Ladies are almost as rare as Gentlemen in modern-day America. And once again, it’s because of the feminist movement. I believe that women are equal to men, definitely. We’re both co-heirs to salvation in Christ (Galatians 3: 28) – however, our role in society is different. Our place is in the home, and our duties are NOT man’s duties. Men and women are very different from each other; but feminism has blurred the lines in everything from the woman’s role to her appearance. We’ve supposedly ‘thrown off the chains’ of our God-given role and become ‘liberated’ – to what? Take Adam’s curse on ourselves and till the ground? To flaunt our bodies under the banner of ‘personal freedom’? The true lady has been all but lost in the whirlpool of modern society, but as BeautyfromtheHeart.org puts it, “Femininity isn’t dead. It just needs to be reclaimed.
Here are some practical things that we can do in order to encourage our men to be men.
1. Act like a lady. I know this may seem like a very obvious thing to say, but you’d be surprised at how many girls miss this one. Girls, if you want to be treated like a lady, you have to act like one. A guy isn’t going to protect and look out for a girl who acts like a guy. This makes all the difference between a woman and a lady.
2. Be Feminine. Now, I’m not saying you have to only wear voluminous dresses 24/7. I’m not saying you have to drench yourself in perfume and flutter your eyelashes at every male who passes by – heavens, NO. Being feminine simply means embracing the role God has for you. We aren’t men; we shouldn’t look like we are. Guys appreciate it when we leave the manliness up to them and show them what we really are – female.
3. Don’t ‘do it all yourself.’ Yes, I know you’re perfectly capable of hefting that 100-pound sack of mulch and carrying it to the garden, but let the man do it (unless, of course, there aren’t any around in which case you have to). This has nothing to do with ‘male domination,’ but simply allowing yourself the privilege of having men do the masculine work. Proverbs 31; 17 says ‘she strengtheneth her arms ‘ – yes, we’re supposed to be strong and capable. But let the men be men.
4. Let them get the door for you. This is a small thing, but it makes a big impression. A few years back, my dad and I were at a father-daughter retreat in Calloway Gardens. We drove to a beautiful park and he walked around to my side of the car and opened the door for me. Several feet away were a man and woman, and we heard the woman exclaim “Did you see that? Wasn’t that wonderful?” This is one habit I’ve worked on over the years, as I tend to hop out of the car without a second thought. But just wait, give it a moment. And if the guy forgets, get out and remind him for the next time.
5. Let your speech be seasoned with grace. Proverbs 31 states that a virtuous woman has the ‘law of kindness’ on her tongue – she doesn’t shout, isn’t boistrous or annoyingly loud. (This is hard for me too; I come from a pretty loud family. I also have a sarcastic nature and a pretty sharp wit, which is NOT always a good thing. I need to keep Elizabeth Bennett in mind – the perfect mixture of wit and manners!)
6. Dress Modestly. Whisper said something very profound in a comment on the ‘Manners Part 1’ post – “Modesty is the chivalry of ladies.” Ladies, guys already have a tough time of it. They’re bombarded by billboards, magazines, movies, and music – let’s not make it more difficult for them! If you’re unsure as to whether or not something is modest, ask a brother or your dad. And YES, guys are responsible for where they let their eyes roam – but we don’t make it easy. Guys are attracted to the female body – it’s the way God wired them. So instead of blaming God for making them that way, let’s honor our future husbands and the guys around us and dress modestly.
7. Don’t Be Insulting. Don’t make desparaging remarks about a guy’s masculinity, and don’t try to force him into a feminine role. Men are the protectors, not the girlfriends. Build up their masculinity instead of tearing it down. I have trouble with this – it’s easy for me to be sarcastic to my brother. After all, I’m his sister! But it doesn’t help anything.
As a final thought, I’ll leave you with this. Jonathan Edwards, the famous colonial preacher, wrote this about his future wife, Sarah Pierpont. This is what we should strive to be.
“They say there is a young lady in [New Haven] who is beloved of that almighty 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 anything, except to meditate on him–that she expects after a while to be received up where he is, to be raised 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, favor and delight, forever. 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 sweetness of temper, uncommon purity in her affections; is most just and praiseworthy in all her actions; and you could not persuade her to do anything thought 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 those times in which this great God has manifested himself to her mind. She will sometimes go about, singing sweetly, from place to place; and seems to be always full of joy and pleasure, and no one knows for what. She loves to be alone, and to wander in the fields and on the mountains, and seems to have someone invisible always conversing with her.”