As I write this I’m literally sitting across from a lady in the bookstore. When I walked in I asked her, “is anyone sitting here,” in the chair across from her. Her reply, “no.” A couple of moments ago, her husband walked up, looked at her, then looked at me, and she looked at him as if to say, “what?” He walked away.
I don’t like to read into things much, but this situation reminded me of a texting conversation I’d had with one of my little brothers. He’d forwarded a video of a popular female minister discussing women honoring their husbands and what that means. He asked if I agreed and I did, wholeheartedly. He never responded with whether he did or not, usually doesn’t, but, I appreciate our thought provoking texts nonetheless.
Simply put, honor means to hold in high respect, as for worth, with merit, or rank. This might seem elementary, yet as a single person looking from the outside in, I see so much of the opposite in many of the marriages I observe. How do we break the cycle? When do we set aside pride and choose to live long and joyful lives? By this I mean preferring someone else above yourself; their needs, wishes, desires. That’s what we do for people we respect and esteem highly. “This chick isn’t married…” I hear ya. It actually brings a smile to my face just thinking about it, but, let’s deal with what’s real. Who we are daily as individuals, with our friends and family, that’s who we are. If we practiced this in our everyday lives with parents and close friends, our best friends, I believe there would be more happy marriages all around. Remember, we’re only dealing with the area of honor. Who we are before we meet someone, is who we are after we meet them. The issue is, we have a tendency to present the person we like better in the beginning; the respectful, loving, kind person is the one we tend to show off in the early stages of the relationship.
Desire to be a better person to the people that are already in your life, so that the new future mate gets what’s real and not the counterfeit. Bear in mind, they’re doing and saying all the right things as well, until they don’t, and then they don’t again, and human fallibility shows up, and pet peeves are challenged…suddenly, they’re no longer perfect, but, normal, the relationship is no longer perfect in your eyes, but, normal, thus this gives us the license to be more lax in the area of humility, for example: You’ve been married for 2 years now and you’re tired of him leaving his shoes by the front door. He just doesn’t “seem” to care that you like things neat and tidy, so, instead of pushing them aside or putting them away, you throw them in the trash. You not only throw them in the trash, but, you decide to let everybody in the family know about it, including your friends and couldn’t care less what he thinks about it. Perhaps a bit extreme, but, you get the point- no honor.
Let’s check our own honor record:
- Every movie you go see with your friends must be one you choose.
- Your best friend can never rely on you to go to a restaurant they like, if you don’t.
- You can’t have a conversation without cutting people off – Your parents can’t finish a sentence without you interrupting by finishing the sentence for them or implying that you know what they’re about to say.
- While others are speaking you’re thinking of your response.
- You always have the last word.
All of the aforementioned are examples of pridefulness; always esteeming ourselves higher. How about instead, we do the following:
- Bite the bullet and see a movie your friend wants to see for a change, even if they’re taste is a little quirky.
- So you’re not impressed with the food at the restaurant your friend chose, eat light and enjoy the company.
- LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN – Stop talking. Affairs often start because someone else listened.
- Listen without assumption, as though you just might learn something new.
- Learn to be silent for the sake of peace, not argument. Who cares about winning an argument if you have no peace. Ask yourself before having the last word, “is it worth it?”
No, I’m not married, but, I’ve recognized that I’ve not always been a good friend. Redundancy bores me, friends who whine get on my nerves, and hearing them complain about the same things over and over again can be absolutely exhausting, and believe me, I’m pretty vocal about it, but, I give them room to be who they are without quarrel, recognizing that everything good about them outweighs my personal annoyances. And most of all, my life is a better because they’re in it, and the value they bring to my life far outweighs their shortcomings.
I wonder how much richer our lives would be if we purposed to be better friends, kids, parents and mates, by simply acting with more honor. What say you?