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Love Honors Our Loved One

(Creative Commons License)
(Creative Commons License)

Posted: 2/13/16 at 7:45am. Column by Ed Jordan.

Sunday is Valentine’s Day, and along with it comes a brief refocusing upon love.  I hope that demonstrating your love to your loved one is more than a one-day-a-year manifestation, and that it is done with more than merely words, or a gift.  Today I want us to think about a different aspect of showing love that can bring a deeper perspective to relational love.

In my wedding ceremony I ask the couple if they will “have and hold in honor” the husband or wife to whom they are committing their lives. Love honors the other person, and thereby creates a heightened sense of worth and value in both the giver and the receiver of love.

So what does honor look like, and why is it important?  The Old Testament Hebrew word for honor is related to the thought of the verb “to make heavy.” Now I am not implying that when we love someone we give them the finest food and thereby make them heavy, although giving people the best we can give is one way to reveal honor.

The word’s origins probably had more to more to do with the weight and value of precious medals associated with giving honor. Pure gold weighs more than diluted gold. In ancient times, one way of showing a person that they were valued was to give them gold, which was heavy.

Today, while we still give gold and jewels to people we highly value, the concept of giving weight or heaviness to someone has more to do with metaphorical weight than physical weight. When we treat another person with special honor, we contribute value to them through the very process of the special things we do to demonstrate honor to them.

As we honor them they realize that we value them, and the more this happens the more the person begins to feel valuable. Indeed, we all need to come to grips with how valuable we each are to God. We need to continually show our loved ones just how important they are to us, how much we value them, that they are very special to us, and that when they are in our presence they have our full attention.

When we take time to give full weight to what our husband or wife is feeling and saying, or what our teenager or child is feeling or saying, we are showing that we value them, honor them, and care about their life. When we take seriously what they feel or say, and take supportive action that communicates our love and concern for them, we honor them by giving weight to their concerns. When we are more concerned that their needs are met, rather than focusing on our own needs, we honor them.

God wants us to honor Him as well.  He wants us to show honor to Him by taking Him seriously, paying attention to what He says, giving weight to what He asks us to do, and recognizing His value and worth in every aspect of our existence.

In Matthew 15:8 (NLT) Jesus evaluated the spiritual condition of the religious people of the day, saying: “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” This is often the same attitude that we have toward God, and indeed toward those in our home that we say we love and honor.

We tell our loved ones that they are important to us, but then we treat them as non-entities. We say they are valuable, but our actions show there is no honor, no specialness being demonstrated towards them by us.

Honor is special attentiveness given to someone who is special and extremely valuable to us. Do you give God special attention, or just lip service? Does He hold a special place in your life, or just one place among many?

How will you show special attentiveness and honor to your loved ones this weekend? What concrete things can you do to demonstrate to someone that he or she is the most valuable person in your life? What actions will show this?

What attitudes will validate your words and actions? Where will your eyes be looking during dinner? Where will your thoughts be? Where will your heart be? Will you do all the talking, or will you listen to their heart, to their feelings, and to their needs?

Love honors and values the one we love. Get creative! Have a great Valentine’s Day!

ed-jordan2Award-winning columnist Dr. Ed Jordan is pastor of Gwynn’s Island Baptist Church, Gwynn, VA. You may also read his past columns.

He can be reached at szent.edward@gmail.com.