Do you know what honor is?
Do you value honor?
The virtue of honor is not only not celebrated in our culture, it has become a lost concept. Many of us seldom think about honor. Most of us have not discussed the value of honor with our children. We really don’t understand what honor has to do with our everyday lives.
Is honor really that important?
A Gracious Woman Retains Honor…
Proverbs 11:16 says, “A gracious woman retains honor; But ruthless men retain riches.”
Isn’t that an interesting comparison?
- Question: What does the gracious woman have in common with the ruthless man?
- Answer: They are both holding on to something that is important to them.
The ruthless man is holding on to his riches. The gracious woman is holding on to her honor.
What will a ruthless man do to gain and hold on to his riches? He guards his riches! He will fight anything or anyone that would come between him and his riches, because his riches are valuable to him.
As the ruthless man values, seeks, and holds onto his riches, so God-fearing women should be valuing, seeking, and protecting their honor. Have we made honor something to be sought after? Are we seeking after it, valuing it, and fighting against anything that would corrupt it?
Do we even know what Honor is? Here are some definitions:
- From Merriam/Webster Dictionary: Good name or public esteem: Reputation. One whose worth brings respect or fame. Chastity, Purity.
- Webster’s Dictionary 1828: The esteem due or paid to worth; high estimation.
- The Oxford Essential Dictionary: High respect, reputation. Adherence to what is right or accepted conduct. Nobleness of mind. And (of a woman) chastity or a reputation for this.
Honor is given to someone because they have a high worth. Honor is not something that is given cheaply, but something that is earned.
Honor Looks to God
I know, right about now, you may be thinking, “We shouldn’t be seeking honor! We shouldn’t be little ‘people-pleasers’, always worried about what other people are thinking about us!” And, you are right! But we should be very concerned about what God is thinking about us. We should be seeking the honor that comes after life is done, when we approach the throne of God, and He says “Well done you good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21) We should be living lives right now that are bringing honor to God’s name.
Honor Comes from Focusing on Others
The woman in Proverbs 11:16 attains honor through a lifestyle of being gracious or kindhearted. She focuses on the needs of other people, rather than focusing on promoting herself. She is modest, kind towards others, honest, prudent, and does not display every emotion that she feels. She considers the needs of others before herself.
Our culture scoffs at this mindset. It constantly tells us watch out for “number one” and insist on getting our “fair share” in this life. A gracious woman must in faith trust that if she does what is right before God, she will receive God’s commendation at the right time. In the meantime, she will keep on doing what is right whether people are noticing or not.
True Honor is Not Self-Promotional
The gracious woman knows that her honor will not be immediate. Honor usually follows years of hard work and dedication, working in the background, doing what is right even when nobody recognizes her or applauds her. The gracious woman is willing to work and wait, because she knows that the honor that God will give her will be worth a lifetime of waiting.
True Honor is of Great Worth
There is something inherent within the human heart that admires honorable people and longs for honor. That is a good thing! Let’s purposefully give honor its true worth. Let’s intentionally start valuing and retaining our honor by living gracious, God-centered and others-focused lives.
What about you? How do you think that honor plays into everyday life? Do you think our culture has stopped valuing honor? I would love to hear your comments. Please scroll down to comment.