Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Love Dare Day 15--Love is Honorable

Today's Dare:

Live with your children in an understanding way...and show them honor as a fellow heir of the grace of live.......1 Peter 3:7

Choose a way to show honor and respect to your children that is above your normal routine. It may be holding a door for them. It might be putting their clothes away for them. It may be the way you speak listen and speak in your communication. Show your children that they are highly esteemed in your eyes.

How did you choose to show honor? What were the results? What are some other ways you could demonstrate honor in the coming days?

Before I begin to share how I showed my children honor and respect--which were actually in very small ways, I want to share a little from the "Love Dare" book:

There are certain words in our language that have powerful meanings. Whenever these words are used, an air of respect is associated with them. These words never lose their timeless quality, class and dignity. One of these is the word honor.

To honor someone means to give them respect and high esteem, to treat them as special and of great worth. When you speak to them you keep your language clean and understandable. You are courteous and polite. When they speak to you, you take them seriously, giving their words weight and significance. When they ask you to do something, you accomodate them if at all possible, simply out of respect for who they are.

The Bible tells us to "honor" our father and mother, as well as those in authority--acknowledge the position or value of someone else.

But there's another word that calls us to a higher place, a word that isn't often equated with relationships, though its relevance cannot be understated. It's a word that actually forms the basis for honor--the very reason we give respect and high regard to another. That word is holy.

What?? My children are holy?? Oh, I need to read on--this doesn't mean that they are perfect because none of us are perfect. But, this holiness means that they are set apart for a higher purpose. They are no longer common or everyday but special and unique. A person that you regard as holy is sacred to you, has a special place in your heart.

What am I to do? I love my children dearly--they are not common or every day to me. Each one of them are unique and special to me. And sometimes when I try to show them honor and respect, do they respect me in return?

Sadly, the answer to this is "no". So, what am I to do?

I am to honor them still, that is what I am to do. I am to say to myself regardless of your mistakes, sins, failures, faults--past and present--I still choose to love and honor you. You are important to me, you matter to me, I will sacrifice for you, I value you more than anyone else.

And I ask you--Does this sound familiar at all to you? Does this sound anything at all like how our Lord loves us, how He has sacrificed for us, how He chose us, how He values us.

God has shown me so much grace in my life. Shouldn't I be willing to show grace to my own children. I am God's daughter, a daughter of the King. Yet I still fall, I still fail, I still have faults. Does God stop loving me, stop valuing me as important and special to Him?

No, of course not!! Because His love is unfailing, unconditional. And I am to become more Christ-like every day, every moment of my life. What better step then to show this same grace, this same love to my children.

I didn't have any thing big and specific I did for each of them--just small things. But, I learned so much by reading and praying about this issue. God has shown me how important I am to Him and He has commanded me that I am to show His love to others.

My son: I did his laundry again for him. If anyone knows me, they know that laundry and I are in a great struggle. I will sort, wash and dry, but somehow the folding of this just defies explanation!! And then there is the putting away of all the clean clothes!! Just yesterday, I turned my thinking around on this laundry issue. Instead of looking at this as a chore that I need to do and just don't like doing, I thanked God for providing me with clothes to wear. After all, there are many who don't have the proper clothing--especially with the winter months approaching.

So, I washed and dried my son's clothes last night--two loads worth--and this morning before I left for work, I folded the last load and placed them in his room while he was still sleeping.

When I came home from work, he had put them all away in his dresser and closet--and this is very new for him. He usually places everything in a laundry basket and just lives out of that!!

Daughter #2: Again, laundry!! Now, this daughter lives on her own and uses the laundromat. However, she has been out of work for a week, starting a new job on Monday. She was supposed to start the training classes this Monday, but this has been delayed by a week. I know the laundromat can be expensive, so I called her and told her that if she wanted to, she could come and use my washer and dryer.

This has been something that I have not allowed her to do in the past. You need to understand that this daughter has moved out and back home 4 times!! This time I wanted her to stand on her own two feet, be responsible, and so far she has.

Now, this job issue has come up. I can't financially help her pay her bills, and I really don't think that would be a good idea anyway. But, I could help in a small way by letting her use my washer and dryer, my hot water that I pay for and my electric that I pay for.

She was most grateful for this, and she is spending the evening here doing her laundry!!

Daughter #2: Now, this was a really hard one!! How to show honor and respect when she is thousands of miles away?

I thought about this for quite a while. I realized that I had not been the best example to when my children when they were young and growing up--when I was far from the Lord. I have made many mistakes, said many things that I wished I had never said--mean, hurtful things--words that have caused pain.

And while she may have forgotten the exact words that I said, she did not forget the way these words made her feel--which was lacking in self-confidence, lacking in self-esteem, and generally unloved by me.

I wrote her a letter last night--asking her forgiveness for these words, these hurtful things that I have said to her. I told her how much I know that I hurt her by these words--how if someone had said them to me I would have been devastated. I asked her to please understand how our lives weren't easy at that time, that I was trying to do the best I could under the circumstances, but that still was no excuse for the things I said and they way they made her feel.

I wrote the letter last night and kept it until this evening. Then, I read it over again and mailed it. I hope she understands and forgives me.

Come to think of it, I really should be writing letters to the other two also because I have done the same with them--said things in anger that I really didn't mean. And the very sad part is that I wasn't even angry with them directly--I was angry at the circumstances in our life and I took it out on them.

I have asked forgiveness of God for these things long ago. But, I have never directly asked forgiveness from them.

And so on to Day 16:

Love Intercedes

Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.......3 John 2

and the dare for this day:

Begin praying today for your children's heart. Pray for three specific areas where you desire for God to work in their lives and in your relationship.



Denise said...

I love the precious way that you love your children my friend. I love you.

Dorothy Champagne said...

Wow - this is what really stuck out to me: holy. I never thought of it that way. Treating those around you as 'holy' - meaning chosen of God for His purpose, because aren't we all? Made me look at my entire family differently, and I already treat them pretty good! :) Thank you!

HisFireFly said...

What awesome insights about holiness. You are learning and growing in leaps and bounds, my friend.

Peggy said...

Blessings sweet Beth...You bless me so with your insights on how you honor your children & how well you are doing in this LOVE DARE in identifying how best you can restore your relationship to the fullest with them so they too may honor you & Our precious Lord & Savior! When laundry
& you don't mix well, it's a dislike even a struggle & to double the task & honor your kids by doing this makes we want to shout & say thank You, Jesus for moving through this precious mom to enable her to do this for them in joy of serving unto You! Honoring You by honoring them to see them with a higher purpose "Holiness" that's radiates You & Your light shining in her & through her! To get respect, you must give respect & then honor is just the icing on the cake! It delights me that once more the Love dare is meant for ALL..for when we each speak to others with edifying words, clean language & clear to be understood as to understand ...courteous & polite than we should be received the same but even if we are not, we have done our part. I love your insights & more the actions you have added to your words! May the garden you are planting & seeding in their lives come to full bloom before your very eyes & the eyes of a Savior looking to & fro for one more added to His flock! Such high esteem radiates Christ & His love for you & them & me!You are one A-class act!

boutcrazy said...

I needed the insigh you gave in treating your children as holy. My son has been in trouble in school this week and since reading your posts I've really been trying to use the dares with him. Today I accepted that he had flaws and that maybe I had been setting unrealistic expectations for him.

However, after praying about it, tonight when we talked I was able to discuss..not the trouble he's been getting into...but the fact that he was spiritually away from God and then when he got that relationship right...the rest would fall into place.

Thank you for sharing and being so honest about your kids.

Nancie said...

Great post, Beth. It is encouraging to read of your love for your children. Children are special gifts from God and need our nurturing them with the love and fear of God. May God continue to be your guide and make you a blessing to them always. Take care and have a blessed weekend!