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Latest Blog Entry

American Chestnut.JPG
A Man Without Honor

The two boys were painstakingly specific in their color choice. You simply can’t give your dad a pink rose bush for Father’s Day. The boys circled the pallets of “Knock Out Roses” like vultures, searching for “the perfect red, big and beautiful rose bush.

Way to go guys!

It was only Tuesday, several days before dad’s big day.

A rose bush is a creative gift choice.

They were buying their gift, with their money.

Way to go, mom! Good training.

That’s good training, but picking out a great gift for dad is only one point in cultivating honor in the hearts of children. ( PLEASE don't stop reading this if you don't have children at home. It's a great article and a strong prayer point for you to pray for someone you know.

Cultivation

Why is it that weeds flourish and select seedling have to be labourously cultivated?

Honor is one of those choice trees that you strategically plant to anchor your landscape.

It is planted as a focal point.

It must be nutured.

Watered.

Fertilized.

Honor?

It's an old fashioned word, but it's not out dated. Still you  have to roll it around in your mouth to taste it…discern it…savor it!

We get it when we see it in noun form-- honest people living with integrity.

But explaining the verb "honor" is even tougher.

To give honor.

Valuing or esteeming someone.

Deference or "respectful submission or yielding to the judgment, opinion, will, etc., of another." http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/deference />

But honor, like the American chestnut has experienced a catastrophic attack.

Maybe you are too young to have seen the Smokey Mountains  in their hey day! (I'm way too young.) Or maybe you haven't heard of the plight of the American Chestnut. By 1940 four billion American chestnut trees were killed by a fungus blight. By 1950 95% of all American chestnut trees were affected. While it is extremely rare to see even a single scrawny chestnut sapling now, at one time, one third of all the trees in the Smokey Mountains were American Chestnut.

This fast growing, beauty  (especially in the Fall) was the big-boy of the Smokey Mountains.  A mature tree trunk measured 9-10 feet in diameter. Foresters considered them the best hardwood timber in America. Its lumber was straight grained, durable and rot resistant. The tannic acid from the bark was used in tanning leather. The yummy, sweet nuts inside rotund purses bristling with long, burr-like spines, were coaxed open by the gnarly fingers of cold Fall frosts. Mammas with their brood of children, as well as street peddlers filled burlap sacks will fat nuts for roasting. The bears and the squirrels depended on them as their major food source. Many of these animals died as a result of the demise of this valuable American treasure.


"American Chestnut" by Original uploader was Peatcher at de.wikipedia - Transferred from de.wikipedia; transferred to Commons using CommonsHelper.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

What does the fungus do to the tree?

“The fungus forms open sore-like cankers on the tree's trunk and branches, cutting off nutrients from the soil. Soil microorganisms protect the tree's roots, so the chestnut sprouts again and again where the long-dead trunk stood.”   [1] Source accessed 6/11/2014 http://www.nps.gov/grsm/naturescience/dff10-chestnut.htm

The American Chestnut Foundation explains, “The American chestnut tree is not extinct or even technically endangered. There are still millions of sprouts throughout its native range, mostly in forest areas.” [2] Source accessed 6/11/2014  http://www.acf.org/FAQ.php

But the article continues , “They are effectively extinct.”

The new trees are not producing nuts, or reproductive seeds, which are essential for reforestation.

Honor is like the American chestnut.

Nobody wants to claim that it is extinct, but we are not seeing it reproduced in our culture.

There are benefits that come with cultivating honor.

People are valued above things.

Sacrifice and serving is celebrated, not endured.

Love means more than only sexual gratification.

Males are not bashed and females are not smashed.

But honor doesn’t grow wild.

It’s not a volunteer crop, like a wild onion.

Honor must be cultivated.

And the best garden is the home garden.

Where children are taught to honor their father and mother.

Often the reason children do not honor their teachers, police officers and people in authority is they have not been taught to honor their parents.

This is not condemnation.

It is a call to recognize the problem so we can find and execute the cure.

While I realize the canker sores that have attacked the tree of honor is painful and destructive, we must treat the tree and not the fruit from that tree.

And since it's almost Father's Day, I want to give wives some specific suggestions that will help you to

Cultivate Honor in your home by starting with you.

How do you treat your husband? ( Please don't make excuses or allowances. Just think about your attitude.)

You may have a handle on this one and if you do, great.

But even if your husband isn't perfect….he still deserves honor.

Honor is esteeming them as valuable. When things or people are valuable, you treat them differently.

1. Model honor to your children.

He doesn’t have to be a perfect dad to deserve respect.

Respect his role as father.

2. Don’t speak disparagingly about your husband.

Not to them.

Not to your friends.

Not to your family. (This does not include abuse.)

3. Encourage him.

Brag on his strengths and successes.

Be sure your compliments are sincere. It's not enough to think them. Say them to him and about him. And say them often!! (Wayne, loved this one.)

Let your children hear you brag on him.

Talk with your children about his strengths,

How hard he works,

how good he is at his job,

or woodworking,

or cleaning the kitchen.

How gentle he was when they were a baby.

His patience with them when he taught them to hit a ball. (I know you get where I'm going.)

Celebrate their dad with them.

Compliment improvements and best efforts.

4. Focus, deliberately focus, on the good and not the bad.

5. Don’t make him the buffoon of your jokes.

Sorry. I didn't mean to scream at you, but this is important. I hate male bashing of any kind, but I absolutely refuse to dishonor my husband with it.

6. Don’t roll your eyes behind his back, when you disagree.

7. Fight in private.

Learn how to fight fair. And practice it.

I didn't come from a culture that honored men. I saw first hand the ravages that come with a blighted, painful mindset of dishonor.

But there is a cure or at least a remedy.

The discovery of hypovirulence

They don't know where it came from, but Scientist discovered a virus growing on the fungus that weakened the fungus just enough for the tree to grow bark around the canker, so the tree could heal.

I am convinced that cultivating honor in your home is God's good plan for you and your children.

Wives HONOR begins with you.

Don't let your husband be a man without honor!

 

If you need help. Ask God to help you.

Also, please pray for someone that is struggling with honoring their husband.

 

And too the men reading this post, Be a honorable man. We need you more than you realize!

And dads, Happy Fathers Day. I hope you are given a gift of honor.

[1] http://www.nps.gov/grsm/naturescience/dff10-chestnut.htm

[2] http://www.acf.org/FAQ.php Accessed June 11, 2014.

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