Is “the graceful woman” lost in today’s “anything you can do, I can do better” world? Does it end with having a flourishing career? Has being graceful been reduced to just the outward appearance, being well made up?
I find the study of women in society and how drastically they’ve changed over the years to be positively riveting. And I like to ask questions about it. “Why?” “How?” “Are we better for it?”
Gracefulness conjures up a number of characteristics: poise, eloquence, refinement, beauty amongst other attributes.
I think of the Proverbs 31 woman as graceful. Not “fragile”, though gracefulness surely must contain “delicacy” in her demeanor, but also a strength and dignity that exudes from the carrier. I picture calmness, stateliness, a self-controlled form in movement and carriage. I imagine, since “the law of kindness is on her tongue” that her words come from a disciplined spirit (it’s a law that rules it!) and carry a certain weight of dignity and import because they are meaningful and not wasteful.
It is hard to find gracefulness these days. I’ve tried. And when I do see a woman who displays the rare manners that were once highly sought after and cultivated, she stands out.
I’m not talking about “putting on airs” nor pretending to be what you’re not. But I do find it perfectly acceptable to constantly learn from others and I encourage every woman to “practice” gracefulness until it becomes habit.
The Bible speaks of letting our adornment be of the “inner man”…a meek and quiet spirit. And as we seek those characteristics that Christ Himself so perfectly demonstrated, our outward demeanor will meet it.
I want to be a woman whose inner character spills into her outer deportment. I want to be a woman who blesses the world around her, whose words bring help, peace, joy, laughter and healing. I want to be a woman whose ways inspire others. A woman of grace and true beauty, not the idolatry of beauty found on the magazine stand. I don’t want to be harsh, brash and careless, not in my words and not in my ways.
What is “gracefulness” to you? Perhaps we have been so influenced by “civilization” and the masculine sirens of the feminist movement that we must revisit some basic etiquette. I’m thinking out loud…would love to hear your thoughts!