In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, there are 16 powerful descriptions revealing clearly what God’s love looks like. The sixth one is very applicable to Christians in today’s world. NIV states “love does not dishonor others.” ESV and NASB explains it very similarly but really gets to the point with a punch. “Love is not rude!” Our world today is very rude and discourteous.
The Bible states in Matthew 5, 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” I believe that “honoring others”, not being “rude” is a differentiator to our world. People will see and be attracted to courteous folks who ultimately can lead them to Jesus. Shine your light to others by showing honor. Be a light!
Hey, there is no better place to “honor others” and to “not be rude” than in your home. Working with marriage couples since 2001, my wife and I challenge couples to honor their spouse and show courtesy by not being rude. If your marriage is challenged, your spouse will notice courteous, honoring behavior quickly. They may at first wonder what you are up to. However, if you consistently and persistently show courtesy, it will “light” up your marriage. The honoring we are talking about here is real, heart based, God breathed honor and courtesy.
Do you “honor” your kids? Well, you may say, “they are rude, discourteous and dishonor my wife and me.” You are the thermostat in the home, not the thermometer. God wants you to set the attitude in your home, not your wife or kids. Consistently, be courteous honoring others in your home. Hey, you may say, “In my household, I don’t believe that I can do that. Others will run over me.” If you can’t, allow Jesus to do this in and through you. Your home will change. Paul challenges us regarding this in Ephesians 6 4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Let’s show honor to our kids. One of the best ways to do this is by giving them your time. When you do, be all there. That honors your kids. Notice that this passage states to honor your kids by bringing them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. “Rick, you don’t understand. I am a powerful Executive. My job demands my time.” Excuse me for being straightforward (hopefully not rudely!), figure it out. This is a command. Honor your precious kids.
One of the 10 Commandments states something that may be real difficult for us to do because of past hurts especially while we were a tender child. Ephesians 6 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” It doesn’t say here, honor you parents if they are good, Godly folks. There is a blanket statement. Honor them period. Now, you may have been forced build some boundaries with your mom and dad. I get it. Colossians 2:6 states, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt.” However, at the heart level, at the very foundations of your mind, do you honor your parents? If so, God’s blessings follow that.
An important issue that Jesus has with the majority Christians regards showing honor to the poor. James 2:6 But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? The poor are very close to God’s heart. Yet, we honor the rich who are “dragging (us) into court.” Huh? Doesn’t make sense does it until we realize that we often embody the current American “golden rule.” He who has the gold rules. As Christians, let’s not fall for this! Honor the poor.
Let’s rock this world by looking like Jesus. We will become light to the world in real terms by honoring others and being a light that shines courteously to all others! Love does not dishonor others…love is not rude!