Tag Archives: Honor

Becoming a Woman who Builds

My friend Sara always challenges me to dig deeper.  Never one for easy answers, she makes me want to discover the “how to” of Scripture as well as the “why.”  So I was delighted when she offered her thoughts in response to my new book, which is officially released today.  (David has written the companion volume for you guys).  So glad Sara has entered the conversation about honor–especially in our marriages. I hope you will, too!

GUEST BLOG:  Sara Miller

I love reading so I was delighted to receive a copy of Marilynn’s new book Eight Great Ways to Honor Your Husband. I quickly dived in over Valentine’s Day weekend and enjoyed learning and being reminded about ways I can honor my husband well.

I was just about to wrap up my reading and start my day when the last page of Chapter 3 stopped me in my tracks. It says, “Becoming a Wife Who Builds” and centers around Proverbs 14:1 – “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears it down.” And, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” from 1 Thessalonians 5:11. (ESV)

I’ll be the first to say that the word “builds” and the Scriptures included aren’t all that revolutionary for me. I’ve read them many times. I’ve used that word throughout my life. We all have, right? So why did I stop and stare at the page?

Here’s the definition she includes. “To build, to build up, rebuild; to edify, strengthen, develop another person’s life through acts and words of love and encouragement.” Also, “to build a house, to construct; to advance a person’s spiritual condition.” Wow. There’s a lot more to building than I initially realized.

As a wife, mom, friend, family member…I am called to be a woman who builds. I took a quick glance through that definition and used it as a checklist, and it was convicting. Am I building up? Edifying?

Strengthening others’ lives through my acts, words of love and encouragement? Through God’s strength, I try to, but when I act only out of my own strength and willpower, I fail. Am I advancing anyone’s spiritual condition? Am I an ezer to my husband and a good role model in my walk of faith for my kids? Am I sharing God’s love with others who don’t know Him yet?

It’s safe to say I have plenty of opportunities to be a builder. I’m guessing you do too! When I’m tempted to be overwhelmed by this opportunity, I’m grateful for the reminder that God is the master builder and He just lets me take part in His work. When I’m weak, He is strong! I’m praying for His strength to work in me and through me today. I’m praying that for you too!

Are We Thirsty for Honor?

It was little more than a year ago that my husband’s beloved basketball coach, University of North Carolina’s legendary Dean Smith, passed away. News of his former coach’s death brought a few tears. It’s been more than forty years since graduation. Yet David says that next to his own father, Smith was the most significant man in his life. He’s not alone. Even superstar Michael Jordan called Smith his “second father.”

Now for the record, I did not attend Carolina like my basketball player-turned-preacher husband. Decades ago, when we first met, I was a University of Georgia grad and a die hard football fan. Basketball, not so much.

But I loved my husband, and I actually grew to love basketball.  And it was hard not to become a fan of his beloved coach. Soon after we started dating, Coach Smith sent me a handwritten note essentially welcoming me to the “Carolina Family.” And when we became engaged, he sent us a gift and another handwritten note.  After we married, we could expect a Christmas card each year with a few hand-written comments in Smith’s familiar scrawl.  Coach Smith remembered my alma mater, my college major, and when children came, he knew each of their names.  He always welcomed a visit from us or from any of his former lettermen and their families. Seriously. Who does that?

I was inspired by the public reaction to Coach Smith’s passing last year. It seemed to me that people expressed a yearning for honorable men like Coach Smith…for role models…and for dads. So I hastily wrote an editorial for our local paper.  Coach Smith’s death, and more importantly, his life, inspired me to give a shout out to all the good guys in our lives. Click here to read the article.

David and I were blessed to have exceptionally good fathers who, like Coach Smith, cared more about their children (and players) than they did themselves. But good dads these days are hard to find. Perhaps we’ve brought it on ourselves. Just watch any television show. Dads are spoofed, maligned, caricatured, and generally disrespected. The message? It’s just not cool to be a good guy any more. If the same treatment were given to moms, you’d spark a revolt. Man-bashing, it would seem, is the new national sport.

I was surprised by the responses to my editorial. A prominent defense attorney in our community sent me a handwritten note, thanking me for writing on the subject of honor. His own dad, he shared, had been an amazing and honorable man. A federal judge and a former bank president weighed in on the subject of honor, as did the former head of our county’s Department of Social Services.  Young moms wrote in to tell me what great husbands they had…and some shared that they wanted to be more intentional to honor their husbands.

And I wondered. Had I touched a nerve? Are we a culture that is thirsty for honor? Perhaps it’s because honor is lacking in many homes. Marriages are breaking up at an alarming rate. Some say that 70% of divorces are now initiated by women.

So when David and I were asked to write on the subject of honor in marriage, it just felt right.  The companion books can be ordered now: Eight Great Ways to Honor Your Husband and Eight Great Ways to Honor Your Wife.

Our hope is that you will not only read the books, but also join in the conversation.  Is it time to bring honor back?  I wonder what would happen if together we sparked a movement of honor in our homes, our communities, and our culture.  What do you think?  Are we thirsty for honor?

Whatever Happened to Honor?

“I don’t enjoy going to lunch with my work associates as much as I used to,”” my young friend confided over coffee one day. “The conversation always seems to turn into husband-bashing.” She admitted that while her own marriage wasn’t perfect, she tried to respect her husband’s reputation in the eyes of others. “I’m a very transparent person,” she smiled. “So I try to be real. But I don’t want to dishonor my husband. And I want my friends to know I love being married to him.”

As we talked further, she came to the conclusion that it was okay for her be honest with her friends about some of her marriage struggles. She decided she could share a few of the ways she and her husband are working through their issues. But she resolved to do this in a manner that would honor both Christ and her husband. I loved her heart. And knowing my friend, she’ll be a winsome witness to her friends about what it means to have a Christian marriage.

That conversation was just one of many I’ve had with women of all ages and stages over the last few months while working on my soon-to-be-released new book: Eight Great Ways to Honor Your Husband.  My husband David has written the companion volume for you guys: Eight Great Ways to Honor Your Wife.  I think you’ll discover that honor is something that’s vital for all of us–married or single, young or old.

Honor not a subject you hear much about these days. If anything, we’ve become much more accustomed to disrespect and dishonor. The urban slang for disrespect, or “dis,” has made its way into everyday language. Most any child can tell you what it means to “dis” someone. Or worse, to be “dissed.”

Honor. Simply put, the word means to treat someone with respect or admiration.   It has to do with qualities like honesty, integrity and dignity. The biblical version of honor is much weightier. Even lofty. It conveys the precious nature and worth of the person being honored and is related to words like glory, worship or prize.

I’ve come to believe that deep down inside, most people yearn to be treated with respect. We benefit from both receiving honor and from giving it to others.

God set the bar so low that even a child can show honor. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—“so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth” (Ephesians 6:2,3).  Some refer to this commandment as “the training wheels of honor” ((Exodus 20:12).

A  beautiful thing can happen when children learn to show honor to their earthly parents–they begin to understand the importance of honoring their heavenly Father.

We’re a culture that’s desperately thirsty for honor. Perhaps it’s time to recapture this age-old virtue. We can take the first step by honoring God.  But let’s do so with a sense of reverence and expectancy. For God Himself makes this bold promise: “Those who honor me, I will honor…” (1 Samuel 2:30).