All of life is relational- and it should be. God calls out the fact that ‘it is not good for man to be alone’ early on in Genesis. As a result, He creates woman from Adam’s bone and flesh and its happiness ever after…not really. So much so that a few of us reading this today may be in the camp that it would have been better to live as a hermit in the garden with Bessy the cow and Fred the toad.
With relationships always comes conflict. You hear folks talk about that honeymoon stage in a marriage where everything appears right in the world, the sun is always shining and a couple’s sex life resembles the level of passion that we read about in the Song of Songs. It’s after the honeymoon phase wanes that the ‘fun’ starts and the resilience of a couple’s conflict resolution strategy are tested.
The purpose of this message today is a simple reminder that in Romans 12 we are called to continually outdo one another in honor, to bless ort enemies, and hold a zeal for our faith that is unbeknownst to the common man. When your wife acts less than holy, says something that bites at the soul; we as men are to repay evil with grace and love. When a friend disrespects you- evil with grace and love.
When we begin to excavate the blocks of hurt and pain and replace them with grace and truth- this wall that exists in relationships that causes negative assumptions, mindsets, and conflict- begins to transform into a tool that ministers to the heart of hurting humans and attracts those to the light within you.
For the record- I am the chief of sinners in this regard. I struggle in the grace category. I have expectations that are much too high for my 3 and 1-year-old. I have a fuse that is much too short and keeping a level head in turbulent conversations with my bride has, historically, not been my strong suit.
However, as I step back and take a hold of those bricks in the wall that are ugly and are smeared with pain- use my God-given strength to rip them out and replace them with bricks of grace, love, and beauty- the relational wall that was a separator- becomes a fortress of protection for my family, friends, and co-workers.
You, my man, are called to protect those in your circle. To build them up always. To continually honor them- no matter how dishonoring their actions. To look to the cross for guidance— For even in death Christ honored all—For as Jesus was dying and insults were being hurled at him – he prayed for those who hated him… Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.
Today, be a champion of grace and truth. Be above revenge and restitution. Lead with love and see your influence rise. Believe you have what it takes to win in this life- because, brother, you are worth it…and you absolutely have what it takes.
Today, Be a Man of Honor.