A Timeless Sense of Honor

“To the One true King, through whom all good things come.
I bow my knee and await your command.”

iStock_000010834833XSmallI love this quote!  Found on the beginning page of a favored children’s trilogy, The Door Within (by Wayne Batson), it captured my attention recently.

When read carefully, we perceive a “hidden element” our heart desires to offer deserving individuals.  We uncover a timeless sense of admiration for people we hold in high regard, such as kings.  It’s called honor, of course.  I cannot read this quote without feeling a sense of honor in which the King is worthy.  Honor, when correctly placed, stirs our hearts and speeds our adrenaline.

When our children were young, we read a plethora of books about kings, princesses, kingdoms, and knights. We enjoyed medieval times and heroes.  One year, we even planned and entertained friends with a “medieval feast” complete with costumes, food, and games.  As fun as these stories and activities are, we discovered the more important thing to note is that there is an honored hero to any good story.

With a grateful heart, I have been privileged to know some incredibly outstanding young people who get this “honor” mentality right.  Through the years, I have worked with them as a college advisor, counseled them through difficult times, served with them in ministry, or have had the privilege to be friends with their family.

They have enriched my life.

With great delight, I have watched as they honored their parents, teachers, coaches, instructors, and ministry leaders. How do they practically do this?  How do they “honor” others, you may ask?

Well, it became apparent to me recently that all of them without exception shared certain additional qualities that set them apart from the crowd. Qualities that not only speak volumes of their character and values, but also support their desire to express honor to others. Qualities that will certainly serve them well throughout their lives!

A Teachable Spirit
The first quality is “Teachability”.  They are humble.  Many young people desire to learn and grow.  However, it is the humble young man or woman, exhibiting a teachable spirit who really shine.  As I thought of these young people I admire, I discovered not one of them has a “Don’t tell me what to do” or “Get out of my life” attitude with adults.

In fact, the opposite is true!  They desire wisdom and the vast experience of those beyond them in years and hope to learn as much as possible.  Recently, a friend told me that her young-adult daughter said, “Mom, all of my friends are actually your friends,” to which her mom replied, “It’s because you are mature, sweetie.”

No doubt, this is a correct response. In addition to being mature for her age, however, we adults enjoy spending time with this particular young lady because she has such a teachable heart. With delight, I often see her (and others like her) put into practice the advice they receive.

Although the original author may be unknown, I heartily agree with the following quote:  “He who has few skills, but a teachable spirit has far greater potential for success than he who has many skills but who is unteachable.”  Those who appreciate God’s Word also know that, “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed,” (Proverbs 15:22).  While this is certainly true, receptivity to advice and counsel is essential. Receptivity, however, is found in a teachable heart.

Honor Authority
Second, they respect authority – all authority. These outstanding young people submit willingly and with a grateful heart to authority.  If we (and our children) view all authority in our lives as given to us by a Sovereign Lord, we rest in the fact that there is a much bigger plan than we can fathom. Not all earthly authority is good or fair. However, there is Divine author in our story.  We are ultimately submitting to His plan.  He is the “Hero of our story.”

Let us highly encourage commendable behavior such as a teachable spirit and respect for authority when we see it.  May we be quick to acknowledge and applaud these timeless, honorable traits in young men and women.  Such behavior is pleasing to the King.  To the One true King, through whom all good things come!

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