Class and Elegance

Being 52 and female, having a sister, a mother, a daughter, 4 nieces, friends who are women, and now mentoring many young women, I have found at least one common trait among women. I certainly cannot speak for all females, but it has been my experience that most women desire to look pretty. They care about how they look and present themselves.

I think it is a great thing, not only to take care of yourself and the “temple” that you have been given, but to desire to be the “best” that you can be. I also find that many females, especially younger women struggle with self-image. They want to fit in. They, at some point, desire the attention of that special “guy”. They tremendously enjoy compliments. I don’t think any of that is wrong nor abnormal.

As I have been praying about writing a post on this particular topic, I have taken the time to pay more attention to the words of the women I am around. More times than not…it comes up in a comment or a conversation….something about our hair, our body, our weight, or whether we look good that day or not…I am including myself here.

Putting your best foot forward is something my mother taught me from a very early age. It also included my behavior–the “inside” beauty. She said you can be beautiful on the outside…but that “beauty” fades quickly and can even become detestable if your insides aren’t beautiful. With that being said…I want to write about the subject of being all that God created you to be, including having self-respect and class. It is my prayer that young women especially would take to heart the words I am about to write!

First, everyone is created in God’s image. His desire, first and foremost, is for us to love Him with all our heart, soul and mind and then to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:37). Let’s look at the end of this verse….How do we love ourselves??? Knowing we were created in God’s image…if you trust God as your Creator…recognize that He is a Holy God….all-knowing and all-powerful…then follow His instructions in Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.”

The emphasis in Proverbs 4 is on guarding the heart. I have to absolutely say here that one way I continually see women, especially young women, NOT guarding their heart….is in the way they dress and present themselves. Just days ago I drove our son to a college football game and dropped him off. He went early to cook out with friends near the stadium. The traffic was very heavy so at times we crept along. I will have to say it gave me an opportunity to just sit and watch people making their way to tailgates and I was shocked at what I saw.

For lack of better words…I saw the most revealing clothing on many of the young women…..portraying a very provocative look…I was amazed. I could see everything…too many body parts were “out there” for all to see…..I could not believe my eyes…I sat and wondered for a long time what these girls must have been thinking when they picked their outfit. The only thing I could conclude is that they wanted to be on “DISPLAY!” YEP, they wanted ATTENTION and wanted to be gawked at by others.

That is exactly what they got. What I don’t get is there thinking and reasoning?….Do they want the sexual and sensual attention of all men?….Is that what they want, really? To be on display and admired for their sexuality?

What I want to say to them in the most loving and gentle way is, “Come on ladies….WE are better than that!”

Having lived at least half of my life, I can say to these young women…..that kind of attention–desire to attract–will leave you empty, with no CLASS or self-respect or the respect of others.

Attention does not equal respect……It screams, “DON’T RESPECT ME!”

It is so cheap….to devalue all that God has created you to be….to leave a “scent and trail” that only attracts drooling, lustful eyes….We are more than just body parts….Don’t you want to be valued for all that YOU are?! Class has been lost when you parade around and just want to be valued for what the “naked” eye can see.

Don’t you want to be noticed for the “content” inside the book instead of just a sexy outside cover? It is easy to make and create a “great visual book cover,” but it is far harder and more VALUABLE to have a book actually say something and mean something when you open it and read it. I have heard it said, “Many can grab the attention of a young man, but very few gain their respect and admiration!” Would you rather have attention or admiration…..?

A synonym for “classy” is elegance. There is no such thing as small and insignificant when it comes to being classy. It is a totality of many things that include: personality, behavior, actions, dress and speech. It is what most mothers pray and desire for their daughters. And guess what? You get what you are! It is true…I say it all the time to our kids….and the kids I mentor….YOU are going to attract what you are….so be the best you!

Let me just say what being classy/elegant is NOT….. a foul mouth, being self-absorbed (always thinking and talking about yourself), dressing provocative. If one chooses to drink…she will drink in moderation. There is nothing elegant or classy about a girl stumbling around drunk with slurred speech. If you are good at something or succeed…you do not have to tell people, they will know….It is not about being the loudest one in the room, nor is it being the one doing all the talking and no listening….It is not the one who goes ballistic when she is angered, and it is not following ever trend you see on TV, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. It is not about whining or one who tells all or displays all or makes “inferences” on social media……………..

Girls…..I love all that God has created us to be…to accomplish…and become…..but it starts with “guarding your heart”. Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is there your HEART will be also.” What do you treasure?
Admiration and respect?

If it is admiration and respect, it is a personal relationship with Christ that you need. For it is He who enables the traits and desires that create Class.

Romans 1:21, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God, nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish HEARTS were darkened.” Who are you glorifying? Who are you thanking? Others, yourself, or GOD?

Gaining Class and Elegance starts with guarding your hearts….I encourage you to follow Psalms 37:4, “Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Ask God for Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a pure HEART, O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
Do Jeremiah 29:12-13, “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your HEART.”
GOD promises to “…give you a new HEART and put a new spirit in you, I will remove from you a HEART of stone and give you a HEART of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26)

Remember, YOU were created in God’s image to do good things….HE desires for you to be Classy and Elegant….HE can enable you to become all these things and MORE…..I encourage you to read, reread…and even share this journal ……God loves us too much to allow us to live with a HEART of STONE….value yourself by valuing your CREATOR……xoxoxox

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