As children grow, they form patterns of relating to others that remain with them the rest of their lives. Dr. Scott Turansky, co-founder of the National Center for Biblical Parenting, suggests that “honor” is the key ingredient to building robust and spirited families.
Every child is unique and different. Inevitably some kids have significant challenges that seem to suck the energy right out of family life. These children can be demanding of your time, may need a lot of correction, and can be magnets for conflict. They may be emotionally explosive and even draw other family members into conflict. Unfortunately, these children can develop a negative view of themselves based on the high amount of negative feedback they receive.
You’re likely doing a number of things to help your child change, but here’s one that focuses on a positive quality needed instead of stopping the negative behaviors, and it pays off big time in a child’s life. It’s God’s solution called HONOR.
Honor teaches kids to add energy to family life. The term “honor” describes the process of thinking of others above yourself. In fact, God has hidden within honor the secret ingredients people need to be successful. In essence, it brings customer service into the home. Every form of selfishness has an honor-based solution.
Honor means to treat people as special, do more than what’s expected, and have a good attitude. Feel free to use this definition or make up your own. Obedience gets the job done, but honor addresses the way people relate to one another. Once you define honor for your child, then it’s time to practice.
If Jack gets people riled up each afternoon before dinner, you might set an appointment with him at 4:00 pm for several days in a row and ask him to look for three things he can do to add to family life. He may decorate the dinner table, encourage his brother, or prepare something nice for Dad’s arrival home. Kids who tend to create tension in relationships need honor practice.
If Jack continually antagonizes his sister, you might tell him that he needs to think of three honoring things to do for her before he’s free to play. Remember, don’t tell him exactly what he needs to do. If you decide what Jack needs to do and tell him to do it, that’s obedience.
Honor requires initiative by adding something extra or doing a task that needs to be done. Many children wait for others to tell them what to do. It’s hard to teach kids to take initiative because the very act of telling them seems to take the initiative away. That’s why you may require your child to do something honoring but not tell him what to do. You want to help him to start seeing the need or solving a problem for himself. “Son, I’d like you to go into the bathroom and do an honor check.” Now he needs to see what needs to be done and do it.
Honor changes the way children think. Of course it takes practice but the training you do now adds a new dimension to your parenting. Instead of using correction all the time, now you’re doing honor training. Work on honor whether your kids are preschoolers or teens. It’ll change the way your family relates.
Used with permission Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN. All rights reserved. National Center for Biblical Parenting