between Honor and Popularity
We have traded the concept of “honor” for the instant gratification of social popularity. We don’t think twice about exchanging our “honor” for a moment’s satisfaction of “telling off” someone who has offended us. We tarnish our honor by claiming to believe one thing and then leading lives that don’t match up with our words. We crush our honor with provocative “selfies”. We allow our honor to shrivel and die because we are so focused on ourselves that there is no time or energy left over for focusing on God and the needs of the people around us.
We promote ourselves in an attempt to get instant popularity, and we lose true honor in the process.
Our culture strongly encourages our kids to engage in self-promotion in an attempt to gain popularity. Most of their friends will be seeking popularity at the cost of honor. Are we teaching our children to value honor above popularity?
We Need to Teach Our Children that True Honor Comes from Living a Life that Is God-Centered and Others-Focused
We live in a culture that teaches us to get everything we can for ourselves because we deserve it. The Bible, however, teaches us to empty ourselves and live a life of service to God and other people. Our supreme example of an honorable life is found in Jesus Christ, who laid down His very life to obey His Heavenly Father and to serve us (Philippians 2:1-11). The self-centered focus of our culture will not bring us honor before God. We must teach our children that true honor is found only in living a life that is God-centered and service oriented.
We Need to Be Actively Celebrating People of True Honor
Our culture celebrates good-looking, successful people who have often led less than honorable lives. (How many actors or pop-singers would you label as “honorable”?) As Christian parents, we need to be celebrating people who are truly honorable. Our choices of people to celebrate will look very different from what the world celebrates. For example, when a particular actress that we enjoy acts in a movie where she smears her honor by wearing inappropriate clothing, we choose to stop celebrating her by watching her movies. Radical, isn’t it? If we continue to celebrate people who are less than honorable, we are teaching our children through our actions that popularity is more important than honor.
We should be teaching our children to honor the people that God honors (women like Tabitha in Acts 9:36-42). We should be modeling an honorable life before our children, serving quietly and resting in the assurance that God notices when nobody else does – (no self-promotion needed!).
Why do you think that our culture does not value honor? How can we change this in our own lives? I would love to hear your thoughts. Please scroll down to comment.
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Photo Attribution:Copyright: x4wiz / 123RF Stock Photo