What Is the Value of Your Mate?
Honor is a way of accurately seeing the immense value of a person made in God’s image. God created each one of us as a one-of-a-kind person with unique gifts and a unique personality. He sees each of us as precious and valuable because he sees the innate worth he built into us.
When God brought to Adam the newly created Eve in all her naked glory, can you imagine what he thought? Wow! When God said he’d give me a companion, never in my wildest dreams did I imagine anything like this. Man, what a treasure! Can you imagine the tingling thrill Adam must have felt the moment he first touched her?
Now, think back. Didn't you feel the same way when you married your mate? Didn’t it feel as if you had discovered a cave filled with priceless gold, silver, diamonds, and sparkling gemstones? And it was true. When you married, you received a treasure of unfathomable worth. You will never be able to understand all the wonders God has given you in your marriage partner. Just the physical differences alone are unimaginable. The cells, organs, hormones, features, and shape all combine into a magnificent being who has value above that of the angels. As the scriptures say, “You are a marvelous creation, a spectacular wonder with splendor above the worth of all creation.” Adam was right to gape in wonder when he first saw Eve. You were right to gape in wonder when you married your mate. And maintaining that wonder is critically important, because it means you are still finding in your husband or wife reasons for honor.
Picture your mate as personally autographed by God. Wouldn’t you feel thrilled to be seen with someone who bore God’s personal autograph? Wouldn’t you want to have your picture taken with such a person and hang that picture in a prominent place on your wall? Once you start thinking like God and realize the supreme value of that other person in your life, your treatment of him or her will be much like bending your knee in the presence of a highly honored person or giving a standing ovation to a soloist after an outstanding concert. When you look for the good and the honorable in your mate, you will find it, because it is there. God instilled his glory into each one of us.
Adam and Eve’s value was enormous as shown by God’s creation and love for them, but sin changed all that because they “showed God by their actions” the age-old, basic sin of all mankind, “God, we don’t trust your ways any more; we’ll go our way and you go yours.” But by taking this action, they tarnished the glory that God had built into them in the same way that rust ruins the glistening sheen of steel. C.S. Lewis reminded us, however, that the original glory is still there, lying just beneath the surface of every human, waiting for the day it will again be brought into the open. He said that in all our everyday dealings with each other, we must “…remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship. There are no ordinary people.” When we look at each other, it’s all too easy to see only the rust on the surface—the irritating habits, the failures, the broken promises—and forget that beneath the tarnish the true steel is still intact. All the glory that God created into us is still there, waiting for the moment when that coating of sin is scoured away. As we are transformed more and more into his image, we actually start looking more and more like him and reflecting his loving nature.
You can learn to see this inner, godlike glory that God’s own hand infused into your mate. It may not be easily visible at first, but when we look past the failures and weaknesses and affirm the immense value he created into every one of us, we see that honoring each other is appropriate. When I choose to look at the inner value of my wife, I’m simply looking at her as God looks at me. And I’m so very glad he sees me as he does. I would cringe to think that he sees only my weaknesses and judges me by my stumblings and bumblings. Instead he sees my potential, my innate worth, complete with all the godlikeness he instilled into me originally. Honor is so simple, really. All we need do is look at each other as God looks at us. When you develop that kind of honor for your mate, you help create a secure environment in which great relationships can flourish.
The Apostle Paul encouraged the early Christians to build their relationships on this kind of honor when he wrote, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor” (Romans 12:10).
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