‘Marriage should be honored by all’ (Hebrews 13:4 NIV)
The Greek word for honoured here has the meaning ‘of great price, precious, especially dear’. To give honour to somebody expresses the high value, worth and importance of that person; it sees them as a priceless gift to us.
Conversely to dishonour someone means we are treating the person as if they have little worth, value, or importance.
Sadly, as Jesus recognised, we often don’t give honour to those we are closest to:
“A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.” (Matthew 13:57). This can also be true in a marriage relationship. So those who are married, or hope to be one day, how can we strengthen marriage by honouring our spouse?
Here are 3 suggestions:
Honour your spouse with your thoughts. Christians are called to focus our thinking on that which is
true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). This includes what you think about your spouse, because what you think forms beliefs in your heart. Once these beliefs take root, they guide your words and actions. We choose our thoughts and they are powerful. We use them as a filter for our spouse’s words and actions, so it is important that we choose a positive filter, not a negative one. Choose thoughts that recognize your spouse’s high value. Remain grateful by maintaining a mind-set that it’s a privilege to be married to your spouse.
Honour your spouse with your words. One of the great tragedies of a funeral is that we gather and speak words of high value over a person after they are gone, when we should have shared it directly to them while they were living. One lesson you can take away from a funeral is to not wait until a person is gone before you share how much they mean to you.
‘The tongue has the power of life and death’ (Proverbs 18:21) and so we have the power to either speak life or death into our spouse’s life. Our words will either be healing, affirming and honouring, or destructive, down-putting and dishonouring. Can we take the time to say to our spouse, “You’re valuable to me, you’re significant, you’re worthwhile, you matter?” We can and should do this anytime and all the time.
Honour your spouse with your time. We’ve all heard the phrase ‘time is money’, but even more true is ‘time is honour’. We give our time to what we believe is important, and so when you give your spouse quality time, you are saying, “You matter to me, you are important”. Creating time in our schedule to be spent with our spouse honours and prioritizes our marriage, signalling the value of our partner.
Honouring our spouse will enrich our marriages – Let’s give it a go!
Father, thank you for the gift of marriage, help us to value it as your priceless gift to us.
Have a good week honouring your spouse.