Call a boy a gentleman and watch his shoulders straighten. Call a girl a lady and watch her spirit turn graceful. Humanity was brought into existence by God speaking words into the void of the universe. We tend to become what we are called.
~The Medicine of Hope
Being a lady isn't about nice clothes or being pulled-together all the time. It certainly isn't about trying to show the world how strong you are or embracing feminism. It isn't the polar opposite of feminism either. Today, we're turning to what Scripture says about us women.
1 Peter 3:4 says, "it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."
Let's explore what this means in more detail.
your inner self ~ Our inner self is our mind, emotions, spirit, soul. Our internal world is where all of our ladylikeness must come from. This is what is valuable in God's sight.
the unfading beauty ~ Beauty fads come and go. Fashion changes over time. It's good to care about these things to an extent, as long as we hold fast to the beauty God is creating inside our very being.
a gentle and quiet spirit ~ Ah! This, this is the key. We must allow God to cultivate within us spirits graced by a gentleness and quiet peace. This doesn't mean we need to be silent all the time. It means we speak His words rather than our own. It doesn't mean we need to be doormats. It means we need to have self-control when we want to lash out. So much goes into this quiet and gentle spirit, and I think we allow God to create it within us through constant prayer, submission to His Spirit and will, and saturating our minds in Scripture.
But how can we be ladylike in our day to day? Here are six ways modern women can be ladies:
1. Love your fellow women. Go above and beyond politeness, and truly learn to love your mother, sisters, friends, and older women in your life. You can love younger women by mentoring them and being an example to them. You can love older women by respecting their opinions and learning from them. Always be kind, and never cut down those around you. In a day and age where insecurities soar, always be gentle in your words and actions. Remember that hurt people hurt people.
2. Be dedicated to your commitments. Honor whatever promises you make. Be faithful in the little things. Arrive on time. Do your best work, and don't let anyone convince you to do otherwise.
3. Let the men be gentlemen. As a very independent person, I know this one is hard from first-hand experience. If a man opens a door or offers to help you carry something, humbly accept. The only exception to this rule is if he is doing it in a mocking or disrespectful way. Don't tolerate him patronizing you. But except for in those rare cases, let the men be gentlemen!
4. Fill your mind with truth. Sometimes the evil one gets into our heads and whispers lies about us; we aren't smart, pretty, etc. Instead of listening to these lies, fill your mind with God's truth. You are valued, adored, wonderfully made, full of life, and being renewed day by day. Get into God's Word daily to make truth the order of the day.
5. Speak gracious words. As girls and women, we often try to impress others with our words, or our tongues just run away with us. James 1:26 says, "Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless." Take care that your tongue doesn't run away with you! Pray for self-control in this area and that your words will bring life to and encourage others.
6. Depend on the Lord. The world tells us that to be strong ladies, we must be independent and not rely on anyone else. But the Lord says to rely on Him. Trust him for all of this quiet and gentle spirit formation. Trust him to carry you through the hard times. Trust his timing, his will, his way. Dependence on the Lord will take your spirit to new heights of maturity.
These are the ways little girls become women and women become queens. Focus on these six, and there will be a noticeable change in you.