My dad had friends for the entirely of his lifetime. Not lots of friends over the course of his life, but the same friends for… like… 80 years.
At his funeral, I talked about that, and I am sure that listeners were impacted. I mean…who can SAY that? Who truly maintains quality friendships like that?
My dad was amazing, that’s for sure. His friends were and are some of the most incredible men I’ve ever met. They loved him. He loved them. But there’s more.
There is a common denominator there. It isn’t intention. It isn’t promises. It isn’t hope. It’s honor.
Honor respects a friendship. It puts the relationship in its place of importance. It thinks of the other ahead of oneself. It puts forth the effort…not just to maintain or coast, but to grow. For my dad, honor was devotion to friendships, his family and his wife.
That’s why soldiers are willing to place themselves in harm’s way. Honor. That’s why parents will deny themselves anything in order to provide for their children and it’s why we choose to tell the truth when a lie would surely suffice.
I didn’t realize how important honor is to me, despite being raised by such a father. I recently came face to face with honor’s importance, and I didn’t like what I saw. I was disappointed because honor doesn’t mean the same thing to each of us. I saw someone whose honor had limits. And I was disappointed in me. I didn’t place myself in a proper place and I let dishonor threaten me. I was willing to accept the unacceptable. Didn’t look very honorable at all.
Sometimes honor must look like walking away…from a job, from a relationship, from an attitude, maybe even from a church. Because honor is self-respect as well as the respect for others. It’s the integrity of living honestly.
Even if it’s walking away.