Friday, June 11, 2010

#15 - Elegance & Discretion: Does it describe you?

Buenos dias! :) It's a beautiful morning here in Columbia, South Carolina! Hear the starting & stopping of the "recycle truck" & it's squeaky breaks. They just picked up our recycling.... we have 3 different trash days! Isn't that interesting!?! I thought it was a bit overboard...but you put different stuff out on the different days. Nothing like 1 more thing to remember. :) But....recycling is good, so I guess I'll continue to keep it separate. :)

So yes.....what am I enjoying right now??? You've guessed it, my 2nd cup of Hazelnut Vanilla Kahve coffee....this morning with French Vanilla creamer to a nice shade of blonde! Yummy! If you remember in an earlier post, I mentioned drinking coffee at my Grandma Ellis' house when I was little. We called it Alligator Juice! She made it SOOO yummy! Granted, it was probably just a little bit of coffee, probably half milk and a LOT of sugar! Taste of goodness..... I guess it was probably a similar shade of blonde as what I drink today! HA! That is funny. :) We called it Alligator Juice because we drank out of this little Alligator mug. My parents were over at my grandparents house the other week and FOUND IT! Slid to the back corner on the top of a shelf, the little glass "Alligator" mug that had went through FOUR kids was still in tack. Wow. When my dad visited last week, he brought it with him. So, I'm sure the tradition will continue and most likely, Tyler Jr will enjoy Alligator Juice when he is old enough. Love it!

So, there ya have it! The mug I drank out of 30 years ago! Wouldn't that classify it as an antique?! ha!

Well, I enjoyed talking to my little brother last night.... ok, he's not that little. He's a fitness model & a cutie. Even better, he's seeking after the heart of God for his life. He said something that I thought was kinda nice...since he lives in California, I don't see him very much, but he said, "Amy, I feel like when I read your blog, I'm just sitting there with you and we are getting in the Word together." That made me smile. What a sweet thing to hear from your little brother! I'm glad. I hope the rest of you feel like that too. I definitely don't claim to be the expert, nor the top scholar, nor perfect in any of the areas which I have talked or will talk about....but, I can tell you that for the last 14 years I have been studying, reading, praying, meditating & seeking out the face and will of my Father. And who knows, ONE Word from God can be greater than 1,000 words from some stout Bible scholar! Can I get a witness! (lol!) 

Since talking to my brother, let me also preface what I read every morning. If you would like to do the same, I definitely invite you to join me. Each morning I read a chapter in Proverbs. Since their are 31 chapters, it's perfect to just continue to go through Proverbs every month. So, today is June 11th, we will read Proverbs 11. Also, as a woman of God, since my desire is the be that "Ultimate Woman" that it talks about in Proverbs 31, I also read Proverbs 31:10-31 every morning. What it allows me to do is pull some insight from the Proverbs I read, and see how it can cross-reference to our Proverbs 31 friends. My encouragement to you?
MEN: Single & Married - If you are Single, I encourage you to read this also, like I do. Yes, you obviously are not going to be aspiring to be a Proverbs 31 woman, but meditating on and KNOWING this woman is pretty important to you! If you are looking for an awesome, Godly woman, wouldn't it be good to know what she looks like? Wouldn't it be good to not settle for less than what God has for you? Read about, meditate on, study out who this woman is! I have been doing this for a year now & EVERY DAY I continue to get something new! It is amazing!!! If you are married, congrats! Knowing who this woman is will allow you to know how to pray better for your wife. Also, how to encourage your wife. If you feel like she has done something really well, encourage her, "Wow honey! Check you out with your buff arms! You are my Proverbs 31 woman! It talks about her strong, firm arms in verse 17. I'm so proud of you and blessed that I'm married to a Proverbs 31 woman." I would definitely encourage you not to say something like, "Woman! Don't you know that the Proverbs 31 woman has firm arms?! Now, get down there and do some push-ups!" LOL! I would be tempted to put the SMACK DOWN! But, as a married man, it can provide a guidepost for you to pray for your wife as well as encourage your wife. And I bet, when you start encouraging her, it will set her on the path to wanting to read, mediate on, and become this amazing woman it talks about in Proverbs 31:10-31. 
WOMEN: Single & Married - All the same for you! What would be a good goal for you? To read & mediate on this! God has so much for us as women & we have so much power. There is a lot of power in submission. After reading these posts, who knows that this Proverbs 31 woman is not a weak woman, nor is she a doormat! She isn't someone who just lays down to get walked on. She is a STRONG woman of God. But not strong out of defiance, strong in dignity & elegance. Strong in character & lasting beauty. Women, I'm not a betting person, but if I were I would bet that you could read this every day, the rest of your life & the Lord still continue to reveal more to you as you meditate on His Word. Because you know, meditating is listening to the Lord. Meditating is being quiet and listening to see what the Lord, the Holy Spirit has to say to YOU specifically about a certain verse. Valuable? I would say yes! 
So, there is my preface! Let's get in some Word this morning!
Proverbs 11:22 - As a ring of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman who is without discretion.
Proverbs 31:25 - Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure; she rejoices over the future [the latter day or time to come, knowing that she and her family are in readiness for it]!
Let's break down 11:22 - "Fair" in the Hebrew text is meaning: fair, beautiful, handsome. "Without" in the Hebrew text means: turn aside, depart, avoid, reject, abolish, etc.
The Dictionary describes "discretion" or "discreet" as, having or showing discernment or good judgement. So, Proverbs 11:22 if we used some of the Hebrew text and meanings, this verse could be similarly broken down as: "As a beautiful adorning jewel, so awkwardly adorned in a pigs nose, so is a beautiful woman or wife who departs from, who avoids, who removes good taste & judgement."

Now, this brings me back a bit...if you can imagine, I used to be quite the little heathen and Proverbs 11:22 unfortunately sounds like who & what I used to be. Before walking with the Lord, not only did I party, but I also dressed the part. I had the "goods" to flaunt & show off, so since I knew I could draw attention to my chest, guess what I did? I dressed the part! Man...I remember this one "bodysuit" I was a very cute pattern, obviously tight, but there was a big hole cut out out of the cleavage area to draw ones eyes right there! It definitely showed off the goods! When you saw me, man or woman, that is where your eyes were drawn too. And, that was my goal! I so desperately wanted attention. I wanted to be noticed. I had this emptiness inside & I was trying to fill it by acceptance. I wanted to be told I was pretty or attractive. I wanted to be felt important. I was insecure in so many other areas, that I thought, If I can just be noticed, if someone takes interest in me, they will at least think I'm beautiful. What I didn't realize at the time was this, what I was doing was as if I were adorning a pig with really expensive jewels. I was taking myself out of context. Just like a pig is not meant to have jewels or beautiful things on it, a pig is meant to be in the mud, to be stinky, to snort, to be dirty, to roll around in wet, stinky mud. But here I was doing "that" with my body & appearance. The pig and I were switching roles. I was meant to be elegant an beautiful, not cheap & dirty. Not one to draw onlookers who were also dirty & secretly had desires & lusts of the flesh. Did I want to be who this gross man envisioned in his dirty daydreams? Sounds disgusting. 

First Corinthians 13:11 says, "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me." - This verse comes to mind for me, or a growing Christian, a godly woman. In my words it could be said, "When I became a follower of Christ, I put away old ways. I put away my childish ways of dress & became a woman of God. I now talk like a woman of God, think like a woman of God & dress like a woman of God. I put my old, childish, worldly ways behind me. How I dressed, what I wore. I no longer am seeking approval from the world. I no longer want to be the fantasies of single or married men." 

Men are visual people. Why is pornography such a challenge? It is the visual, it is the seeing. My husband and I will kinda look at each other and laugh a little, when we see someone who is showing off particularly their chest, he is often the first to say, "Ok, gotta bounce the eyes." I know exactly what he is talking about. Some woman is wearing very revealing clothing & he is trying to avoid where this person is trying to draw his attention, to their boobs, to their cleavage. As a wife, it sometimes makes me a little mad.....but, I was once lost & I too, was once trying to fill a void in the way I dressed. 

Women, there is something better! Look at Proverbs 31:25 again. Our Proverbs 31 woman has strength & dignity as her clothing AND her position is strong & secure. In the King James Version it replaces the word "dignity" for "honor". Honor breaks down in the Hebrew as splendour, majesty, ornament, honour, glory. So, our Proverbs 31 woman & friend is not wearing one boring color of clothing. She is not wearing some non-trendy brown, sack-cloth of a dress. She is clothed with majesty, she is clothed with jewels and glory. Doesn't it just sound like a princess or a queen? It makes me just want to close my eyes and picture myself in a beautiful gown that has jewels, beautiful, fine fabric..... spinning around sparkling. :) Like a princess, like a queen. Our Proverbs 31 friend is beautiful! Why is "strength" her clothing? Because she is so STRONG in EVERY sense of the word, she does not need dirty beauty to bring her to a lowly state. She stands tall, she walks tall, she is adorned with glory & beauty. I guaranty she is not showing off her booty because her skirt is so short when she bends over, nor are men drawn to her chest because she isn't leaving any room for their imagination since she is not showing it all off. No, when our Proverbs 31 woman walks in, yes she draws attention because she is stunning. She glows with the beauty of Christ, she walks in elegance, humility but pride as she knows who she is and whose she is. She does not need artificial acceptance from someone who is not her own. She is saved for one man, her husband. Our single Proverbs 31 woman is saved for ONE man, the man who will one day be her husband, and until the day she says "I do" at the alter, she is saved for her soul mate, her husband. The show is closed for every other man on the planet. She is a One-Man sorta Girl! 

Food for thought. I have seen business women & godly women. And isn't it awesome when they are clothed with dignity? They look so beautiful & elegant but with discretion. I think of a lady I saw once. She wore a lined off-white business suit, a tank top under the jacket. She looked stunning. It was elegant & beautiful. I guaranty more men thought that day that she was beautiful because she looked full of grace. 

A challenge: 
Ladies... who are you representing? Does your dress represent the woman who is looking to make some money on a street corner? Or does your dress represent the elegant princess or queen, adorned with majesty & honor? You know you can still be trendy without making men stumble. Without luring men into the temptation of pornography. Visual things stimulate that temptation. Do you want to be the cause of someone else's sin?
Men... who are you looking for? Who does your girlfriend resemble? The Proverbs 31 woman or the "loose" woman we read about in Proverbs 5? Do you compliment your wife when her dress resembles the Proverbs 31 woman? What is edified happens. What is complimented gets repeated. 

Elegance & discretion. Does it describe you? Or better yet, if others described you, what would they say?

Take an inventory today. :) 


Anonymous said...

I would have to agree with you whole heartedly!!!! Men need help!! B/c men are so visual, a women can use her body as a weapon. Not good!

Great post!!

Amy J. McCart said...

Well, I'm glad to have someone in agreement! The more women we have dressing classy and acting classy, the better! I know as a wife, I sure appreciate it to be around godly women who dress appropriately and who I don't have to be concerned for my husband! :)

Thanks for your comment! Keep 'em coming! :)
Amy J!

James Ellis III said...

As a man of God I would have to agree that when a women dresses inappropriate it honestly annoys me and it saddens me at the same time because I know that she has no idea who she is. It is also unfair for me because I have to do all I can to stay away from her so I don't end up having lustful thoughts. If she ends up talking to me I am super uncomfortable and have to do all I can to keep my eyes looking at hers and nowhere else. PLEASE women, have respect for yourself and the men who are trying to lead a Godly life. If you dress inappropriately you will get a guy that will treat you inappropriately. If you want a gentlemen prince then you should dress like a respectable princess so to speak. Just my food for thought.

Amy J. McCart said...

Wow! Well put! Thank you for sharing your insight Jamie! I think it is always interesting to hear it from a guys perspective. It really just re-inforces how critical it is for women to dress appropriately.

Thank you for the feedback!! Keep it coming!! :)
xoxo brother! :)

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