Vowing to honor

En route to school this morning, my five year old Quentin asked what the word ‘honor’ means. While I was still considering how to answer this question with his young age in mind, he explained, “I heard both you and Donnie say it at your wedding.”

Suddenly, it felt as if my heart might explode from all the feelings, which hit me at such rapid speed I could not decipher which came first or hope to process them right away. I was astonished he had held on to this memory and question for so long and had been pondering the possibilities. I was curious what had suddenly made him think to ask. I rejoiced that I have children who care to explore their feelings and understand them. And I felt extremely blessed that I have been given the responsibility and the privilege of getting to teach my boys about love, knowing that it will ultimately direct the choices they make in their future relationships.

I find the best way to illustrate these concepts to children is to provide them with stories and examples. Honor isn’t just about obedience; that is its own word and a separate aspect of the vow we take “to honor and obey,” so the concept of honor needs to be examined for its other implications. We discussed the honor given to public figures and Olympic athletes signifying them as being worthy of our respect. We examined the idea that you can receive honor through awards and treasured prizes. In the end, they understood that it is all about singling out a person and elevating them in such a way that they know how precious they are to us – that is how we are to treat a spouse. They should know they are respected, singled out, elevated, prized, cherished.

But the most amazing part of this conversation wasn’t the emotions surrounding my children. It was that the full memory of having taken those vows came back to me. Love came flowing through me in such a way that I could hardly breathe. Knowing how I have promised to respect my husband and how he has promised to cherish me created in me more of a desire to do just that. We all need a reminder every now and then and I am grateful for this moment in time that caused me to come to a complete stop and refocus entirely on one of the most important relationships in my life.

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