Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Being A Lady

This morning, I have been pondering over what it means to be a lady. When I think of a picture of a lady, I think of Jane Austen books and Audry Hepburn's grace. I think of the debutant's in movies who float around the house in beautiful dresses and drink tea and await their gentleman caller. I think of buggy rides, of long walks in the garden, and of glamorous balls to attend. But I also mix lady likeness with the Godly passion of women like Maeyken Wens and Amy Carmichael. I think of women such as those who gave up everything for the cause of Christ. They did not care about fancy dresses or handsome beaus. They thought of their Savior and Lord.

Nowadays, I am seeing a staggering rise in "ladies" whose actions are, well, far from ladylike. Instead of delicate, sweet ladies who are thoughtful and kind, I think of modern day Scarlet O'Hara's; arrogant, prideful, vindictive, and impure. And it's really a shame. There are many ways that girls and women are straying further away from lady likeness. For example:


I remember going shopping several years ago with a friend and observing her choices of clothing. Appalled, I remember seeing her don outfits like skin-tight jeans and a cleavage baring top. When I addressed the situation, her remark left me shocked. "What do you mean?" she said. "This IS modest."  Oh dear....

Clothes are just one factor in the art of being a lady and, sadly, most girls and young women can't seem to get that one nailed down. Far too many use the "modern Christian approach" and say, "God does not care about the way I dress. He only cares about my heart."

Well, first of all, how you dress REVEALS your heart, so if you are dressing provocatively or in a way that draws eyes to your body, then we know what is in your heart. Secondly, to say that the Lord is not concerned about how we dress is a lie. When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, the very first thing God did was - make them clothes! He covered their nakedness. Over and over again in the Bible, He reminds us, women, to dress modestly; pointing all those we come in contact with to HIM, not us.

1 Peter 3:3-4
"Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."

1 Timothy 2:9-10
"In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works."


Another example of modern day UN-lady likeness is that of speech. I cannot tell you how many times I have had to sit through conversations that left me overwhelming burdened over the state of womanhood. Nowadays, it is seemingly normal for professed Christian girls and women to slip a cuss word every now and then, to talk crudely of bodily functions, and plaster the color of their undergarments on Facebook and Twitter. They will toss their hair as they reveal information that is meant for the privacy and sacredness of marriage. I have been amazed at how little regard women have for upright and pure speech. It is not ladylike to loudly take over conversations and make yourself heard over everyone else in the room. It is not ladylike (or Godly, for that matter) to spew out vulgarities and improper words at any time. Is there Biblical proof to this? Yes.

Colossians 4:6 -
"Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."

Titus 2:7-8 -
"In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you."

We have all heard the common phrase, "Actions speak louder than words" and I have to say that there is much truth to that. Though words mean a great deal, our actions back them up. It means nothing to say you love your husband or your parents when you treat them with disdain. In our modern culture, the actions of women are become more and more burdensome. I have met many so-called Christian girls who will tell me that they love the Lord and seek to follow and worship Him. Yet, when I observe their lifestyle, their habits, their everyday schedules, I see differently. I see a girl who is not obsessed with her Creator, but obsessed with the latest Twilight or Harry Potter movie. I don't see the Christian girl who loves to worship and praise Jesus, I see a girl who is excited about the Justin Bieber concert next weekend or the latest Taylor Swift music video. Life's ambition? To be a rock star. Heroes? Brad Pitt, Carrie Underwood and Jesus.


Such is the modern day Christian.

1 Corinthians 3:13 -
"Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is."

Ephesians 4:1 -
"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called."

Colossians 1:10 -
"That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God."

I love reading stories of great men and women in history. One of my favorite couples is Jonathan and Sarah Edwards, who lived in the 1700's at the dawn of the Revolution. Both were Godly Christians who saturated themselves in Word of God and, later, filled their children with the knowledge of Christ. At one point in their relationship, Jonathan, observing his love, wrote these words about Sarah:

They say there is a young lady in [New Haven] who is beloved of that Great Being, who made and rules the world, and that there are certain seasons in which this Great Being, in some way or other invisible, comes to her and fills her mind with exceeding sweet delight; and that she hardly cares for any thing, except to meditate on him— that she expects after a while to be received up where he is, to be raised up out of the world and caught up into heaven; being assured that he loves her too well to let her remain at a distance from him always. There she is to dwell with him, and to be ravished with his love and delight for ever. Therefore, if you present all the world before her, with the richest of its treasures, she disregards it and cares not for it, and is unmindful of any pain or affliction. She has a strange sweetness in her mind, and singular purity in her affections; is most just and conscientious in all her conduct; and you could not persuade her to do any thing wrong or sinful, if you would give her all the world, lest she should offend this Great Being. She is of a wonderful sweetness, calmness, and universal benevolence of mind; especially after this Great God has manifested himself to her mind. She will sometimes go about from place to place, singing sweetly; and seems to be always full of joy and pleasure; and no one knows for what. She loves to be alone, walking in the fields and groves, and seems to have some one invisible always conversing with her.

What a grand picture of a true lady! Godly, holy, sweet and kind; Peaceful, joyful, and always seeking to be in the presence of her Creator. One of my biggest passions is to try and awaken our generation of girls (and guys!) to a "MORE" mentality. More God, more servant hood, more nobility, more love, more passion for the Word of God..... just more of Him and less of us. More of Christ and His blood and less of pop culture and Hollywood obsession. More radiant beauty and less scantly-clad dressing. More of Godly lady-hood and less of secular feminism.

If I may give some encouragement to you girls reading - BE A LADY!! More importantly, be a Godly Lady! I can assure you, our God takes great delight in a lady who is everything He made her to be.

Titus 2:3-5
The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.


Anonymous said...

Kristen, I agree totally with the words in these sentences. It is hard to find a true 'lady' these days. As I strive to be a lady I learn new things everyday. I also become more aware of what is pleasing to God. As I was raised in a Pentecostal setting...dress, speech, etc. was very strict...which I still feel necessary. The manner of dress and speech these days is very sad. Not giving God a glad heart. But with you for an example...Lord please let some of these young people SEE how to be a LADY.. Much Love for you.. Lin

Santana Vitales (Hey That's Me!) said...

WOW... i love reading your Blog i get so much encouragemnt when reading and it always makes me think... I agree with you, my eyes have been opening.. to God and the World and Females in the world.. I think to be a woman is a sacred calling...something to be embraced.... Great post looking forward to more!
P.s hope your feeling well!

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