Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Need for Discretion



Dear sisters,
An orangutan seeking coverage under a pink veil. He was not interested in having an audience.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
Please take seriously the need for discretion it is LACKING among women professing Christ. Women that follow Christ are taught by the Apostle to be discreet (Tit 2:5  To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.)
Facebook is an obvious snare to many women professing godliness. Somehow it becomes an outlet for them to display themselves freely & forsake discretion.
PLEASE TAKE TIME TO READ THROUGH the many quotes I have put together in this article; I think some of you may be helped by them:
(From the late 1600/early 1700's) Here is a man's comments on Proverb 11:22 "As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion."
"It is lamented that beauty should be so abused as it is by those that have not modesty with it. It seems ill-bestowed upon them; it is quite misplaced, as a jewel in a swine's snout, with which he roots in the dunghill. If beauty be not guarded by virtue, the (lack of) virtue is exposed by the beauty. It may be applied to all other bodily endowments and accomplishments; it is a pity that those should have them who have not discretion to use them well."
Here is a man's commentary on Titus 2:
 "Keepers at home - Οικουρους. A woman who spends much time in visiting[on facebook,etc], must neglect her family [and if she is a single woman she may be neglecting her Christian duties to serve others]. The idleness, dirtiness, impudence, and profligacy of the children, will soon show how deeply criminal the mother was in rejecting the apostle’s advice. Instead of οικουρους, keepers of the house, or keepers at home,  ..., workers at home; not only staying in the house and keeping the house, but working in the house. A woman may keep the house very closely, and yet do little in it for the support or comfort of the family.
That the word of God be not blasphemed -
The enemies of the Gospel are quick-eyed to spy out imperfections in its professors; and, if they find women professing Christianity living an irregular life, they will not fail to decry the Christian doctrine on this account: “Behold you boasted religion! it professes to reform all things, and its very professors are no better than others! Our heathenism is as good as your Christianity.” These are cutting reproaches; and much they will have to answer for who give cause for these blasphemies."

(18th century)Yet another man:
"Of beauty vain, of virtue void, What art thou in the sight of God? A slave to every base desire, A creature wallowing in the mire. Go, gaudy pageant of a day, Thy folly, with thy face display: Set all thy charms and graces out, And shew - the Jewel in thy snout!"

(From the late 1600/ 1700's) And another man:
"so is a fair woman which is without discretion; or, "has departed from taste"; from a taste of virtue and honour; lost all sense of modesty and chastity; forsaken her husband, and given up herself to the embraces of others. As her beauty is fitly expressed by a "jewel of gold", which is valuable and desirable, and, rightly placed and used, is ornamental; so she is properly represented by a swine, wallowing in the impurities of lust; to which her beauty was the snare, and whereby it is quickly sullied and lost."
 From a man of the late 1600-early 1700's:
" That the aged women likewise (as well as the men) be in behaviour as becometh holiness; or as beseems and is proper for holy persons, such as they profess to be and should be, keeping a pious decency and decorum in clothing and gesture, in looks and speech, and all their deportment, and this from an inward principle and habit of holiness, influencing and ordering the outward conduct at all times. Observe, Though express scripture do not occur, or be not brought, for every word, or look, or fashion in particular, yet general rules there are according to which all must be ordered; as 1Co_10:31, Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. And Phi_4:8, Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. And here, whatsoever things are beseeming or unbeseeming holiness form a measure and rule of conduct to be looked to.
 There are lessons for young women also, whom the aged women must teach, instructing and advising them in the duties of religion according to their years. For teaching such things aged women have often better access than the men, even than ministers have, which therefore they must improve in instructing the young women, especially the young wives; for he speaks of their duty to their husbands and children. These young women the more aged must teach, (1.) To bear a good personal character: To be sober and discreet, contrary to the vanity and rashness which younger years are subject to: discreet in their judgments and sober in their affections and behaviour. Discreet and chaste stand well together; many expose themselves to fatal temptations by that which at first might be but indiscretion. Pro_2:11, Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee from the evil way. Chaste, and keepers at home, are well joined too. Dinah, when she went to see the daughters of the land, lost her chastity. Those whose home is their prison, it is to be feared, feel that their chastity is their fetters. Not but there are occasions, and will be, of going abroad; but a gadding temper for merriment and company sake, to the neglect of domestic affairs, or from uneasiness at being in her place, is the opposite evil intended, which is commonly accompanied with, or draws after it, other evils. 1Ti_5:13, 1Ti_5:14, They learn to be idle, wandering from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. Their business is to guide the house, and they should give no occasion to the enemy to speak reproachfully. Good, generally, in opposition to all vice; and specially, in her place, kind, helpful, and charitable; as Dorcas, full of good works and almsdeeds. It may also have, as some think, a more particular sense; one of a meek and yet cheerful spirit and temper, not sullen nor bitter; not taunting not fretting and galling any; not of a troublesome or jarring disposition, uneasy in herself and to those about her; but of a good nature and pleasing conversation, and likewise helpful by her advice and pains: thus building her house, and doing her husband good, and not evil, all her days. Thus in their personal character sober, discreet, chaste, keepers at home, and good:"

This lack of discretion pertains to all females young, old, married, single. Even those who do not consider themselves beautiful (one of the common excuses I hear from women who seek to be excused from discretion). Discretion is not an issue of modesty only, but of the whole character/words & actions.

My heart has been so shocked & grieved to see women on Facebook professing Christ while glorying in their outward appearance. The shame it brings as the man above described, the reproach. It shouldn’t be so difficult to discern a “Christian” woman from the women of the world. The inward reality reflects outwardly. If a woman fears the righteous judgment of God, then she will know she will stand in shame before Him if she fails to outwardly reflect  His virtue & holiness. This outward reflection bears witness to her inner respect & reverence for her God. Receive it or not, our choice of clothing & actions are a reflection of our heart.
I was raised to be a professing Christian. I professed it, but I didn't reflect it.
I didn't reflect it because I was still in darkness. I had very little knowledge of who Christ was & what He requires of those who are called by His name. If you were raised to profess Christ & you are drawn towards dressing & behaving with a lack of discretion please ask God to search your heart, & while He is searching yours, search His---read the Bible concerning virtue & godliness, holiness, discretion; search out testimonies of the Holy Women of Old.  We are so blessed to have all this knowledge available at our finger tips. We are without excuse when we shame the name of the Lord as if we did not know better on how to behave ourselves as women professing Christ. Get the victory over the spirit of the world that continually tries to seduce you to look & act more like it! You know it's whispers in your ears:
"You look frumpy in that! wear something a little less baggy"
"Emily's a "Christian" and she wears jeans; they are "women's jeans", what's the big deal?!"
" My dad never says anything about this tight shirt, it must not be a big deal."
"It's dangerous to do things in long skirts, maybe these baggy shorts would be safer."
"People give me such dirty looks when I dress so plain & cover my head, there must be a way I can look more acceptable to them?"
"My Aunt Marie would love to see how long my hair is, she hasn't seen me in years, surely it'll be ok if I post a picture of myself uncovered on Facebook for her?."
"Well, people have already seen me without my covering, so what's a few more pictures gonna hurt?"
"And everyone always says how pretty I am when I post these pictures on Facebook, no one says anything about the fact that I'm not covered, or that I have jeans on; I was just around my family in that picture."
"They all know my heart & how I 'love Jesus', it's so exciting to be able to share pictures of myself on Facebook!"

 I came across the following quotes after I wrote the above. I found it interesting to see the similarities of speech this man used over 1,000 years ago to shine the light of God's Truth in this area: (please read this slowly & understand what he says:)
"The covering [clothing] ought, in my judgment, to show that which is covered to be better than itself, as the image is superior to the temple, the soul to the body, and the body to the clothes. But now, quite the contrary, the body of these ladies, if sold, would never fetch a thousand Attic drachms [this is a type of $]. Buying, as they do, a single dress at the price of ten thousand talents, they prove themselves to be of less use and less value than cloth. Why in the world do you seek after what is rare and costly, in preference to what is at hand and cheap? It is because you know not what is really beautiful, what is really good, and seek with eagerness shows instead of realities from fools who, like people out of their wits, imagine black to be white.  

As, then, in the fashioning of our clothes, we must keep clear of all strangeness, so in the use of them we must beware of extravagance. For neither is it seemly for the clothes to be above the knee, as they say was the case with the Lacedæmonian virgins; nor is it becoming for any part of a woman to be exposed. Though you may with great propriety use the language addressed to him who said,
'Your arm is beautiful;' 'yes, but it is not for the public gaze.'
'Your thighs are beautiful;' but, was the reply, 'for my husband alone.'
'And your face is comely.' 'Yes; but only for him who has married me.'
But I do not wish chaste women to afford cause for such praises to those who, by praises, hunt after grounds of censure; and not only because it is prohibited to expose the ankle, but because it has also been enjoined that the head should be veiled and the face covered; for it is a wicked thing for beauty to be a snare to men. Nor is it seemly for a woman to wish to make herself conspicuous, by using a purple veil. Would it were possible to abolish purple in dress, so as not to turn the eyes of spectators on the face of those that wear it! But the women, in the manufacture of all the rest of their dress, have made everything of purple, thus inflaming the lusts. And, in truth,those women who are crazy about these stupid and luxurious purples, “purple (dark) death has seized,” according to the poetic saying. On account of this purple, then, Tyre and Sidon, and the vicinity of the Lacedæmonian Sea, are very much desired; and their dyers and purple-fishers, and the purple fishes themselves, because their blood produces purple, are held in high esteem. But crafty women and effeminate men, who blend these deceptive dyes with dainty fabrics, carry their insane desires beyond all bounds, and export their fine linens no longer from Egypt, but some other kinds from the land of the Hebrews and the Cilicians. I say nothing of the linens made of Amorgos and Byssus. Luxury has outstripped nomenclature.
[Clement of Alexandria, 180 A.D., The Instructor, Book 2, Chapter 11, PDF Format]
  
The following was written in 250 A.D.
You call yourself wealthy and rich; but Paul meets your riches, and with his own voice prescribes for the moderating of your dress and ornament within a just limit. “Let women,” said he, “adorn themselves with shamefacedness and sobriety, not with broidered hair, nor gold, nor pearls, nor costly array, but as becomes women professing chastity, with a good conversation.” Also Peter consents to these same precepts, and says, “Let there be in the woman not the outward adorning of array, or gold, or apparel, but the adorning of the heart.” …and draw the sighs of young men after you, nourish the lust of concupiscence, and inflame the fuel of sighs, so that, although you yourself perish not, yet you cause others to perish, and offer yourself, as it were, a sword or poison to the spectators; you cannot be excused on the pretense that you are chaste and modest in mind. Your shameful dress and immodest ornament accuse you; nor can you be counted now among Christ’s maidens and virgins, since you live in such a manner as to make yourselves objects of desire. Cyprian (A.D. 250) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.5 pg.432

I praise God for the preservation of these quotes! The quotes I have posted are not all from men of the same time period. This sin of shameless women lacking discretion & making a path for future generations to boldly follow after has been around too long. Many men have tried to teach, exhort, & warn women; but as you can see women have not taken heed. If you desire to be a woman of Christ please help put a stop to this cancer. We can start as individuals. You see women all over wearing pink bows to help stop breast cancer; what about the cancer that forms through a lack of discretion? Are any of you bold enough to cry out against it, to face the world by wearing symbols of discretion? Well, what is a symbol of discretion? I believe after reading this article & laying it to heart you will have a good idea of how to display discretion. Certainly not by posting more pictures of yourself on Facebook for God & all His angels to behold your shame. What do I mean by pictures? Is it wrong to have pictures of ourselves; well, do the pictures reflect your discreet heart, or do they promote your God given physical beauty, the details of your lovely face? Pictures of ourselves make a way for people to look long upon something they would not naturally feel comfortable staring at. Take time to really think these things out rather than just simply wanting to go on your way doing what the ungodly around you do, lacking the reality of God's judgment.
 Does anyone want to help stop the spread of this disease to future generations? 
I know I do. 
I also know, that although I am conscience of covering myself, after reading through these quotes I am yet the more convicted to make more changes in my clothes, etc. Studying this topic strengthened & renewed convictions I have had that the deceitfulness of my own heart, the influence of other women professing Christ (who lack discretion)& this wicked world have labored to weaken in me. A woman that fears not to go UN-noticed, that is not moved by the disapproving glances of worldly people & lukewarm Christians, that does not need praise for her appearance, that is content serving God in virtue & purity of heart, with lowliness of mind, is a woman possessing discretion & the fear of the Lord, a woman of true strength.
 Proverbs 31:30  Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.   
- - -Stand for a just cause: be discreet.- - -

10 comments:

  1. This subject needs to be taught A LOT more often!

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment. It's nice to know when the posts are a blessing to others. This is a very important topic that all women claiming Christ need more awareness & exercise in. We need more examples of faithful women today.
      ~P.F.

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  2. Well said my sister. I love the scriptures to support your thoughts. My Grandmother once told me many years ago (in the 70's) that soon, women will become bolder than men. She was right, even though I doubted her words at the time.

    We, as Christian women need to lead by example, and not sell out to the worlds concepts.

    Bless you and yours,

    Sis Kelly Hunt

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  3. God bless you as we'll Kelly. It's encouraging to reaad your comments. Lord help us all to rise above the influence of this Anti-Christ time we are living in.
    ~P.F.

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  4. Thank you for your intelligent well researched words! We are the only family I know of in our town that wears dresses, and it is hard to be different. But your article is a sweet reminder that we are doing right in our Fathers eyes. Thank you

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  5. Glad you are encouraged. Stand strong in the will of God. We need more women in this world to reflect the image of holiness & virtue, purity & meekness. Rarity brings greater value to that which is rare. Some cultures have continued to hold onto proper attire. A little leaven defiles the lump. I certainly don't want to be leaven in that sense. Charity edifies. Covering the body & it's form shows love for God and mankind. Feel free to email me holywomenofold@gmail.com Do you have a blog? Can you give me the address for it? ~P.F.

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  6. This is doubly hard when married to a lost man. There is pressure to wear makeup, not wear a head-covering, and to dress 'fashionably', wear jeans and high heels etc. Sometimes I feel so ugly because I know I can never compare to the women of the world in his eyes. The temptation is great to make little compromises to attract my own husband and 'compete' with the women of the world that stir his carnal desires.

    For example tonight, even though I do not wear makeup in obedience to God, I succumbed and put on some mascara to try to look pleasing to my husband when we went somewhere. During our outing the conversation turned to a recent email I sent a lost woman who chided me for not dressing 'in fashion' and wearing makeup and heels, to keep the attention of my husband. I had written to her to explain why I did not wear makeup, why I wore long skirts and loose clothing, flat shoes, how God taught me these things and brought me to repentance many years ago for previous immodesty. Yet as I was telling my husband this, I remembered I had put on mascara in an insecure moment wanting to have my husband desire me instead of the immodestly dressed women of the world he desires. To make it worse, when I looked in the mirror later, my mascara had hideously smudged. Ugh! I quickly repented to the Lord for my compromising. I see what a real problem and temptation this is to me because of my situation and how it destroys the truth of my testimony (even if it is only once every 6 months or so I give in to wanting to compete with these women in my husbands eyes, and even though it is only a 'little here and little there'). I want to know how to overcome this as every wife wants to be beautiful in her husbands eyes, but when your husbands idea of beautiful is the fashion model in the magazine and all the made up and tight clothes wearing women of the world, it is a hard battle. I know if my husband ever left me, the unconverted lady I mentioned above would say it was because I was too plain and did not paint my face, wear modern clothes and high heels. She has tried to get me to do this many times to 'win' my husband back from the wiles of adulterous women of the world.

    Do you have any advice for the woman married to an unconverted man who does not see plain clothing and modesty as beautiful and is enchanted by all the immodest women of the world, that through my obedience to Gods standards I can never compete with in the flesh and keep my husbands 'eye'. Thank you.

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  7. Dear anonymous, I feel great compassion for what you are going through. Don't lose heart. We first and foremost need to please our heavenly bridegroom. We can take comfort knowing that a meek & quiet spirit is precious in His sight; a rare gem, That He greatly desires. As hard as it is, stay focused on being a chaste bride to Christ. Your husband may fulfill temporal lusts but he will never be satisfied. Those women can not satisfy the deep need of His soul & neither will competing with these heal him. If a man marries a woman & does not understand that the marriage covenant is about being faithful to keep your heart & mind for that one person in sickness & in health, in the beauty of youth & the deterioration of age....he will not be won by your compromises, his heart being full of adultery will never be satisfied. He will grow dissatisfied with any new woman that catches his attention within time. External Beauty is vain & short lived, as the glory of a flower can disappear over night. Rest in knowing your heavenly bridegroom is pleased by your modesty and your labor of love is not in vain. Your husband will one day know he had a jewel of great price; hopefully he will realize this before it's too late for him. I hope you can speak honestly and openly with your husband. Perhaps you can write him a love letter. Stay true to your covenant even if he doesn't. Your situation is not easy, but all things work together for the good of them that love Him ( Rom. 8:28 ) You have an opportunity to be an example to other women in your situation, the world doesn't need anymore bad examples. I pray you can be faithful with what the Lord has taught you, your faithful example will be such a strength to others lacking the encouragement you yourself need at this time. Keep praying for your husband & seek ways you can bless him with kindness: be diligent to get things done for him that you know he will appreciate, bring him breakfast in bed, make him his favorite dinner, be kind & tender hearted towards him, Offer to rub his back or feet. Don't allow the wicked one to wear you down & rob you of the joy of serving the Lord. Do to your husband as you would to the Lord. Obey your husband so long as it is not sin. Deny yourself when you don't agree with him, hold your peace. God is good & full of compassion, the path Christ walked is narrow & He calls us to join Him on this narrow path. He is able to hold us up when we are faint.

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    1. If you would like to stay in communication feel free to email me at: holywomenofold@gmail.com

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