What Does "Honor" Mean?

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In Sunday school lately, we've been talking about honor. We hear that word a lot, but do we really know what it means? Let's look at some of the ways the word honor is used.

Honor means to respect and obey.

"Honor your father and mother..." (Exodus 20:12). In this case, honor means to respect and obey. What are some ways you can show your parents (or those who care for you) honor? How can you show them respect? How can you show them obedience (doing what they say)? Which of the following examples show a way to honor your parents? (HINT: Only two shows both respect and obedience, in other words, shows honor.)
  • Billy's dad asked him to wash the dishes. Billy said "no" and walked away to play.
  • Inge's aunt asked her to pick up the toys before her mom got home. Inge wasn't happy about that. she complained a lot and moved as slowly as she could to pick up the toys. She did manage to finish just before her mom walked in the door.
  • Katie's teacher told the class to read quietly. Rachel, Katie's friend, tried to whisper something to her, but Katie shook her head and put a finger to her lips. Then she turned back to her book and read quietly.
  • Omar was in the middle of a video game when his mom told him to come to dinner. He called back that he was coming, but stayed to finish his game first. His family was all waiting for him when he finally came to the table. "Sorry," he muttered.
  • Janiqua's dad told her they were leaving for church at 7:45 and she was responsible to be ready to go at that time. At 7:43, Janiqua was ready to go and sitting where she could see the door. When her dad went out to start the car, Janiqua got into the vehicle without being asked.
Which kid showed honor to the adult in charge?

Honor means a special privilege.

Some people also use the word honor to mean a special privilege. This is another way to show respect. If you say, "It has been an honor to serve you," it shows great respect for the person you serve. You might also hear someone say something like, "It is an honor to be invited to this event. You must be pretty special if they invited you!" In this case, honor is another way to say a privilege. In what is having your father, mother, and other adults who care about you an honor or a privilege? Do you think this might be connected to God's command to "Honor your father and mother"? Why or why not?

What about you?

Did you know that God gives you honor as well? God made you special and He loves you very much. Because God made you special and because He loves you, you have honor.
"My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge" Psalm 62:6-8 (NIV)

What about God?

Now it's your turn. The Bible says we should honor God.
“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” Revelation 4:11 (NIV)
Use what you know about honor to answer the following questions:
  • Why should we honor God?
  • What are some ways we can honor God?
Choose one way to honor God that you will do this week.

“Theology for Kids.” What does that mean?

Theology is simply a big word meaning “the study of God.” You don’t have to wait until you are a teenager or an adult to start learning about God. Pastors and others who have read a lot of books sometimes like to use fancy words when they talk about God-stuff. Once a month in our “Big Word Breakdown,” we’ll take one of those hard words and explain it for kids (and adults) in plain English.
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