How do you define honour? In times past, the word honour was reserved for those with an exceptional sense of honesty, integrity and loyalty. Recently, it has been used in a new way which acts as a slap in the face of those who actually seek to personify those three virtuous traits. Honour has become an acceptable way to describe a man dealing out his own justice and taking the life of his wife or daughter.
Honour killings are a problem that often seems as though it is a world away. Would you believe that there have been a dozen honour killings in Canada this past decade? While all murder is a stain on our society and an affront to our Creator, it is an added insult to call the act of murder honourable.
In many cases, an "honour" killing occurs when a man's wife or daughter commits the sin of adultery or fornication and the man takes her life in an attempt to restore honour to his family. Does killing someone do away with their sin? Paul, in the book of Romans, makes it very clear that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), but scripture also instructs us that vengeance is God's and that He will be the judge of His people (Hebrews 10:30).
Jesus Christ was faced with a situation involving a woman who had committed adultery. The Pharisees, the religious elitists of the day, had caught her in the very act and were ready to put her to death. Before they stoned her, they sought to trap Jesus Christ and so asked Him what should be done to her. Did He then proceed to commit a so-called honour killing?
No! He certainly did not.
His reply was one that I hope we can all take to heart. "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first" (John 8:7). With one brief statement, Jesus made the point that we are not worthy to deliver the penalties of sin. The wages of sin are death and all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). If it is our job to punish people for their sins, then there would not be any people left!
Notice that He did not say that what she had been doing was okay. He instructs her to "go and sin no more" (John 8:11). Christ spared this woman's life and gave her an opportunity to repent of her sins and turn to a righteous way of life. Unfortunately, thousands of women around the world have not been given that chance. They have been murdered for a false sense of honour.
One of the most remarkable truths found in the Bible is that those women will be given a chance to turn their lives around. There is a time coming, when all who have died without truly knowing God and understanding His way of life will be given the opportunity—a true first chance—to build a relationship with their Creator.
If you would like to know more about this remarkable truth, please take the time to read online or order a free printed copy of the booklet Is This the Only Day of Salvation? It will explain God's wonderful plan of salvation where every man, woman and child who has ever lived will be given a genuine opportunity to know God and to live His way of life. All will be put in a position to succeed; everyone will be given a true chance to live an honourable life.