Strength For Today

A journey of keeping my heart, mind, and body in TODAY

Love Journey: Honor One Another

on February 16, 2014

10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves

The first part of verse 10 calls for us to be devoted to one another.  The word devoted paints a beautiful picture of an attitude of compassion, kindness, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, and love toward one another.

Being devoted to those you are in relationship with is a choice.  A beautiful choice.  A right choice.  A loving choice.

The second part of Romans 12:10 calls for us to honor one another above ourselves.  Let’s unpack the first word first. Honor.  A word closely related to honor, and in fact part of the definition of honor according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is respect.  In unpacking the next two words “one another”, we can see that this respect is to be mutual.  And when looking at the words “above yourselves”, this speaks to me of being humble.  Philippians 2:3 supports this:  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather, in  humility value others above yourselves.

So, when I completely unpack this 2nd half of verse 10, I see this:

LOVE IS:

Respecting each other and putting the needs of the other above the needs of self.  In other words, in order to show love to my spouse, I should be respectfully placing his needs above my own.  And vice versa.

Think about that for just a minute.  If both parties in a relationship are valuing each other’s needs above their own….if both parties are acting in a manner of respect and putting the others’ interest ahead of their own interests… what a beautiful place that would be.  I mean, honestly, how could a relationship go wrong if both people are placing the needs of the other person above their own?  So, with the divorce rate being as astronomically high as it is (yes, I am a statistic in that value), would it be realistic to think that this whole element of “honoring one another” goes against the grain of society?  I would venture to say yes.

The world teaches us to strive for our own good.  The world teaches us to preserve and protect our interests.  The world tells us that we are here to be served by others, not to serve one another.  The world…the world….the world.

The more I think about the worldly view of love, the more I begin to understand the brokenness that currently surrounds marriages.  I mean, we are taught daily that we need to fight for our cause, we need to stand up for ourself, we need to speak our mind, advocate for our best interests, and to stand toe-to-toe with any man or woman who disagrees with our views.  That doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for respect and honor.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think “love” when I think about the way the world has taught me to exist in relationship.

I mean, I guess I used to call that love.  But, love was always so elusive to me.  I didn’t understand love beyond the emotional and physical feelings I could tangibly experience when I was with another person.  In my mind, love equated a feeling.

A perfect example is in how we view sexuality in our society.  When two people are in love, the world teaches us that it’s perfectly fine for them to be sexually active.  And I used to agree.  Used to.

I’ve since come to understand that sex is not a game to be played. Nor is it simply an expression of how much I care about another person.  The act of sexual intimacy is a very deep and very real bond between a man and a woman, created by God, designed for the covenant of marriage.  Well, I missed that boat.  But I pray my children don’t have to.  I grieve not fully understanding this Biblical meaning of love as I was growing up.  I grieve not knowing that by choosing not to have sex until marriage, I would have actually been choosing to honor both my body and my future husband. That is something I can never take back.

can choose to honor my body and my future husband now, however.  I can also choose to honor God in the way I treat my body and my relationships.  These are choices I still have today.  I am incredibly thankful for that.

REFLECT:

1.  How do I honor the people I exist in relationship with?

2.  In what ways am I selfish in my relationships?

3.  What does honoring one another above myself  look like in my relationships?

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