This weekend I began a new personal bible study / book study with the book, "A Woman's High Calling" by Elizabeth George. An oldy, but a goody. I read it prior to getting married and MY how opinions and what-gets-underlined have changed! ;)
Chapter 1 is "A Woman's High Calling to Godliness" and as I turned the coffee-stained pages tell-tale of my college day reading... I was refreshed and renewed all over again by the truth of God's word and Mrs. George's wording. This book starts with a look at Titus 2 and the first topic was how the older women are to be reverent in behavior. Reverent?
"...our behavior stems from a state of mind, from what's going on (or not going on!) in our inner life, and God desires that the behavior of His women be reverent, behavior mirroring an internal sacred character."
"Our reverential, godly behavior should include the whole habit and composition or structure of mind and body, encompassing not only the movements of the body, but also the expression of the countenence, and what is said and what is left unsaid."
Why do I always kind of bristle up when this topic is brought up? I believe its truth and as a woman who claims to know Christ as Savior I do want to follow hard after that truth...
I think it's because it covers not only what people DO see, as the latter quote talks about - but, also what's going on in my heart. That "internal sacred character" is something, I fear, that I'll never conquer in this life. Good news is, looks like I'll always have something to work on!
I was especially convicted when it comes to being home with my family and interacting with them. So often they don't get the pleasant countenence or blessings of my words. For some reason, some days, it's seems so much easier to bless others outside my home - and save my smiles and good cheer for "church people". This is something I long to change and am asking God to truly make me that, "fruitful vine" at home - to encourage and build up my family. Not always easy in the day-to-day, even though my family IS easy to love. I make myself too central. I was encouraged with Elizabeth's last paragraph that seemed to know exactly my thoughts at that moment...
"It's a fact that the first step toward any noble goal is to desire it. And what a truly "godly" goal it is to follow God's will for your life and to set your affections on truly desiring to become this woman the bible exalts so highly and points us to - a woman whose whole soul is absorbed in worshipping Him."