In the hospital with what looks like protein in urine or maybe mild pre eclampsia. To all my blog friends…pray for healthy blood pressures to return. Baby looks great on monitors, and is full term today, so that’s the good news if we have a baby tonight…lol. Thanks!!!!!
Well, there is quite a discussion going on over at Sunshine Mary’s place regarding beauty regimens for wives. I’ve been thinking on this post for quite some time, but her essay birthed an urgency in my mind, so here are some further thoughts on the matter. It helps that I can think clearly now that my fingers and toes are beginning to thaw…perhaps the spring weather has finally arrived in my neck o’ the woods.
Alas, moving back to the topic at hand: beauty in the Christian wife, mother, daughter, and woman in general. How are we to be beautiful to our husbands, as our lord and authority in the earthly realm? How are we to show forth the image of our Creator, who creates beauty, to an ugly world?
The Pentecostal ladies believe we are to be beautiful while being rather plain: these ladies do not wear makeup, they do not pierce their ears and wear earrings or jewelry other than a wedding band, and they do not cut their hair except a trim or bangs. They wear long skirts, showcasing only their ankles. They wear high necklines, citing modesty in all circumstances. They wear their long hair in large buns atop their heads, and in the South, where I was raised, you could measure the success of a Pentecostal prayer meeting by the number of Bobby Pins lying on the sanctuary floor afterwards! Those ladies can ROCK the buns! (the ones on their heads…)
The Assemblies of God (successors of the Pentecostal movement) believe the Pentecostal ladies got into a bit too much legalism, and relaxed their standards a bit. Some of them have swung to the opposite side of the pendulum: anything goes, including women in the Pulpit on Sunday Morning, or pew-sitters in miniskirts without hosiery.
I’ve noticed that the Baptists really haven’t taken much of a stance, although they do seem to expect conservative dress in women. Much of the “Non-Demoninational World” looks just LIKE the “world” in dress, at least when it comes to Sunday-go-to-meetin’ clothes: over the knee skirts for ladies, thongs visible when sitting or kneeling, no hosiery (bare legs) in church, plunging necklines in young and older women alike, lots of makeup and lots of jewelry. Oh, and lots of perfume. And at least one tattoo.
So where is the plumb-line of Godly adornment and dress for the Bible believing woman of faith? Does it depend upon her church? Should she ask her husband? What if he has no preference (or says that he has no preference out of fear of the wrath of his wife?) Is she to ask her Pastor’s wife? It’s likely that her Pastor’s wife dresses immodestly, or on the opposite end of the spectrum, like an ad slick from a Salvation Army Store flyer for used dresses from the 1990’s. Why is it so complicated?
I know that I thought it to be complicated when I came to Christ a little over ten years ago. At the time, my wardrobe was a hybrid of street walker meets beach bum. Literally. I owned a closet full of semi-translucent sarong skirts, a dresser full of unlined tank tops, no hosiery (it’s actually ILLEGAL in the beach town where I lived), flip-flops, two bras (not padded for modesty) and about two dozen bikinis. Throw in a couple of pairs of heels for New Year’s and Christmas parties, and a couple of pairs of jeans for the “cold” (50 degree) winter, and there you have it. I went to work in a bikini and covering sarong and worked barefoot making jewelry, so you can imagine.
Toss in the fact that I had no idea what “modest” meant, other than boring! I did not own a slip and didn’t think it was a necessary garment for a lady (even in the blaring, South Texas sun). Makeup just melted off my face, so other than sunscreen and mascara, a little lip gloss and some bronzer for “winter”, there wasn’t a need.
You can imagine the shock when I became a Christian and didn’t know how to be “pretty” without all this slutty-hippie-beach get-up! Thankfully, God has a grande sense of humor: he moved me from the bottom of the U.S. to the top of the U.S. shortly thereafter (obviously, so I would be forced to wear more clothing), and it became embarrassingly obvious that I had no clue how to achieve feminine beauty which also honored God.
For awhile I had no style whatsoever, and I attempted to imitate the dress of those who attended the same church. This was an exercise in futility; I wasn’t myself. I felt as though I was wearing someone else’s clothing, and often, I was borrowing something. Slowly, I began to venture out and shop and develop my own true style: long, feminine skirts in soft, flowing fabrics and softly cut tops in sweet, feminine colors. A lot of boots, and the two pair of cowboy boots I saved and moved from Texas, were incorporated with the long skirts. A new, modest, feminine style emerged and I was pleased!
My husband loved my style, especially the skirts coming from a culture where a woman in a skirt is a rare sight, indeed. He loved my heels, and he loved my western boots. He liked my makeup, but quickly made mention of the fact that he wanted more COLOR. He liked my dyed auburn hair, but when he discovered the natural color hiding underneath, he wanted the natural, “real” me and implored me to grow out the color.
Did my new wardrobe make me a Godly woman? Did my makeup, pleasing to my husband, make me an honorable woman before God? Probably not, though these are good things. It is good to honor one’s own husband by seeking to fulfill his requests in physical appearance and grooming, and indeed, it is an outward symbol of an inwardly submissive heart.
That being said, a woman can be quite beautiful on the outside, and a royal beast of a rebellious harpy on the inside! Trust me on this one…Col. T and I walked through quite a season of my learning how to cultivate an INNER beauty of quietness and submission. 1 Peter 3:3-4
The bible says that “Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that fears the LORD, she shall be praised.” Prov. 31:30
Therefore, it is wonderful to make ourselves beautiful for our husbands, and to honor God in modest dress. It is good to care for the Temple of the Holy Spirit. However, the more excellent way is to ensure that, prior to focusing on the outside of our vessel, we focus with God on the inside.
The bible also says that the fear of the LORD is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment. Proverbs 9:10. Therefore, if we want to be a woman worthy of praise (our husband’s praise, or our children’s), then we will first seek to fear the Lord. If we fear the Lord, we will have a foundation of wisdom to build upon. God will bless us with wisdom from above on how to further renew our minds in line with His word, and how to further improve the inside of our vessel, which will RESULT in the renewal of the outside of our vessel!
You see, I tried in my flesh to become beautiful and pleasing to the eye by developing a fashion sense and a certain flair and style, and by being more “feminine” than the surrounding androgynous culture. This worked to a degree, but I still lacked a truly respectful heart towards my heavenly Father as LORD, and to my earthly husband as lord over our household and children. It was only after I began to allow the Lord God to humble my heart about my attitude toward my husband as my lord that I began to soften a bit.
With that inner softness came an outward softness as well, which is still a work in progress. There was less “fight” in me against my husband, and even others. There was a softness in my speech that didn’t exist prior, and oddly, a softness to my hair and skin that became radically apparent to my husband and me!
A lot of the anger I felt became subdued (though I still struggle with this issue). It’s harder to be angry all of the time when you are walking in true femininity, which is submission to God and husband, than when you are walking in rebellion. It truly affects the countenance, and I noticed that I was smiling in photographs more often than frowning or scowling that feminist scowl (you know what I’m talking about!).
Of course, to a degree, beauty IS in the eye of the beholder, so it is imperative that we obey our husbands by attempting to fulfill their desires. BUT: we ought not forget that we cannot just seek to clean the outside of the cup and leave the inside full of dead men’s bones. We must allow God to cultivate a gentle and submissive spirit toward our husbands (or fathers, if we are unmarried) and we must seek to honor our heavenly father FIRST, because this is the greatest gift we can give to our husbands. We can become women worthy of his praise.
The journey is never over. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Cor. 3:18. Whether we are single and seeking to please only our Heavenly Father and submit to Him and our earthly father, or whether we are married and seeking to please our Heavenly Father by way of serving our earthly husband and lord, we are transformed a bit at a time.
We ought not be discouraged along the way, but encouraged that we are making progress each time God reveals something new to us about how to achieve real and lasting beauty.
Back in January our family moved across our great state to a new area, in a rather abrupt and surprising move to further my husband’s small business. Because we were so pressed for time, we rented a beautiful new town home, sight unseen except for a video tour online. We did all paperwork via FEDEX and just packed up and moved, knowing that God would give us exactly what we needed in a home for our still-growing family.
I must say, we are blessed. Our cup runneth over; our home is lovely. Isn’t it amazing how God knows what we need before we even do, and He provides for us so perfectly? As you read what follows, know that it is spoken to expose and discuss the spirit of this modern age – and the egalitarian state in which we live – and not to murmur and complain against our Creator who has given us more than we could possibly ask or imagine for our family.
One of the perks of the town home development (small, with two dozen separate units) that we chose is internet access included. This is hard-wired ethernet in each individual unit, wired through a major cable internet provider into one corporate account, which is billed to the management company of the property. When we moved in, we received a notification with one of those giant circles with an ‘X’ through the middle regarding the use of a router: in other words, “Thou shalt not hook up a router with our community ethernet, lest thine internet privilege no longer be available.” Followed by a small caveat: “If thou insisteth upon installing a router for multiple wireless devices, thou shalt ask permission from thine property manager.” Okay, fair enough.
Soon it was quite obvious that we would require the use of our old router, so we phoned and after much toil and trouble, we were given the heads-up to use it and we were able to configure it properly. Ah, the pleasures of streaming children’s movies when you do not use network TV. Blissful oblivion ensued. Temporarily.
Two weeks ago, suddenly, the internet was interrupted. All weekend. Now, we do just fine without it, and we are not movie junkies, but we needed to determine what had caused the outage and have it repaired. Also, when we were able to actually get a wireless connection, not one, but ALL of my conservative, anti-feminist websites were BLOCKED by some strange piece of hardware showing up that WE DO NOT OWN in our home! (Mrs. Laura Wood’s website was blocked due to “sexual content” just to give you an idea of how ridiculous this was).
It never occurred to me to call the property management company, but after a weekend of tech support from my son, long-distance (we do call him Neo), he determined that the problem was with our ISP and not our particular connection or modem or computer software/hardware. Soon, Monday rolled around, and we noticed an email from the property manager, a post-menopausal spinster and an extreme Feminista with a rigid mindset for total socialistic egalitarianism within her “property.” It seems she had taken it upon herself to hire a tech to install a middle-man network to “patrol” each tenant’s bandwidth (she really means data, but she doesn’t realize this) usage, because SOME PEOPLE WERE GETTING MORE DATA THAN OTHERS out of their personal, in-home internet connection provided by her office. The brilliant tech she hired (who indeed works for a company that specializes in installing televisions and audio equipment, but hey, it’s all electronic, right?) had ignorantly left SSL certificate blocking in place in his settings (hence The Thinking Housewife being seen as sexually explicit!) and had configured his Socialist-Modem-Feminista-Fairness-Badwidth-and-Data-Distribution-Device incorrectly, blocking everyone else’s private networks from accessing the signal.
It has taken another week in order for him to unscramble the egg, so to speak, and now we are live again without interruption (or SSL blocking). Now, Feminista-Property-Manager-Chick has IMPLORED everyone to purchase their own modem, setup their own wireless WPA network, and has sent out a memo that details why it is imperative and the connection will no longer work without it. Odd, how women change the “rules” whenever their emotions seem to dictate. (Myself included, thank God for Colonel T.)
So, here is the question that I posed in the title: Why is it that women just cannot TOLERATE it if everything is not divvied up in what they perceive as a completely fair and equitable portion? Everyone should have the SAME! It’s only “fair!” If one person is getting more than another person, something is terribly out of kilter and the Powers That Be must immediately remedy this situation because it is UNFAIR. Right?
Why can’t women just have a little logical critical thought about things like this? Permit me a couple of examples: Perhaps, in the internet situation, one tenant is a business-man who works at home and uses more data than the full-time student/part-time worker who is rarely AT home to use the computer. Perhaps, the full-time housewife uses less internet than the twenty-year-old semi-professional video gamer next door, who consumes 10G in data in less than a month.
Should we punish the gamer and reward the housewife by creating legislation that ensures that the gamer “give” some of his data to all housewives, even though few housewives really NEED the equitable distribution of data?
You know where I’m going with this. This is why we find ourselves with another four years of Mr. Obama as Commander in Chief. This is why women vote. This is why frivorce reigns in modern marriage. This is why we have the Un-Family Courts. Fairness and equality. This was the (supposed) purpose of the Nineteenth amendment and First-Wave Feminism. Yet, somehow, fairness turns to “superiority” in the mere bat of an eyelash, due to the fallen nature of men and women alike.
WHY? Why do women think like this? Is it sinful? Is it inherently neutral? Is it good if used within the confines of a home environment, when managing children and household, and bad when used in the public sphere and marketplace?
All comments are welcome.
I cherish your readership and welcome your responses. (smile).
Those of you who really k-n-o-w where the title of this blog originated (Parrotheads…) will appreciate the song. A little over a decade ago, before my husband and I were born again into relationship with God through Jesus Christ…I was the quintessential, narcissistic, hedonistic, Jimmy Buffett-loving Parrothead extraordinaire. Needless to say, I still know all the words to all the songs…by heart.
If only I could commit scriptures to memory like that.
So, when I say I’ll see you tomorrow…hasta manana…with a new blog post after a bit of a sabbatical…I DO mean it! (Now, manana might be in “Island Time” for this transplanted Texas-Island Girl, with all that’s going on in our lives at this particular moment.) That means don’t count on a post at seven a.m. ET sharp for you landsharks.
Thank you for your extraordinary patience with me as it has been a trying time since we moved and with me being in late pregnancy, it has been compounded. We are blessed beyond measure, however, and I am excited to begin posting again, at least prior to the arrival of our baby in May.
Come Monday, It’ll be alright…