Dressing With Dignity Part 1

How to Dress Like the P31 Woman:
Modest on the Inside.

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“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.” Luke 12:27

dig·ni·ty
diɡnədē/
noun “the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect… a composed or serious manner or style.”

The world tells us we need to manufacture dignity from deep within. Respect yourself, love yourself, because if you don’t, no one else will.  Produce enough self-worth and you will rise above it all.  The problem is we can’t produce enough confidence to “rise above it all.”  Not because we don’t love ourselves enough or because we haven’t fostered emotions powerful enough to barricade us from wrongs against us, but because we love ourselves too much.
We love ourselves so much when someone insults our pride we defend it at all costs.  “How dare they treat me like that?”  “She needs to pay for what she did.”  “He needs to hurt so he can know how much he hurt me.” The real way to rise above it is to absorb injury-not return it.

A Christian woman’s dignity does not come from herself; it is a gift from God. She keeps her chin up because God has given her a status, a beauty, and perfection no man can take away.   She doesn’t try to earn it because it can’t be earned.  She is honored and respected because God has given her honor and respect. She doesn’t need the respect of others to act respectable. The righteousness of Christ gives her dignity.  Her position in the kingdom of God gives her dignity.  This is the source of her peace and confidence.

Strength and dignity come from within. No matter how well dressed you are, without a dignified spirit, no amount of bling or designer labels will make you respectable. A dignified woman is characterized by her ability to respond with gentleness, peace and good will towards others in every circumstance, but especially when injured. The ability to smile and say, “Thank you, I will consider that,” when verbally assaulted is true class. Composure is really self-control; it is the strength to control your tone, tongue and even facial expressions. The world needs this.  Dignity, especially among young women, will set you apart. It will gain you influence.

Dignity is manifested by a gentle and quiet spirit –despite its personality. A boisterous or jolly personality can respond with a gentle, kind remark when provoked just as a quiet personality can respond with a harsh, cutting retort.  It’s not the personality, it’s the attitude. No matter what volume your personality is, how gregarious or melancholy you are, the heart attitude speaks the loudest.  A gentle and quiet (as opposed to contentious) spirit is the first thing we must adorn.  Like the body shaper, (or “sucker” as my friend calls it) it keeps everything in place.  In a way, it smooths out the lumps and bumps of our character.

Dignity manifests itself through good manners. A dignified woman has good manners….all the time. One etiquette queen addresses today’s faux pas including: gum chewing, RSVPing, opening doors, greeting, interrupting, being on time and more!

How to put on Inner Dignity
Dignity is most dignified when affronted. How to gain composure. Remember:
Every person is made in the image of God and is to be treated with respect no matter how they behave.

  • God will judge both me and you for every careless word and deed. Keep yourself
  • Ill behavior is a reflection of their heart not yours. Don’t take it personally-it has nothing to do with you. Don’t let their sin beget sin in you. Take the high road.
  • If Jesus can wash Judas’ feet, you can respond with a kind word.
  • Do all the above despite how you feel. What you feel doesn’t matter. What you do matters to God. You don’t need inner peace to do the right thing. The right thing to do is often painful. It starts hard but gets easier.  The wrong response is easy now, but life gets hard later.

Eunice has some interesting thoughts on manners and etiquette on her Elegant Woman blog.

Please comment:
What do you think a quiet and gentle spirit looks like? What is the hardest part about having one?

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