How do we define an idea like ‘honour’? It may seem clear, but when we look into it, maybe there’s more to it than we realize. In this episode Kevin explore questions around how
Honouring others creates an attitude that seeks the best in and for others, rather than seeking to control. Living honourably makes room for each persons gifts and abilities, where making everyone the same, limits our gifts.
Married for over 22 years, and Dad to 4 young kids, Kevin is focused on helping Dads not only be the best they can be, but also leave the best for their family. He believes that everything rises and falls on leadership – and it starts on the inside.
Behind this passion for working with Dads, is a heart that cries for the children and wives who are missing out, struggling, or worse, because the men in their lives are not sure that they have what it takes.
He knows from hard-won experience that all Dads have what it takes to provide fully and deeply what their family needs from them. “When things are looking rough,” he says, “we have to hold on to the truth that all of us are capable of far more than we realize. We can see this truth when we stand firm, and don’t let the storms of life chase us away from those are counting on us.”
Kevin encourages those who engage with him to take courage, and embrace the challenge of digging deep within to see their true heart; because everything we do in life – or don’t do – stems from who we are.
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Welcome, great to be here with you. Thanks for joining me. And you know, I gotta say, I really appreciate that you take an interest in learning about fatherhood and about for yourself how to become the best that you can be and gathering more resources. Look, I don't have all the answers, not by far. But I want to share my side of it. And I also, through these podcasts are wanting to introduce you to more resources and other people who have great things to share. So really appreciate that. And this week's another one where it's just you and me.Kevin Williams:
And so we're gonna talk through some things and what I really wanted to focus on today. And it just seemed particularly important to me, right now to talk about honor.Kevin Williams:
Now, I think a lot of us have some idea of what that is. And I want to share some ideas that might be a little different, not trying to be different, but I've been looking into it recently. And I have to admit that I didn't realize the problem I have with honor. It's really come to my attention that I've been operating from a position of not believing that I deserve honor. And, you know, this, this really affects a lot of things in life. And this is partly why I want to talk about honor in in the context, particularly of family, and applies to all of life really, but particularly in terms of family, how it impacts me as a husband, as a dad, and, and also for you, your relationships.Kevin Williams:
And so here's the starting point, I was raised in Christian home. And so one of the things that has always stuck out to me was, you know, one of the, one of the early statements taken where God is talking to Moses and, and gives them these 10 commandments of life. And then all the other kind of rules that came after that.Kevin Williams:
And one of them was Honor your father and mother, that it may go well with you and land in the land, or that you may live long in the land, depending on which specific translation you go with. And I've you know, more sad, okay, I'll try to honor my mother and father. And the things that I've been looking at recently kind of indicates me a couple of things. One is, it's not just about my mom and dad. But it's an example and of honor and into the position and the nature of honor. So let me take a step back and just talk again, a little bit about where I'm coming from, because one of the one of the things I've recognized is that my wife naturally tries to honor me, as her husband, and as the father of her children, our children. And, honestly, especially lately, as I look at that, I recognize how I have rejected that. Because I've grown up thinking I don't deserve honor. And I think there's two parts to that part of it is, I just had low self esteem for so long, I didn't feel like I was inherently worthy of any kind of honor. With rare exception, which we might touch on. But the other side of it is that I grew up with this idea that really, to some extent, nobody should be honored. I was taught to respect my elders, respect is not the same as honor. They're related. But so there's these two sides of it.Kevin Williams:
First of all, you know, do I feel like honor is okay, for me. Is it okay for me to receive honor or to live honorably? And that's another important distinction. And then is there should anybody be honored. And there is a growing and has been as growing development in our societies. I guess what we used to call Western society, but it's kind of spreading around the world. Now, this idea that we shouldn't elevate anybody to positions of honor and we shouldn't have sort of a hierarchy where some people are in position deserving of more honor than others. And there's a number of reasons for that. And I want to look at a core example in family. One of the things that I have learned and been taught and I believe is true is this idea and family that we need leadership.Kevin Williams:
Now, anytime there's more than one human, I find we need leadership to some degree or other. And the the traditional Christian view that spread and not only Christian, but in other cultures as well. There's this idea that the man, the husband, father, is in charge, they're kind of the leader of the family in different ways. And this can take a lot of different shapes and order a lot of different styles and, and details and specifics. But that's a common thing. And lately that's being thrown out and fought against and pushed down. And it's not even that, in many cases, it's not that women want to take over that position. Instead, nobody's in charge, we don't get to, nobody gets to tell anybody else what to do. Nobody else is more important than anyone else, nobody gets to be above anyone else. We just like, you know, the roundtable idea that we just, we're all equals around the table, we're all part of the decision making process. And it even goes to the point where people are, are elevating their children, the youth of life now, almost above us, and saying, you know, oh, my children are my heroes, and they lead me as much as I lead them, and so on.Kevin Williams:
Wow, there's so much that we can get into talking about that. I mean, my goodness, if your children, you know, under age 20 are leading you as a what, however old you are 25 3040 year old, we have some problems coming down the road, that's just sorry, that's just reality, your children are not in that position, yet. They don't have the experience and the knowledge and the wisdom. Now, let's understand this. My kids share a lot with me, I learned some things from them. And they helped me to learn and grow. I've said it many times before, being a father and husband is where I have learned the most and grown the most through those relationships. So there's great value in that. And certainly, I Don't devalue my children. So, so what's going on here?Kevin Williams:
Here's a perspective, I want to propose. Think it's right, that a husband leads the family. And I think that most people who resist that are doing it, because they see that, in the past, many men have abused that position and authority and the power that they might have to apply it to that position. And so what we tend to do is, instead of addressing the heart of the man, or the woman or whoever is off kilter here, instead of addressing the issue going on in their heart, that that is driving that abuse of power, we try to change the structure, thinking that well, if they're not in charge, they're not above me, if we pretend that we're all equal and level, then they can't do that. They won't be able to, to misuse that position. Well, it sounds reasonable at first. But if as I've said, we were not addressing the heart issue, abuse of power is going to come out anyway, a misuse of position or any kind of authority and power is gonna come out anyway, you can pretend that we're all equal in terms of in terms of our position in life and our deserving of responsibility and honor and so on and decision making power.Kevin Williams:
But if you haven't fixed the heart, you're still going to have problems. It's going to come out one way or the other, and usually tends to come out with more control, with less honor. But let me go, let me go back another step here. Because we need to recognize that as humans, we are all equal. We have equal value we really do. So I'm trying to choose my words carefully as I go through this because I don't want to I in fact, it's important to distinguish between our value as people, and our ... the positions of honor that we might hold. And what honor really is, here's the thing. What I'm beginning to see is that honor is not so much something that we give as it is something that we are. It's a ... better put, it's a way of life. It's a way of interacting with people. I mean, yes, I can honor you I can, I can give you honor in terms of how I speak about you if I speak well of my wife and kindly to her and to other people that is honoring, for sure. But I think the key behind it is that I need to have an honorable heart, I need to be a person of honor, in order to truly honor other people. So this is a beginning step that we're getting to now. What's going on in my heart? What we will see is that if I'm a person of honor, and I live from that place, an honorable heart, I will treat other people accordingly, my behavior will be consistent with that. And I will be more inclined to empower others than to control them.Kevin Williams:
Because having an honorable disposition as it were, or honorable heart and living out of that place, I want to raise up others, I want to build up others and to honor them as well to recognize the true value that they have, and the position that they have in life. And the truth is, we don't all hold the same positions. And that's okay.Kevin Williams:
Now, on life on this planet, most of the kinds of positional stuff that we that we know, like a position in business or in family, and so on, you can only have one person in each position kind of thing, especially in a family, right, there's, well, most of the world, we accept the idea that there's only one, you know, two parents. For most of us, it's one mom and one dad, and kids are the kids and the first one is born and just the first one is born. And the second is the second. And that doesn't change anybody's value in the world as a human. Okay, let's be clear about this, I am not more valuable than my wife, as a person, I am not more important as a person. But if I am to lead, the best way to do that is from an honorable heart. And if I'm not an honorable man, if I don't live with a true sense of honor in my heart, then if my wife and I try to be on a level playing field in terms of decision making, and so on, and we even elevate our kids to the decision making process, to equals in decision making, then that's not going to stop me from being a jerk, or being inappropriate in any other way, changing the leadership structure doesn't change who I am. So it's not going to stop me from doing things that aren't helpful or aren't good.Kevin Williams:
So if we have a problem with our leaders, the Honorable response for us in in dealing with those leaders is to confront them and approach them with that, and to help them deal with that issue. If we just pretend it's not there, and change the structure, the leadership structures, and the social structures, and so on, in terms of how we govern our societies, and by the way, family is a micro society, then we're not dealing with the heart issue, we're leaving them in this broken place, we're leaving them in this damaged way of life, where they will continue to be in pain from whatever has gone wrong in their own heart. And they will continue ... their heart will always try to find a way to live that out. We cannot, we're essentially telling them look, you just you just bury that don't deal with it, we're not gonna deal with it. So we're going to just kind of push you aside and create a structure that tries to stop you from behaving that way. But we can't do that.Kevin Williams:
That's like creating laws against crime and doesn't really stop people from being criminals. It just gives us a way of dealing with people when they do commit the crimes. So changing our family structure is not going to fix the problem. If we're coming at this from a position of honor, all of us individually, then when our leaders have an issue, the honorable thing to do is to help them with that and to fix that, not change the structure. The other thing I want to say about this terms of and this, this does fit very much into the honor but also more specifically the leadership concern. You know, certainly from a Christian standpoint, the The Bible talks about the man being the head of the wife and the family in general and You know, some people just pick take that first line there as the man is in charge period, what he says goes. But I wonder how many people take the time to read the rest of that.Kevin Williams:
Because the rest of that whole passage is interesting because really, it describes a situation where the husband is the servant of all, the biblical concept of leadership is one of servanthood, serving the needs of the people that you are leading. Leading by example, leading by loving and caring for, and if we are leading out of an honorable heart, and the Bible talks about honoring people all the time, and always talks about the structure, the greatest and the least the those of more and less, not in terms of more value to God or to each other as humans. But just in terms of the positions that we hold in life, and the honor that those positions deserve. Again, it's important, always just keep in mind that being in a position that warrants more honor doesn't make that person more valuable, more special, more lovable, more anything.Kevin Williams:
Honor is one of these things that from my perspective, at this point, honor isn't something that we necessarily earn from people. It's something that I give to people because I'm honorable, I will honor you., because I have honor in my heart, and I live out of that place.Whether the people around me that I'm interacting with deserve honor or not. If I am an honorable person, I will honor them, I will treat them that way, I will continue to live my life treating the people around me with honor or from a place of honor, because that's who I am. And that's how I live. So for example, look, let's take this out of family and put this into some cultural contexts. We, I'm sure most of us know examples. I think a lot of Spanish cultures are very centered on ... have a lot of honor as a central part of a lot of their cultural way of being. We see this also in some Asian cultures. And the there are others. But the point is this, we will see for example, I know we hear stories, and I am no expert on Asian cultures or Japanese especially. But we certainly, ... the concept that has been presented is that even in battle, when you're at war with your enemy, it is important to do so, to war with them, honorably.Kevin Williams:
Okay, let's think about that. What does that tell us about honor, you're you're fighting someone, and people are going to die or get be captured or injured and whatever happens in war, right? This is not a great thing. These are people that you are trying to stop trying to chase out or, or dominate whatever it may be. I'm not trying to say war is good or bad. But the point is this that nations or groups that that honor, that hold honor and as a high value, say that even when you're fighting your enemy, treat them with honor. Live, honorably, fight honorably, die honorably, cry honorably, whatever you do, be honorable in it in the way you do it. And I think certainly for me and maybe for you this is this is challenging the idea of really what honor is and and the role that it can play in our lives.Kevin Williams:
So as I said a moment ago, I think when we are in any kind of a leadership structure that is that is built on and from a place of having a heart of honor. The need for control goes away. And the desire and capability to empower people actually increases. Because if I'm coming from a place of of honor where I am recognizing everyone else's value, and bringing that to attention to mentioning it and emphasizing it, highlighting it. What I want for those people is for them to shine. I want them to use their gifts and strengths and talents. I want them to feel special. I want them to grow and be the best that they can be. So with my wife and children, for me to live honorably, and to treat them accordingly means that we're not going to try to control them. That comes from a leadership is based more on fear, fear of consequence. I don't want that. I want them to learn and grow, I have no fear that my wife will become better than me, or take over from me, when I'm coming from a position of an honorable heart. Because I want her to be her best. And whatever that means. I don't want to be leader of my family, because I want to control them. Or because I think I'm better than them. I believe it's a it's a good system, a good, good way to set up leadership in our families. There's all kinds of reasons why this is a long conversation, if we're going to talk about leadership and family. But from a position of honoring, what I want to emphasize here is that when we're leading from a position of honor, we want to empower, lift up, strengthen, encourage, and all these good things, it's a loving position to come from. When we lead from a position of fear that leads to control, then we have problems.Kevin Williams:
So at least, I'm not going to try to tell everybody how to how to run their families realy, but at least consider if you have issues with men, being leaders with families. Consider carefully a) why. And b) what is really the best response to that. Is it because they're not living honorably? And they're abusing their power? Are they generating fear? Are they trying to control? Is there distrust in that? Or what is it? Like? Why? And so what's the best way to deal with that, if you're finding that the men you know, are are not leading well. Changing the structure, as I said, isn't gonna fix that. So do you care enough about them to step in and to be honorable yourself and treat them with honor and say, Look, there's something wrong here that we need to address, I would challenge you to consider that option. Now, we're not going to get into things about abusive relationships, like serious abusive relationships, there's a lot to be said about that. And I'm not going to tell anybody to just take abuse, that's absolutely not.Kevin Williams:
That's, that's kind of the extreme end. And it happens for men and women. So I don't want to go into that, because that says very different conversation. And it's very important. But at a core, if we're looking at the possibility of people leading with honor, and honoring each other, when a man and a woman in a marriage are honoring each other. I really don't think they're noticing, who's who's the leader. Because they're both honoring each other. They're both lifting up and empowering each other. And it kind of brings love, instead of fear. It brings empowerment instead of control. And this is the beautiful thing that I'm learning about honor, and how that impacts so many things. Now, we can look at this from all aspects of society.Kevin Williams:
Even when we are working with our peers, in a social context, or a volunteer group, whatever it may be, where we're not necessarily part of a leadership structure, living honorably, and treating each other from that perspective, behaving in ways that come from a heart full of honor means that we are going to be empowering and uplifting each other.Kevin Williams:
What does that do for our society?Kevin Williams:
I mean, goodness me, the number of statistics that I keep hearing from different sources about how many people are missing out on encouragement and an any kind of positive, uplifting conversation or words or actions that is just decimating our people and our societies. And it's so sad. And we have these days, especially in North America, the I mean, the most fatherless societies in the world, like ever. I mean, the absence of fathers and either just literally just they're gone or absence emotionally, mentally, whatever it may be. This is a huge problem and we see statistically direct connection in terms of the presence or the absence of fathers and the presence or absence in the children of, you know, criminal behavior and substance abuse and all kinds of things.Kevin Williams:
Again, this doesn't make fathers inherently more important than mothers. But it does highlight the need for these relationships. And for men, particularly now, perhaps more than, than ever, to learn to be honorable. Women also need to be honorable, and live from that place and share that with all the people around them. But as I look at our society, and I see that the, and there's even now attacking of men and, and move, it feels like to really pull down masculinity. And I'm trying to, I know, social media will will take you down rabbit holes, once you start watching something that just shows you more and more of the same thing. So I try to keep my my awareness of things broad. But there is undoubtedly, an increase in the number of people who are interested in taking down men and to saying we don't need men, the number of women who are saying we just don't need men, period. I mean, it's, it's nonsense. Again, not because men are inherently better or more valuable, because we need each other, we all need each other. I mean, even just to propagate the species, we need men and women, that's like, there's no denying that.Kevin Williams:
But again, I don't want to go too deep into that, except I bring it up to point out this, these issues that we have. And so I mean, honor is such a central part of it. And I don't think we realize that. We talk about honor, I think in society, and I'm certainly in respect. But I don't think people are really taking the time to consider what is honor? And how do we live honorably? And how do we honor each other in the way that we behave? Similarly, with respect, there's a lot of talk, especially in the US, but I think around the world about respect for various groups of people and individuals. But have you really taken the time to understand what respect is? Like these words, I find them honestly a bit difficult to define, effectively, when we can find definitions in the dictionary. I don't find those definitions to be fully helpful, somewhat. But a lot of like, especially honor I find is something that is better understood through example. So that's kind of why I wanted to talk about some of this stuff.Kevin Williams:
Coming back to me, and I and our family, you know, my wife does things for me, like, she wants me to sit at the head of the table. And she will do things like if there's the cake has been cut, and one piece is bigger than the others, and Oh, Daddy gets the big piece. And I was always a bit torn by that. Because I'm like, well, cool. I like cake. So I'm happy to have this big piece. But I also kind of grew with this idea that well, why? Why do I get the big piece? I mean, the kids like cake, too. Why? Why can't one of them have the big piece? Or why can't mom have the big piece? And so it was interesting. Now, as I look back on these experiences and say, Well, is it wrong? She was just naturally trying to honor me. And I have rejected that. And because I have not lived, and I'm being brutally honest here, I have not lived honorably through most of our marriage. That doesn't mean I was a complete ass or that I was abusive or anything like that.Kevin Williams:
But honor was lacking. And it's meant that the example that my kids see of a marriage relationship has not been what it could be and what I really wanted it to be in terms of them learning. How should the husband treat his wife? How does the wife treat her husband? And how do they interact with them? How do they treat their kids? And how should our kids be treating us and each other. And I'm sorry to say that honor has been missing on my part. And even though my wife has been consistently seeking to honor me as her husband, my rejection of that has impacted the effectiveness of it, both in terms of her ability to lift me up and encourage me and empower me and also in terms of my ability to To empower and uplift, encourage her and the children. So just the fact that I'm rejecting honor and have not been. And not being being relating to her out of a place of honor in my from my own heart has really had a significant impact on us. Now, this is changing. And it's kind of changed fast now. Because I've opened up about it, but also because I've been reading about and then learning to understand more about what honor is, and how that impacts our choices and our perspective on things like leadership.Kevin Williams:
So there's a lot of what I suspect might be new thoughts to consider there in terms of honor, and how that plays out in leadership and family roles. And so, I guess I need to leave you with that. And just pray that that is a very impactful set of thoughts for you to challenge yourself and consider where you're coming from. Spend some time, I would encourage you really to spend some time thinking about honor coming up with how do you define honor? What examples can you come up with that help you understand what honor is? And and where you've been in that regard? How do you feel about honor? Is it okay, that the elders in the family are honored? And that the, you know, then the parents receive honor after them and that the kids receive honor after them? Are you okay with that? And if not, why not?Kevin Williams:
What's the real issue with that? Is it because you think that honoring somebody, one person more than the other, makes them more valuable? If you do, that's, that's incorrect. Honoring somebody doesn't make them more valuable. Or even necessarily more important, you might disagree with somebody and still be able to honor them. Because of the position and authority that they have in life. It's a lot like love, right? True love is something that is is a way that you behave, it's the way you treat people. Because you have love, and you love those people, you can love somebody you're angry at, you can be loving to them, you can choose loving behavior towards somebody that you're angry at, or somebody that you disagree with somebody that you don't even really know. Similarly, with honor, you don't have to agree with somebody to honor them. You may not even respect them fully, but you will give them the honor do their position. And it's not an exclusive thing. And it's not a value thing in terms of how valuable we are as people. So I hope you'll keep that in mind as you reflect on honor and how this is going to impact our relationships. And I don't know, maybe this is something I'll bring up with, with other guests, and get some more specific insights and conversation going on.Kevin Williams:
It's been a huge eye opener for me to explore. And, to be honest about it is kind of makes me nervous. But that's the truth about where we're coming from. So I always said from the beginning of this podcast series, I'm not a legend yet. And I'm not gonna pretend to be and I'm not requiring that my guests be legends, this is a journey where we're exploring together and, and learning and growing together and bringing each other tips and helps to, to grow along the way. So that's what I'm doing, being honest about my life so that you can see my example and hear my perspective on this. And I, I trust that it will be valuable in one way or the other. And really appreciate you joining me on this journey. So thank you for that. And again, you know what, if, if you think that this is a conversation that is helpful to other people that you know, then it please share the word, let them know where to find the podcast, it's on all the major platforms, or send them to my website, kevinwillspeak.com so they can connect the podcast there or connect with me on social media, whatever it may be, and and share the word if it's valuable to you, then it's surely valuable to some other people as well. And let's just keep connecting each other to more and more resources as we seek to learn and grow. And for those of us who are dads to become Legendary Dads down the road.Kevin Williams:
So I really appreciate you again, thanks for joining me and I'm looking forward to next week. Have a great week for now. Bye now.