Manners Part 2: Being a Lady

 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.”

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8 thoughts on “Manners Part 2: Being a Lady

  1. I agree particularly with number 3! I’ve been an athlete for most of my life, so it’s nothing for me to lift heavy stuff, etc. People even commented on my strength. And since I had no older brothers, my dad used me and my older sisters a lot when something big needed to be done around the house.

    But now that I’ve gotten older, I realize I was being proud by refusing help. I have to check myself every now and then when I get carried away, because more often than not there is a gentleman who’s just trying to be kind by helping, but also because it’s about time I got that pride in check!

    Also, I think it’s the sweetest thing ever when somebody gets the door for someone else, be they male or otherwise!

  2. I agree but I also think that it is okay for a woman to work if she needs to. Sometimes one income coming into a household is not enough in today’s economy. I plan to work as long as I need to because of how much things cost now days but I do want to be a stay at home mom when I have kids.

    • I agree T, most young married ladies I know work a part time or from-home job because one salary is just not enough any more. In fact the Proverbs 31 woman is a woman of commerce as well as service and nurturing. And even some Moms have to work. My cousin does, because of ongoing medical issues in her family and one salary is just not enough to support the family.

    • I agree with you…I think it’s alright for a woman to work up until she has children. Personally, I wouldn’t want to trust my kids to anyone else; and it’s just not possible to work AND deal with babies/toddlers.
      But up until then I think it’s a good idea. 🙂

  3. I love how Dana Gresh talks about modesty in both the “The Secret Keeper: The Delicate Power of Modesty” and “And The Bride Wore White: Seven Secrets to Sexual Purity”

    Here is the paraphrase:

    1) Be modest and chaste in dress because your King asks this of you. You are not your own, you were bought with a price. Even your body isn’t your own, it belongs to Another and He desires His daughter/ambassadors to dress to honor Him.

    2) Be modest and chaste in dress because you respect the body that has been given you to steward. Dressing modestly doesn’t mean frumpy or frowsy, it means to set yourself off in a way that does not provoke lustful thoughts in men. Express your style and your zest for life in your clothing by modifying current fashions or adopting a retro look that you love.

    3) Be modest and chaste in dress for the sake of your Brothers in Christ. Do not lead them into temptation.

    So basically dress modestly for:

    Christ
    Yourself
    Others

  4. I agree with everything in this post, and the gentleman post, except for one tiny thing! XD

    I had a friend, who once asked her (fourteen at the time) year old brother about a top she was wearing; whether it was too low or not and was a stumbling block, because her dad wasn’t home. He answered a little surprised that he wasn’t sure and didn’t guess so. My friend, (who is now twenty and much more wise) says she thought about his response for a while, and her mother’s chiding that she shouldn’t ask her little brother things like that, and decided that it might become a stumbling block for him IF she asked him;bringing attention to it would cause him to begin thinking about it. She said that she felt guilty afterwards because he wasn’t really the type to think on things like that and if she continued to ask his opinion on things like that it might make things worse than better.

    That’s all I wanted to say…simply food for thought. 🙂 I tend to on rare occaisions ask my dad what he thinks of an outfit; but normally I ask my mom. Even though she is a woman, she understands the men and typically can give me a good idea of yes or no. 😀

    -Argentia

  5. Wow! What a few posts! 🙂

    Lol! Personally, I laughed at the part about burping the alphabet. That cracks me up!! 🙂

    There’s a difference in HUGS?! Like what the devil is a side hug vs. a fullbody hug?! 🙂

    I think part of it is also: even IF a girl *doesn’t* appreciate a guy being nice and opening the door, it’s better for a guy to error on the side of pulling out the seat for a girl, giving up his seat for a girl, helping a girl with heavy loads, or opening a door. Weather or not a girl *does* like it or not… at LEAST the *man* did something *kind* and thoughtful, because the way God sees it, that’s *not* sin or wrong. Doesn’t matter the way we always see it 🙂 Cuz we don’t always see motives. But those gestures are always done from kindness.

    Dude! Us girls can be *so* temporalmental sometimes!! *gags*

    Pick up a 100 pound bag?! ARE YOU CRAZY?! I can’t even lift a fifty pound bag!! 😀 😀 😀 Nice posts!! 😀

  6. Having no older brothers, I don’t find many opportunities for #3; but if anything, it makes me appreciate it even more when my dad or some considerate guy is around to offer to help. : )

    And I love that description of John Edwards’s wife. I suppose she had her bad days like the rest of us, but it’s inspiring nonetheless.

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