Thirsty for Honor

Several years ago my husband’s beloved college basketball coach, North Carolina’s legendary Dean Smith, passed away.  Next to his own father, David says Smith was the most significant man in his life. Even superstar Michael Jordan called Smith his “second father.” No wonder David felt compelled to capture his experience playing under Dean Smith in It’s How You Play the Game, his own version of the Dean Smith story.

When I first met my basketball player-turned-preacher husband, I was a University of Georgia girl and a die-hard football fan. Basketball, not so much.

But I loved David and I grew to love basketball.  Coach Smith sent me a handwritten note welcoming me to the “Carolina Family.”  He always remembered my alma mater and my college major.  He even knew our children by name.  Seriously. Who does that?

When Coach Smith died,  the overwhelming public reaction spoke to me of a deep yearning for role models.  For dads.  For men of honor.  I remember being inspired to hastily fire off an editorial honoring the good guys in our lives. (click here).

The reaction to my editorial  intrigued me.  A prominent defense attorney in town sent me a handwritten note sharing how his own father had been such an honorable man–and how deeply he missed him since his passing.  A federal judge and a bank president both weighed in on the subject of honor. Young moms wrote to tell me about their “amazing husbands” and vowed to be more intentional to honor them. Had I touched a nerve?

Maybe it’s because honor is gradually disappearing from our homes, our classrooms, and our culture in general. Families today are in trouble. Studies show that 70% of divorces are now initiated by women. Even the gender wars are taking their toll.

Honor was God’s idea in the first place—especially in marriage.  No wonder we’re thirsty for this sometimes forgotten virtue.  I wonder what would happen if we sparked a movement of honor in our homes, our communities, and our world?


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