31 August 2007

Seriousness of Motherhood

"Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4

“Raising a child is not training. Plants and animals are raised. To raise something means to grow it. To raise a child would only consist of feeding, clothing, and protecting him from destruction until he reaches physical maturity. While it is true today that most parents are only “raising” their children, raising does not constitute the training of the soul that God intends.”

“Biblical child training produces a quality character much different than would have developed had the child been left alone to grow up according to his own nature. God's Word commands parents specifically to so alter the nature of their children.” (Pages 64-65 of What the Bible Says About Child Training by Richard Fugate)

"Sometimes mere words are not enough, discipline is needed. For the words may not be heeded." Proverbs 29:19 (loose translation)

The importance: an Old illustration

1 Samuel 15:20-23 And Saul said to Samuel, “But I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and gone on the mission on which the LORD sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal.”

So Samuel said:
“Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
As in obeying the voice of the LORD?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams.

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,
And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the LORD,
He also has rejected you from being king.”

Some people are concerned about Harry Potter's influence on our children to witchcraft. If rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, I believe we have a lot more to deal with than a book of fiction in the children's lives. What an important position it is for a Lady to take on the role of Mother. Their stubbornness is as serious sinfulness, or maybe their conversion to Hinduism through pure yoga. When put into that light, as Samuel pointed out to Saul, training a child - and our own discipline - seems so much more important.


Now, there is a funny side to Motherhood too. It's everything a mom says in 24 hours condensed to 2 minutes and 55 seconds and sung to the William Tell Overture as sung by Anita Renfroe.

17 August 2007

Links to listen to and to read today

"Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled."

The Wonders of Womanhood Titus 2:1-5 from Love Worth Finding, with Dr. Adrian Rogers

Common sense in 'mommy wars', by Penna Dexter in the Baptist Press

Submission , a list in "A Wise Woman Builds Her Home"'s blog

16 August 2007

A Lady Is Aware of Her Words

I advise my gentle readers to please travel to this link and read a most refreshing article on the subject of the words we use: Christian Cussing is for the Foolish (from Desiring to Be a Godly Woman's blog).

For a Christian Lady, it is imperative that we set a watch over our lips, for our speech proclaims to the world who we are in our hearts, and we are to be reflecting the light of Jesus Christ. Should we suppose that someone who cannot see our hearts can truly make out the truth of love for God, His will, and for one another, when our words show disrespect, callousness, or even hate?

For any Lady, our words proclaim who we are. Yes, it did used to be true, that men would watch their language "when ladies were present". Some things were not talked about in the presence of children or the elderly, for various reasons. In fact, only 20 years ago, when I was attending speech and communication classes in university, we were told that to use foul, disrespectful, cuss-words or slang was to lower others' estimation of you, and diminish your credibility. Not from some overbearing Judeo-Christian perception did the professors point this out, but from common knowledge that a person with something to say, with dignity, self control and self respect will attempt to use the proper words for the proper things at the proper times. Using slang shows your ignorance and the fact that you just don't care - really!

How much more important then for a Lady or Gentleman who wants to present the love and peace of the Almighty God to the world to choose their words carefully? Why would a lady want to try to act like - not just any man, for there are still gentlemen among us, but - a disrespectful man with no understanding of common courtesy? Christian Ladies, please read the article referenced above.

(And if you think that watching your mouth is just a "Christian thing", check out this article that I came across yesterday: Social Responses to Swearing, in HowStuffWorks, which includes this helpful bit of observation: Western society generally views swearing as more appropriate for men than for women. Women who swear appear to violate more societal taboos than men who swear. People also tend to judge women more harshly than men for their use of obscenities.)

The way we speak is so important, and shows who we really are just as loudly as what we wear. Why Can't the English Learn to Speak? (-click for the clip from My Fair Lady)(image below: Audry Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle in "My Fair Lady")

Ladies, please: it is worth it to learn to watch your phraseology!

For another old-fashioned side of this, see also Emily Post's chapter on Words, Phrases and Pronunciation, 1922.

Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. - James 3:10

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification that it may impart grace to the hearers. - Ephesians 4:29

14 August 2007

For Mothers with Daughters

Listening to this half hour show today:

WOMANTalk: Are You Your Daughter's Ally?, from Changing Worldviews

"With Sharon Hersh & Debra Rae
"Today girls think sex is a natural part of teen relationships. College girls sell their decency for $100 and a T-shirt, and many young women live lives of "desperate housewives." How can you help your daughter navigate safely through these waters?"

Based on the ideas in:
"Mom, sex is NO big deal! :
Becoming your daughter's ally in developing a healthy sexual identity" by Sharon Hersh

" “But Mom, it’s not the same as when you were a teenager….” Your daughter is right. Never before have teenage girls been so inundated with the idea that sex is a natural part of teenage relationships. The media, the Internet, and your daughter’s peers reinforce this myth daily. And never before has the price tag of teen sexual behavior been so high–disease, depression, and a distorted view of self. The good news is that you can use the challenges your daughter faces today as catalysts to help her develop a sacred view of sex and of herself. “Mom, Sex Is NO Big Deal!” will arm you with information and strategies to help your daughter arrive at a place of wholeness as she makes decisions about how she will behave sexually during the most vulnerable period of her life."
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Ephesians 4:15-16

13 August 2007

Remember Who You Are...

You tell on yourself by the friends you seek,
By the very manner in which you speak,
By the way you employ your leisure time,
By the use you make of dollar and dime.

You tell what you are by the things you wear,
By the spirit in which you burdens bear,
By the kind of things at which you laugh,
By the records you play on the phonograph.

You tell what you are by the way you walk,
By the things of which you delight to talk,
By the manner in which you bear defeat,
By so simple a thing as how you eat.

By the books you choose from the well-filled shelf:
In these ways and more, you tell on yourself.

--- Author Unknown

Figurine pictured, from Lladro Porcelain Figurines : "Someone to Look Up To"

Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world. Philippians 2:14-15

09 August 2007

"What I Wish For My Girls"

Every father wants the best for his children. I have two lovely daughters, and I love them dearly. Here are some things that I wish for them:

I wish them to be friendless -- If friendship with the world leads to the loss of their soul (1 Corinthians 15:33). Godly, moral friends are a wonderful thing, but the wrong friends will pull one to their side in the pursuit of sin (Proverbs 1:10-16).

I wish for them to be poor -- If they cannot resist the love of money, and it leads them to sin (1 Timothy 6:10). There is nothing inherently wrong with money, and financial security from a well managed life is a good thing, but wealth for wealth's sake can foster materialism. My daughters can go to heaven if they are poor, but they will be lost if they love the world and the things in the world (1 John 2:15-16).

I wish for them to be unfashionable -- If to be fashionable means that they have to dress like the world (1 Timothy 2:9-10; 1 Peter 3:3-4). There is nothing so beautiful as a modestly dressed girl who displays a gentle and quiet spirit by the clothing she wears. And there is nothing so repulsive as a gaudy girl who chooses the attire of a harlot (Proverbs 7:10).

I wish for them a single life -- If they think it is necessary to marry a man who will lead them away from the Lord. I pray that my girls will find and marry godly men who want to love them as Christ loved the church, and who wants to be the head of the house, leading my daughters and their children to the Lord (Ephesians 5:22-29; Ephesians 6:4). But I would rather them live a single life than to choose a hateful, unfaithful, undisciplined, man who will not lead the home.

My list may seem strange, but it is not. What I want is for my daughters to have good friends, to be secure, to be pretty, and to be married. But, I want them to go to heaven more, so I want them to have all of these things in accordance with God's rules.

(Found on the internet)
(Illustration of Clemens and his daughters by F. Luis Mora from SUNDAY MAGAZINE, Nov. 17, 1907, found at TwainQuotes)

Lovely Young Woman

From "So Much More", pg. 81, under the heading How does a godly young woman act:

“Amidst a generation of giddy, silly, loud, boisterous, undignified, clumsy teenaged girls, picture a girl who radiates dignity, regal serenity, respectfulness, grace, a gentle and quiet voice, poise, discretion, self-command, sincerity, peace, compassion, cheerfulness and humility. That girl would stand out as a woman of quality.”

07 August 2007

"Why does she want to become like a man?"

Woman as capable as man in inner nature & spirituality, 08.01.2007, IndiaPost.com The author tackles the differences from the Indian worldview, and concludes thus:

Why does she want to become like a man? Because somewhere she still thinks that she is inferior and man is superior, so she wants to become like him. The question of inferiority or superiority only comes in a prejudiced mind. It is just a question of two qualities. It is not a question of who is inferior and who is superior.

Someone once told me, "Women have been told a lie, and they believed it. They were told that it was not good enough to be a woman, and they thought that the only way to have worth was to be a man."

But it is good to be a woman. Men and women both need to realize that the difference is real, and it is very good. (Mark 10:6)(Genesis 1:31)

As the author of the above article also points out: "Women are trying to become like men. If that happens, the damage will be even greater. If a woman loses her femininity, her feminine nature, she will become ugly."

06 August 2007

A Lady is Always Prepared

They say that a lady is ready for anything; never taken off her guard. Going riding in a convertable? She has a scarf ready. Even if she is a little unnerved, she doesn't let it show.

(Photo illustrating the Saab Chlamys, a driving scarf for the lady who rides with the top down. Saab website, UK)

She's got salt : uses for salt article
Besides making foods delicious, it's believed there are more than 14,000 uses of salt, and our grandmothers were probably familiar with most of them. Many of these uses were for simple things around the home before the advent of modern chemicals and cleaners. However, many uses are still valid today and a lot cheaper than using more sophisticated products.

She's got lemons: uses for lemon juice article
Household Uses for Lemon Juice: Clean Silver and Brass, Remove Smell of Garlic and More

She's got vinegar: vinegar website
It’s easy to see why vinegar has been around for thousands of years—it has 1001 uses! From cooking and cleaning with vinegar, to gardening and home remedies, white distilled vinegar is one of the most versatile—and economical—products you can have on hand.

She's got tea: uses for tea article: 101 Uses for Tea
If you are cold, tea will warm you;
If you are too heated, it will cool you;
If you are depressed, it will cheer you;
If you are excited, it will calm you.

If only she can keep all these things in memory. Maybe if she hadn't spent so much time memorizing historical events and the periodic table and all the lyrics to those popular songs?

Being prepared lets you keep your poise, and dignity, even when the wind blows against you.


But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 1 Peter 3:14-16

01 August 2007

More on World Modesty

The Jewish Press: The Book Shelf reviews "Sometimes You Are What You Wear: An Argument for Tzniut"; by Author: Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran The reviewer calls it "an impassioned call for the wisdom of the ages to make itself felt in today’s world."

An excerpt from the review:
The rabbi takes the position that the modern world has turned children into “commodities” that serve to benefit a corporate bottom line but not the children themselves. He declares that the superficiality of the modern world, with its emphasis on body image, has done a profound disservice to our youth, with the result being illicit behaviors, alcohol and drug abuse, and eating disorders among other psychological struggles.

Tzniut, on the other hand, teaches the reader not simply to “look,” but to “see with meaning.” It teaches how to focus upon some aspect of Creation and not to see just its outer, most superficial quality, but instead its inner, more meaningful aspects. Discussing the concepts of “outside” and “inside,” Safran maintains that physical appearance should be designed to call attention to one’s worth and nobility, to a good soul. “Beauty diminishes but a good name endures,” he writes, quoting Jewish writings. Tzniut is the way to achieve an enduring good name.

Editing this article much later, because I wanted to post this neat article somewhere! World modesty seemed a good topic to post it under. In The Times of India article: Girls Go Mild!, the author points out that in India, home of modest Hindu and Muslim women, the "raunch" of Bollywood, gotten from Hollywood, is not appreciated either. "Raunch doesn't give you what modesty can -- a lifetime of self-respect, everlasting love and romance. Model Ramneek Paintal agrees, "Raunch is short-lived. Modesty takes you far." "

Inappropriate Dress: It's not just about modesty

Just a few articles and opinions I've come across, relating how men and women appear, and how appearance equals respect.

"Beyond modesty, clueless about decorum" (July 31, 2007), an article by J.D. Mullane, queries: "Is it me or do fewer adults know how to dress appropriately for an occasion? . . . How did we get to where we dress the same whether it's church or a trip to the garden center for a sack of manure?" I think he sums up my thoughts when he states:

That is what dressing appropriately is about — respecting the occasion, the institutions and the people surrounding us.

As I see shabbily dressed school kids, churchgoers, restaurant patrons and educated professionals who must, on some level, know better, it's as if inappropriate dress is a calculated act. Something's going on.

It's hostility.
(Diagram above from the Freshmen Academy)

Hostility? In "RANDOM THOUGHTS: I think I know when enough IS enough (July 31, 2007)", Dorothy Brush explains: "The enough I'm referring to is the steady break-down of common civility, of courtesy, of respect. I believe the first faint alarm bell I heard was when I learned some churches were relaxing their standards for dress when attending church." When reading this article, that line in the first paragraph really got my attention. She goes on to talk about a specific case of remaining seated in a court of law (when it's time for all to rise) out of stated disrespect for the proceedings, and how this further illustrates the point that going against unwritten codes of conduct and dress are also a form of disrespect, even hostility. From schools to the workplace, people are dressing to "assert their individuality" - and at the cost of showing disrespect to your fellow workers, your business, or your elders.

What about dressing appropriately to appear in court or on a jury? "Dressing appropriately applies to those serving on juries too." (July 30, 2007) "Why do people wear inappropriate clothing to court? "It may be because they don't want someone telling them what to wear," Keaveny said." Hmm. Does that sound rebellious? See also this article from July 30, 2007, regarding appropriate court room attire.

Wait, you might think. Maybe there is a good reason to rebel against old-fogey standards of what is and isn't appropriate office/classroom/worship hall attire: what some might call "useless tradition". A good rant against the modern idea of appropriate dress comes from a college student from Drexel University. Just read Michael Schirano's response "Shorts: Now is the time" (7/27/07) in this debate:

It's always easy to blame things on old white people, and while many a problems are due to their stubborn, shortsighted, narrow-minded, 1920s attitudes, this one is our fault. They might be the 2 percent of the population that owns 90 percent of the wealth, but we are the people who do the actual work.

We have to stand up for our rights and say, "No! I want to wear shorts when I feel like it, because wearing pants when it's 99 degrees outside makes me feel like an idiot!" And we are idiots for not trying to fight the status quo of a pants-only society.
(above photo from WSJ article: "The Office Coverup")

Well, if that doesn't sound like a respectful young gentleman, then... you probably agree with me. Amid all the "I wanna wear shorts to work!" whining, he does make this interesting suggestion: "There are plenty of shorts that aren't camouflage, or have Billabong written on them, or have 34 holes "fashionably" pre-torn for your use. There are shorts made of khaki, that don't have 17 pockets, and rest slightly above or on the knee. . . . This is what I want. The right to dress respectfully, and at the same time sensibly."

I think, amid all the whining in all places, there must be a solution to this appropriate attire question. And it has to do with respect.

(Final photo from Naseberry Designs)

(In a personal note, I must admit that I still do not understand the use of the neck tie by men, but I do like the respectful looking young people in this photo.)