Henry VIII’s Hampton Court


Integrity…it’s been a theme in my home as of late.  As parents, there are a few things we want to see stirring in our kids…  values such as honesty, kindness and patience.  We also strive to encourage them to be people of their word, hard working, and doers of what’s right even if it’s not the popular thing to do.  We want them to know it’s about effort first then success and to honor the adults in their world…even if that adult hasn’t earned respect.


When in London, my brother took me to Henry the VIII’s Hampton Court.  As I walked through the halls and lingered in the great receiving room, I couldn’t help but think of all the intrigue that surrounded this king.


I’ve read many books on his life and was pretty familiar with his reign.  He had 6 wives and wanted so much to be in charge, that he started the Church of England, diminishing control the Pope had over his land.


Once I was home from England and began to watch the Tudors.  (Quick pause here to say, it’s not a great series…very soap opera-y)  But, there was a line spoken by one of his aids, in one of the episodes that made me think, he said, “All I have left is my word.”


Over the past two years, I have a son who has had to learn, the hard way, that there are adults in this world who lack integrity.  He has faced time and again, adults who have discredited him to save their own hides, or who have made decisions that were wrong and passed blame to others.  We have had to make hard decisions with regards to parenting…One,  let him walk through the experience and learn how to respond to those around him who don’t have integrity…requiring  him to respond with honor and a quiet strength.  (All the while knowing he still needs to have a good attitude even if the cards he’s being dealt aren’t fair.)  Or to go to bat for him and stand up for justice and integrity.  These have not been easy choices.  Honestly we’ve chosen both approaches at different times.




Thinking about those who surrounded Henry VIII, I’m sure they were faced with similar dilemmas.  On the one hand, Henry VIII ushered in major change, especially with regard to the church’s involvement in governing affairs.  I’m guessing this reform was welcomed by many and yet at what cost?  Henry VIII was not a man of his word.  He didn’t follow through with his commitment to his wives.  He changed allegiances like the wind depending on the benefit to him.  He wasn’t afraid to sell out anyone who stood in his way.


Kinda funny how this post of a visit to Hampton Court has brought these thoughts up in me.  I’m not even sure where I’m going with these thoughts, except that, I long for my kids…especially my sons…to be men of integrity.  To take whatever life hands them and respond in a way that brings them and those around them honor.  Sometimes taking a stand for injustices and sometimes remaining quiet and shouldering the consequences, even if they were in the right.  I know it’s a tall order and not an easy one to walk out…but, it’s my hope.




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