6. Honor Church Leaders
“Honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work.” –1 Thessalonians 5:12
This is an area that needs serious work and correction in the lives of many believers. It is never acceptable to criticize, gossip or make cutting remarks about a pastor, minister or church leader, as these acts are in direct disobedience to the Word of God. The scripture above continues through verse 13: “[They] work hard among you and warn you against all that is wrong. Think highly of them and give them your wholehearted love because they are straining to help you” (TLB).
The Bible never says that pastors, elders, deacons, evangelists, ministers or any other church leaders will be perfect—just as none of us is perfect. The only perfect One whom God calls us to honor is Him—all others He tells us to honor out of obedience, not conditionally based on their behavior.
What does it look like to honor church leaders, including pastors, elders, ministers? Here is a short list:
- Do not speak critically of them in public or private.
- Do not talk or play around on your cellphone during their teaching.
- Open doors for them.
- If you see a need, meet it.
- Recognize them on their birthdays.
- Do not criticize their salaries or their possessions.
If you’ve been missing it in this area, repent, and begin to honor your church leaders today.
7. Honor Government Officials
“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore, whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God.” –Romans 13:1-2 (NKJV)
Romans 13:1-2 is not a suggestion—it is a command. First Peter 2:17 confirms that we are to “show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor” (NIV).
What about ungodly authority? Think of David and Saul. David’s path to becoming king hinged on one thing—honor. And he lived up to the test. David refused to dishonor Saul, even when Saul was after his life. David chose to honor the position over the person because He knew that by doing so, he was showing honor to God.
God does not hold us blameless for dishonoring those in authority. In fact, he declares there will be a punishment for “those who follow the corrupt desire of the fleshand despise authority” (2 Peter 2:9-10, NIV).
You can honor government officials by refusing to speak against any of them. You’ll have your say—quietly—in the voting booth. You can also write respectful correspondence to voice your opinions or concerns, but if you want to see blessing and prosperity in your life, don’t block it by dishonoring those in authority. Instead, obey 1 Timothy 2:1-2 and pray for them, that we may have peace in our land.
8. Honor Police and Military
“Give respect and honor to those who are in authority.” –Romans 13:7
The recent lack of respect and honor for our police and military has been nothing less than disgraceful. Yes, a small percentage of those in these positions have behaved dishonorably, but that does not justify a lack of honor for all who serve in these positions. Jesus even prayed for the soldiers who nailed Him to the cross, saying “Father, forgive them; for they don’t know not what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). By praying for them, He showed honor to the soldiers who mistreated him, falsely accused him, humiliated him and, ultimately, killed him.
As believers, we should be conscious to never speak against our police or military. They serve, protect and risk their lives for you, and they deserve honor. Police officers and members of the armed forces should never buy their own meal in the presence of a believer. Be a blessing. Thank them for their service. In doing so, you will be obeying God’s Word, and it will be well-pleasing to Him.
9. Honor Your Children
“Do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them.” –Ephesians 6:4
You might think of honor as putting someone in a position of authority above yourself, but honor is to be extended in every direction. To honor also means “to value,” and children should be greatly valued by a society and their parents.
You honor your children by:
- Showing affection
- Spending quality time with them
- Speaking words of affirmation to them
- Making them a priority in your life
- Disciplining them.
You also honor your children by teaching them what it means to show honor. Teach them to respect God, their parents, elders, teachers, police officers, etc. Teach them simple principles, such as: When you use something that belongs to someone else, wash it, clean it, fill it with gas or fix it (even if you didn’t break it) before you return it. Whatever you borrow, return it in better condition than when you got it.
Another basic principle of honor to teach and model before your children is: Don’t lie. The most dishonorable thing you can do is to misrepresent or distort the truth. If children see their parents cheating or lying, what do you think they will end up doing?
It’s time to bring honor back—and it begins by teaching and modeling honor at home.
Are you ready to start living the life of honor? Take The 10-Day Honor Challenge here!
10. Honor Others Before Yourself
“Honor one another above yourselves.” –Romans 12:10 (NIV)
Honoring others is not always about the position, but it’s about walking in love toward all people. Jesus said that we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength; and love our neighbor as ourself (Mark 12: 30-31). When you honor others before yourself in every situation, you will show God’s love to the world, and you will be a living testimony of who He is. This can be a real test of the will! Yet, there is an excellent reward for those who crucify the flesh to obey God’s command to love and honor others.