Monday, April 24, 2017

To Be Discreet

"...the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things - that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed." Titus 2:3-5 (NKJV) be discreet...

In the original Greek the form of this word discreet is only found in 1 Timothy and Titus. We find the form of this word in other ancient writings, for example in the writings of Aristotle. Here in Titus 2 the root is used more than once. Discreet can also be translated as self-control. It is written for both women and men. For the young women it is an adjective which describes her manner as a woman. For men it is in a verb form which means to behave in a self-controlled manner.

God's Word instructs Christian women to be discreet and we are to teach this to the younger women. Being discreet means curbing one's desires and impulses. It is self-controlled and temperate.

A Christian woman who is desiring to be discreet is one who is curbing her desires and impulses. How we dress, how we speak, what we eat, and how we use our free time are just some of the ways a Christian woman testifies that she is seeking to curb her desires and impulses. There are many choices we make each day and we women are to be trained to show self-control.  We are called to serve one another, to seek the good of others, and to follow the example of Christ. When we through His Spirit curb our desires and impulses, we become not just hearers of the Word but doers. We live a life of obedience to the one who fashioned us. We are called to be modest, showing care and honor to our bodies. We desire for our tongue to be tamed. We are a sweet aroma to Him in our prayers, offerings, and daily tasks. We live knowing that we are His sheep. We are like lambs in His bosom and we do not want to stray. We must not adopt even the smallest, tastiest morsel of temptation to worldly ways for little by little and day by day it erodes our lives. Those who desire to be discreet are those who can be trusted. A discreet Christian woman is one who has a gentle and quiet spirit. Gentleness is controlled strength. She will show great wisdom and care to men and women and boys and girls in her circles. This will include the needy, the elderly, the wee ones, the ones who have difficulty communicating or functioning on their own, those who are nearing the end of their days, and the one new to faith. It takes great care and godly wisdom to extend a generous, helpful, willing hand to all of Christ's sheep.

Sadly the trends over the past several decades have not trained young women to be discreet. The trends today in some circles are actually isolating women of all ages (even as young as toddlers) by teaching them to be assertive, sassy, wise in their own eyes, prideful, self-indulgent, and disrespectful to the God given authorities in their circles. Young men are sadly being encouraged to support women who choose to behave like this. These women are encouraged to behave like those with adolescent minds and habits, throwing caution to the wind when it comes to decisions, fed with self-indulgent & fleshly desires, having disrespectful, selfish, and independent wills, with loud bashing mouths that have no filter or pause, which is modeled by other self-willed, proud women and preached by 24/7 worldly entertainment rather than God's Word. This behavior in women young and old is not godly. You need to avoid the advice of such women who encourage you to promote this behavior in your home. Do not listen to their ways even if they lace their lives with a knowledge of Scripture and appear happy and at ease. They are double-minded being tossed to and fro in an attempt at balancing Scripture with the worldly trends around them. Are there those in your circles to whom you look who sound godly on the surface but as you get to know them you see they are loud, proud, and complacent? Complacent means "marked by self satisfaction, especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers, or deficiencies." Ladies, please listen up and take a look at what you yourself watch, read, eat, spend your time and thoughts on, and how you use the 24 hours given to you each day. I must warn you that we all will be held accountable for what we choose to do or not do. Trials and pains are for our sanctification and are under a sovereign hand. Trials and pain are not an excuse to ignore sound teaching and godly living. These teachings in Scripture have a global and eternal perspective. Take pause knowing that where you live, when you live, and what the latest trends place no exceptions on Scripture's instructions. God is a God to a thousand generations of those who keep His commandments. Examine your choices today and ask yourself if they are helping you to be discreet as a Christian woman. If you are discouraged and led astray by others like I have been, please repent and take it all before the one who can sanctify you completely for His glory. Those whom He called will be sanctified in His perfect timing and care. Be that woman who has the courage to say no to the world, the flesh, and the devil and is determined to live life as a Christian woman who desires to be discreet.

Self Controlled and Temperate...

A discreet woman is self-controlled and temperate. She displays godly gentleness, wisdom, pause, thought, and care in her actions and words. She is humble and seeks forgiveness when she has not been self-controlled or temperate. Her words are uplifting; her correction is truthful and loving. She takes great care when admonishing others and does so in love for their good for she herself was admonished and knows the benefit of it. She knows the beauty of godly wisdom. She desires less and less the things of the world and knows her duties whether big or small is all for the Lord. He blesses her hands, he sees how she strives to keep her tongue, he sees her seek counsel where needed and how she is not wise in her own eyes, he sees her taking matters to the throne of grace so that her heart is steadfast and her words are careful for those in her care. She perseveres in her work and is not concerned with self-gratification. She does not want to blaspheme the Word of God by being known as a Christian woman who is careless, proud, stubborn, and unruly. She is known by her quiet demeanor, her quiet strength, her testimony of Christ's work in her life, and her humility. She does not speak with a bitter tongue. She prays for her enemies and places her cares in God's hands. She knows that God sees and hears all things. The purpose of her trials is to refine her life like gold. She is one who does not always need to give an answer. She knows when to just say that she is sorry for a situation someone is going through. She knows when to hold her tongue and let others trip on their own tongue. She wisely gives at least a day to emotional matters so she can process and pray. This will help her not to react in the moment and spill her emotions upon whomever would hear. She is aware that she is accountable. She is grateful that she is accountable to Christ. One day she will see Christ face to face when she finishes the race set before her.

To the Christian young ladies who are reading, take great care, press on, and meditate on the Scriptures. Sit under the preached Word. Know your place and show respect to those around you. Wean yourselves from the habits of the day and cast your cares on the one who made you. Have courage and trust Him in the day to day. Cling to Christ and repent of the ways you have not been discreet. Take this all one step at a time. Pray for godly women in your circles from whom you can learn these things. One day your faith will become sight; until then sweet sisters in Christ press on in humility and strength found only in Jesus. Desire that true beauty that is unfading and found within while striving to be discreet.