To establish a culture of honor, we’ve got to start with culture. Culture is important. Without culture, we wouldn’t experience the tapestry of creative expression God has blessed us with. Language, food, clothing, and many vital components that make a culture what it is are beautiful gifts from God Himself. If you strip an environment of the components of its culture, you can lose that very environment. Similarly, culture is crucial to the Kingdom of God.
” Honor is behavior that recognizes, celebrates, and even rewards someone, especially regarding their difference.“Honor
Jesus laid the foundation.
Jesus inaugurated the Kingdom of God, and along with his teachings, Jesus began to establish the culture of the Kingdom of God. Pause and think about that. Jesus has done the foundational work of establishing a reality of the culture of the Kingdom of God (here and now) and invited people to change their thinking and come into it. That’s epic; that’s good news! The good news is this – We don’t have to go to heaven to experience the culture of the Kingdom of God. Jesus inaugurated His Kingdom, and we can lean into and experience the reality of it here and now. Somebody– Shout!
” A culture of honor is necessary to sustain pleasant, joyful, and fruitful long-term relationships.”Dele Okuwobi
Why is honor a necessary component?
So how do we experience this reality? One of the central components needed to experience the culture of the Kingdom here and now is honor.
The word honor comes from the Hebrew word Kabad, meaning to be heavy or give weight, or the Greek Timē, which means to esteem or elevate in value to hold in high regard something or someone; to treat as valuable precious weighty. When we combine the greek and the Hebrew words, we can better understand honor as behavior that recognizes, celebrates, and even rewards someone, especially regarding the difference.
The “Weight” of honor.
With that in mind, the command to honor your Father and your Mother found in Deuteronomy 5:16 carries a deeper meaning. Namely this–– to honor your Mother and Father is to put “weight” on the relationship with your parents. In other words, we’re commanded not to treat our Mother and Father as common or ordinary. Wow! Although honor is not discussed much in the church today, honor is necessary to establish a reality of the culture of the Kingdom of God here and now. And although some have devalued the power of honor, the people of God must uphold it. To experience a reality of the culture of the Kingdom of God in this age, may I suggest we have to change our thinking and embrace honor?
Five elements that allow you to sustain a culture of honor.
Honor cannot exist without structure and order. We need morality and truth to determine what is honorable and what is not. Sadly, we live in a conflict over a myriad of world views today. That’s why we must consider God and the standard set forth by His Word to be the authority that guides our lives.
God, no one else, sets your worth and value. We need self-worth and value to be able to give and receive honor. Without understanding your inherent value and worth, one can feel that to honor another is to take away from self. In Ephesians 6:10-11, we learn about the whole armor of God. This armor worn by God’s children helps us to walk with integrity and set ourselves apart as citizens of God’s Kingdom so that we can Honor others without feeling depleted; this is critically important
We need the wisdom to discern who to honor and how to do it. Honor is a behavior that recognizes, celebrates, and even rewards someone, especially for their unique differences. Godly wisdom will help us to discern who and how to give and receive honor in a God-pleasing way.
Realize the value of other people, even if their differences conflict with your personality. You can still honor them by “putting weight” on their unique difference in your life. Throughout the Scriptures, God typically answers prayers through other people. People matter! Honor allows you to keep those relationships through forbearance when you don’t see maturity in areas where growth is needed. Without honor, doors that God has opened through relationships will close unnecessarily. Forbearance is not a pain; it establishes the character of Christ in our lives, which is incredible.
Let’s get this out of the way: life isn’t all about you! That’s a hard truth for all of us to accept. Because of our sinful nature, we are all naturally selfish creatures. Yet to truly honor God and others, we must practice humility. We must cast aside all greed, pride, lust, envy, and other sins that hold us back. Humility brings godly honor and paves the road toward the Kingdom of God!
The Blessing of honor!
Honor sustains pleasant, joyful, and fruitful long-term relationships. We will experience the fullness of God’s kingdom in the coming age; however, through honor, we can experience a reality of God’s Kingdom here and now. In light of this, we must live God-honoring lives in the here and now as we prepare ourselves for the fullness of a culture of honor in the age to come.
To learn more about honor, Dele Okuwobi gives a message titled “All For Honor.” Here he uses the imagery of a construction zone to illustrate the significance of honor.