Romans 12:10 - "Honor one another above yourselves."

We can honor one another in various ways. When we honor someone else, we are saying:

1. I respect you.
2. I recognize and affirm who you are - your unique talents and gifts.
3. I submit to your authority.
4. I value and esteem you.
5. I will give you the advantage.
6. I will give you special consideration and proper recognition.

Let me share with you a time that I did not do a great job in following number one above, in respecting my wife...

I remember the day I informed my wife that God had called us to another church (which happened to be in another city), so we would be relocating our lives and ministry. Notice the phrase, “I informed my wife.” My lack of respect was both wrong and hurtful. Was God, indeed, calling us to a new work? Yes. But I was still wrong. Did God eventually bless the new work? Yes. But I was still wrong.

Why was I wrong? Because, as a matter of respect, before I made a decision that would affect Mary’s life, I should have asked her opinion and seriously considered her input. 

In some instances, we may not be obligated to abide by another person’s opinion, but we should always seek it and treat it seriously.

In a marriage relationship, take that one step further – we must solicit our spouse’s opinion and only under extreme circumstances should we continue unless we are in agreement.

The more important a decision is, the more necessary it is to get other people’s input. For instance, relative to family decisions, the decision to relocate to another city is more important than where the next vacation will be, which is more important than the plans for the weekend, which is more important than which dessert to have with dinner. However, respect is always appreciated on any level. 

In closing, may I suggest some common hindrances to honoring others and encourage you to avoid these pitfalls? Here they are...

  • Territorialism – “I like my turf and don’t want anyone else on it.”
  • Preoccupation with self – “I’m so focused on me, I’m unable to focus on you.”
  • Jealousy – “What if I honor you in an area in which we are both involved and it turns out that you’re better than I am?”
  • Insecurity – “If I honor the strengths of other people, I might expose my own inadequacies.”
  • Fear that my needs will not be met – “If I honor other people, who will honor me?” 

Written by Don McMinn, Ph.D. ( — April 03, 2013

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