As a Bible-believing Christian who tries to not be a jackass, honor is a tricky subject. It is hard to honor my parents, harder still to honor my God, and sometimes nigh on impossible to honor my country. There has to be more to it than subjugation, something beyond the most stiffly bent knee I can manage.
Today, I started to think about what it is to be proud of (honored by) my parents, my God, my country (I know that middle one may sound informal, but I'll get to it). There's something great about meeting someone who knows one of my parents; they are both lovely people, and I usually get an enthusiastic and positive response when I mention them to people who are just now connecting that we are related. The same thing goes for some of my professors and employers and mentors; doors are opened because of the association. I can't count the number of chances I've gotten because of one key-shaped name on my resume.
I wish that saying "I'm an American" in foreign travel got the same response.
I wish that being a member of a faith professing all-encompassing love did not bring my acceptance into question.
But if I am to honor them, what should I do? This is not a philosophical consideration but a practical one. How can I honor? Obedience is great, but there is more. There must be. I have found that there almost always is, where faith is concerned. So I do my best to make them proud, but there are times and places where making my country proud is not true to me; there are especially times when I have to choose between my faith and my friends, my pressures and my convictions.
In that case, I have to try to open doors. I hope that, someday, I can change the way that Americans are perceived, but that is unlikely; few people are the face of their countries. However, I know that there will come a day when it will reflect well on my parents to be the people who raised me, just as it reflects well on me to be their daughter. Hopefully - and this is the dream and goal of my heart - I will be able to open a door for God, to reflect who He is well, to show people who want to see a mitigated sample version before approaching the great I Am, and I hope that I can do it well and soon.