Living a Life of Honor

"Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men." (1 Peter 2:13)
To honor is to place "heavy value, worth, or weight on someone." When we dishonor someone, we devalue who they are or their position. When we look at culture today, it may seem like honor is a "lost art." However, Scripture is clear that honor sets us apart from those around us. 
Here are a few ways that we can begin a lifestyle of honor:
  1. Be intentional & present.
Make a deliberate effort to be present with others, even in a casual setting! It doesn't need to be something big or extravagant. It can be as easy as spending time talking about someone's day, taking them out for lunch or coffee, or inviting them over to your home for dinner. Ask direct questions about how someone is doing and tell them what’s going on in your life. If you are separated by distance, stay connected through phone calls or video chat service, such as Skype or FaceTime. 
Even when you're just talking about the seemingly mundane, don’t underestimate how important these conversations lift someone's spirit! That’s a mistake I've made with others, specifically in my relationship with my dad. But after he was living with us for a while, he told me how much those phone chats had meant to him—even if we were only talking about the weather! Quality time is about intentionality, not quantity.
"Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves."
 (Romans 12:10)
  1. Be a good listener.
One of the best ways to be intentional in your time with others is to learn how to be a good listener. That means giving someone your full attention, no matter the subject matter. For example, if your parents or friends want to reminisce about the good old days, let them! My father has all these stories about the "Old Days." I have heard them time and time again,  and know them word for word! Still, it is so important to listen.
People may also want to talk about what’s currently going on in their lives—about their jobs or hobbies, interesting experiences, challenges they’re facing, etc. Whatever it is, choose to be fully present in the conversation. By listening to others, you are telling them that their experiences—and lives—are important to you.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4)
  1. Seek wise advice.
Show those closest to you just how much their wisdom and experience means to you by asking for counsel about life issues. Ask for insight from trusted sources on decisions such as educational pursuits, career decisions, raising kids, or dealing with difficult times communicates to them that you value their input. Be mindful with who you ask input from, making sure that the fruit of their lives aligns with the Word of God.
"Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed." (Proverbs 15:22)

A great place to start is with our parents. No matter the strain that may be present in the relationship, our parents have had a vital impact on our lives and can provide us wisdom from their own victories and failures. Even if you don't take their advice, it speaks volumes when we allow them the space to speak into our lives. 

"Pay close attention, my child, to your father’s wise words and never forget your mother’s instructions. For their insight will bring you success, adorning you with grace-filled thoughts and giving you reins to guide your decisions." (Proverbs 1:8)
  1. Express appreciation.
Rather than dwelling on the flaws of others, choose to look for the positive impact that they have had in your life. We all have flaws, and seriously, who wants to hang out with people who always overlook the great things to dwell on someone's faults?!
Focus on whatever is positive: provision, life lessons, fun memories & experiences, advice, opportunities, and so much more! A simple "thank you" for the things that we may have taken for granted goes a long way. We kill appreciation when we take these blessings for granted.

"Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor." (1 Peter 2:17)