Honor is simply doing things in accordance with a positive view of your character and beliefs. It is how you would be remembered based on the actions and the content of your character.
For example, an Honorable Discharge from military service is something to be very proud of. It denotes a period of time well-served in service to our nation. It is a positive, historical record of the sum total of all the honorable actions and the reputation you exhibited. We all know who gets Dishonorable Discharges from service. Nuff said.
Honor, as it relates to our role as husband, father and leader in our exceptional family filled with the joys and challenges that autism brings, has to deal with acting in a way that is going to leave a lasting legacy in your family.
You see, every day we make choices that will either enhance or detract from the goals and aspirations we have for our family’s success. We discussed in the value of “Duty” how certain activities can take away from the service we provide to our families. We need to make choices that empower and positively impact our wives and children.
Honor can be achieved by applying the following model of success:
THOUGHTS (lead to) ACTIONS (which, through repetition, leads to) HABITS (which over a span of time leads to) YOUR CHARACTER (which, over a lifetime, leads to) HONORABLE LEGACY
So, the following is a list that comprises somewhere in the above lineage of actions applies in my life to help ensure that I will live a life of honor to my family:
1) Every day I am going to work to communicate my love and respect for the role my wife plays as my life mate, and as the incredible care-giver she is to our needy boys. I want her to feel that I truly love her, am committed to her and will fulfill my God-given role to her as her husband. This means appreciating and encouraging her in all the tasks that autism requires in the home. I need to go out of my way to make sure she understands the difference she makes in our kid’s lives with the extraordinary effort she applies to motherhood, and the difference she makes in mine for still having energy to invest into “us.”
2) I will fulfill the duties of my role and be loyal to the tasks that I am in charge of. I will do my part in our family team in the nurturing, education, protection and advocacy for our boys with the vigor that only a parent can provide in the defense of his autistic child’s needs. I will strive to better myself, educate myself and develop skills sets to that end through the reading of good books, participation in organizations and larger efforts that will help not only my family, but all families who live with autism. I will work hard to do more and get better…every day.
3) I will always be there to provide for them all financially, using whatever means I am capable to provide them all the opportunities that successful finances can provide in life.
4) I will strive to make a global impact for all families living with autism by using all of my strengths, skill sets and gifts to help the autism community as a whole. I want to encourage, support and advocate for those who everyday struggle with the unique challenges in life that autism provides in the home. I hope to do whatever I can to help other parents become better at their charge of parenting their children. I want to help those same parents be the best spouses they can for each other, and in the circumstances where there is only one parent handling the burdens at home I want to be an encouraging friend and let him or her know that even though the road can be more difficult – you can do it too! If anything, I hope to empower families with the belief that almighty God believe the most in His people that He gives some of the toughest burdens to in life. He’ll never give you anything that you are capable or able to prepare yourself for!
5) I want to be a wise educator and instill wisdom in my boys (as best as their disorder makes it possible). I will not tire in the desire in my heart to instill those beliefs in life that I hold dear. I will be the living example in thought and deed for them to emulate and learn from. Remember, that despite lack of apparent physical or mental capacity for learning I believe that there is an intellect behind that shell (link) where if you coach and model for them anyway, in their own special way you will make an impact on them for life!
On the day of my funeral, whenever the Lord chooses to call me home, there is going to be some sort of gathering back at the church or at our home. I am sure that people will be sharing cookies, coffee and other munchies while sharing stories about me and my life. It is said that your legacy can be captured in that little “dash” on your tombstone between the born on and check-out date. I want my dash to represent an honorable life to my friends and family. I want them to know that I tried hard. I want them to know that I really gave a damn and worked hard to be everything the God designed me to be. I want them to discuss the many different examples of how I served my
God, my wife, my family and the community around me – that I really worked hard to make a difference in all.
I believe that honor is best achieved through through our progressive, positive, results-oriented daily actions in the life we lead.