Friday, July 11, 2014

Refined Speech for Christian Ladies

We love to have serenity in the home, so we clean and beautify and add all kinds of elegant touches. We are particular, or "picky" about where things are placed or what color they are because we want everything in the house to have a harmonious feeling. We want our homes to be places of peace and rest.

Our speech should be as refined and as beautiful as the things we value at home. When something is refined, the dross, dirt, and impurities are removed so that the product is pure and clean. Our speech should be free of impurity.

Before I can suggest the elements of edifying, pleasing conversation, it is necessary to discuss the harm of corrupt communication.

Improper speech is offensive and destructive.

Rude, critical remarks and spoil the sweet atmosphere.

Crudeness is a lack of completeness, unfinished, lacking in perception, and lacking in culture.

No lady in her right mind would dare to serve her guests a cup of tea in a dirty teacup, and a guest would not even think of bringing her personal trash into a house where she was invited. We all want to give our guests our very best, and mature guests do not want to leave a bad impression on the hostess.

It seems though, that there is a big disconnection of this principle (uncleanness or filth) regarding the way women talk these days, and they especially tend to be unrestrained in what they talk about when in a group of other women at a tea party or a ladies class. This is particularly sad because they are usually dressed up, wearing a hat, and there is a dainty table laid out for them.

 There is no greater blame on the young, than on the old. While we might expect filthy talk from those "who never knew our God," we are in real trouble when ladies of the Lord's church become careless in their manner of speaking. They understand why they value their lovely furniture and their well-appointed homes, but they fail to view their speech in the same way.

In days gone by, especially in the home, parents guarded the speech of their family carefully, not just to avoid rudeness, but to keep corrupting talk from tainting the family and making home life unpleasant.

 While Christian women generally agree that swearing and cursing should never be included in their conversation, there are those who do not realize that subject matter, such as talk of bodily functions, private husband-wife relationships, jokes about private parts of our bodies, references to physical desire, and innuendos about such things, are included in the Bible's admonition to have pure speech. (Colossians 4:6 and Titus 2:8)

Women may reason that as long as they are not using foul language and uttering curse words, that it is okay to talk about anything and everything. However, even without filthy language, there are some things that are not appropriate to talk about.

There is an erroneous, worldly and unBiblical practice to talk about everything from underwear to intimate relationships in detail. Some women believe that as long as they are not gossiping or criticizing, that any subject is safe to talk about.

Ladies always need to be careful around little ears and not violate their innocence with talk about grown-up things they are not ready for.

 Discerning women also have to understand that it is possible to offend the purity of anyone, any age, whether married or not. The more a Christian lady strives for pure thinking and pure living (unblemished by filth), the more she would be aware of how speaking of things which are "done in the dark" can harm the pure in heart, no matter what age they are.

Lectures on pure speech often bring up questions about things that are recorded in the Bible, and whether or not it is okay to discuss them. This all depends on how such situations involving sin are discussed. Just because it is in the Bible, it does not give ladies leeway to indulge in impure curiosity or speculate on sensuous details of sin.

I have observed many mothers over the years who were very successful in teaching their children about the sin that is described in the scriptures and still not indulge in describing the corrupting details.

Sincere ladies can develop sensitivity and a sence of shame regarding the kind of talk they engage in.

Nonetheless, there are still some women who may find it hard to discern what should and what should not be spoken out loud, so I will suggest some guidelines to abide by. That way, if a situation comes up and a person is tempted to join in an inappropriate discussion, they can think of these rules.

1. Avoid talk about personal bodily functions. Even discussing your digestive tract can be a problem when other ladies just want to have polite, cheerful, uplifting conversation. Keep your monthly cycle totally private and never mention it in a sewing circle or a ladies Bible Class. Most people agree that the subject of intimate, private things CAN be discussed privately with a trusted friend. 

Bear on mind that not everyone in a group will be comfortable talking about private things. You just have to be careful that the people you are with approve of it and do not subject your hearers to things they are not comfortable with regarding private things.

2. Speak not of things that create pictures in the mind of immodesty of any sort, or any graphic description of anything to do with physical privacy or private parts of the anatomy. Conversation alluding to bathing can even become embarrassing, even if it is about cleanliness.

3. Really refined Christian ladies never discuss their womanly cycle or details of childbirth except with a mother or close friend privately.

4. Do not talk about the details of your family finances to anyone outside of the family and be careful not divulge such private things to your children. 

5. Bringing up past bad experiences and telling them in detail, time after time, is not polite conversation.

6. Begging. Edifying conversation will never manipulate anyone into giving them something. It is not good form to whine about your financial setbacks.

7. Avoid the bad conversational habit of one-up-man-ship or "I do it better."

8. Coming in late to a conversation that has already begun and adding your opinion without having heard the whole matter.

9. Correcting everyone every time they speak, on their grammar or the things they are saying (unless you are training your children).

10. Always asking "why?" Or "Why is that?" In response to every thing anyone says.

11. Walking into a conversation between people and blurting out "Now what??" or just demanding to know what someone is talking about.

12. Not discerning when you are not included in a conversation.

13. Rudely excluding someone in the same room with the same company, by talking about something experienced by the two of you (wasn't that tea party we went to fun?") that others cannot relate to.

14. Never being interested in the other guests and only wanting to tell your own plans and your own experiences.

15. Silly talking with no point.

16. Doting about words and strifes. (1 Timothy 6:4)

17. Great swelling words of vanity. (2 Peter 2:18)

18. Hasty, sharp responses.

Some of the above subjects can be covered in another lecture.

To prevent inappropriate talk, you first have to be careful what you think about. Watch out for where your mind goes and turn your thoughts back to whatever is lovely and pure and good. Your thoughts will guide your tongue. James explained that when he used the bits in the horses mouth as an illustration to the problem of controlling the tongue (meaning your words).

An article that explains it well is here.

To halt inappropriate talk, learn to find something in the conversation that can be used to change the subject. Catch on to a word or idea that is being discussed and say that it reminds you of something, and see if you can ask a question about it, that will get people off the other subject. Note that sometimes people with bad habits and impure thoughts will use the same tactic to talk about things that are untoward or vulgar.

To get conversation back in control, you might have to use drastic measures and tell the ladies that they need to move on to more decent subjects. If you have children within hearing, it will be important to stop people before allowing corrupt talk to offend their ears.

There is something else you need to know, that is very important, about listening to silly, unregenerate talk. It puts a bad taste in people's mouths (a figure of speech meaning a bad memory) that they cannot get rid of.

 I once was a guest at a ladies gathering where one of the other guests began talking about her anatomy "in the vernacular".

The other ladies were embarrassed but never said anything and some of them got up and went into the kitchen, while others bravely tried to change the subject. It was even more serious that there were some little girls sitting politely by their mothers. The words they heard would be replayed in their memories and pollute their minds with thoughts that would crowd out innocent childhood thinking.

The older ladies were so disturbed by such foul talk (including bathroom and bedroom talk) that some of them departed with deeply glum expressions. I heard later that a couple of the more refined guests went home and wept for their sister in Christ who had been so thoughtless. Although she was eventually enlightened by a very kind lady, the damage had been done and could not be undone.

People who let-loose their tongues do more than let out words that will be forgotten. Such words also bring up images in people's minds that they play again, and will not go away for awhile. Furthermore, it is just as bad to pollute the mind of a child as it is to pollute the thinking of anyone else, whether they be the age of 18 or 80. This is because The Lord has told us in his word to have pure minds and think on pure things . (Philippians 4:8)

Crude talk of those things "done in the dark" (1 Timothy 4:7) make you appear to be less refined and less of a lady. Corrupt communication is bad for your future influence on those who might be guided by you.

We can reason and talk and try to convince ladies to guard their speech, but if their hearts are not convicted that it offends Christ and affects their standing with Him, they will be forgetful hearers. They need to know that when they let foolish talk escape from their mouths, and do not bridle the tongues, (James 3:2) that they violate and corrupt other people. It is also disrespectful.

Ladies need to train their consciences to be sensitive enough to blush at corrupt communication. The ability to cringe or blush is developed when you pay attention to and dwell on whatever is good, lovely and pure. Then, the impure will stick out like a sore thumb and be immediately recognizable.

 You should abhor the thoughts and sounds of corrupt communication.

Your speech reflects your morals and your religious views. An unbridled tongue can cause another person to have impure things on her mind. Be accountable for every word you speak and know the harm or the good that you do with your words.

 Language can be used for good or for ill, and you need to be remembered for speaking whatever is good, lovely and pure. What God has to say should be the final word on our language, so here are some verses to think about:

Eph 4:29    Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Col 3:8    But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

Tit 2:7    In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,

Tit 2:8   Sound speech that cannot be condemned; that he that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed.

.Eph 5:12    For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

1Ti 4:7    But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.

Psa 19:14    Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

There are so many things to talk about, which are interesting, stimulating, encouraging and beneficial,that it would take a life time to relate them. There is so much untapped glory in beautiful, edifying, or instructive words, one cannot tell it all.  there is simply no time to indulge in corrupt and fruitless talk.

Corrupt communication is limited and amounts to saying the same stupid things over and over. If you engage in it, you do not appear to be very bright or wise.

A visitor to a ladies Bible class once remarked, "I would like to come back each week to the ladies Bible class, but the ladies indulge in too much bad news and too many 'organ recitals' describing surgeries and health problems with all the details of blood and gore."  We all need to be careful that our group conversation does not center on things that are revolting to others. While we may talk personally to a friend about these things, they are not edifying for a group.

I know people who have handicapped children with mental imparities that still are able to train them to avoid filthy talk. If a mentally-challenged person knows the difference, then any lady can master the art of polite and clean conversation, both at home and in public. It is better just to forget you ever knew any of those words or subjects and get them completely out of your mind. Then, the next time you hear them, they will jolt your senses and you will see clearly the difference between light and darkness.

When polite ladies refrain from vulgar talk, it has an influence on the society around them. Refined speech is a bigger influence than people realize. As you refine your speech you will begin to notice that you are reducing you own stress. Foul-mouthed people will not feel comfortable around you and might keep their mouths shut. If you try to be a real lady and speak only what is sweet and nice, you become a great influence and you keep a right relationship with God.

Just as any woman sincerely following the Lord's admonition in Titus, chapter 2, wants her home to be clean and orderly so that it may comfort and edify the occupants, Christian ladies ought to keep their speech pure and lovely in the temple of the Holy Spirit, (the tongue, in the body, which is he temple, should be well-regulated and disciplined), so that hearers may be taught the greater issues of the Kingdom of The Lord.


Kriskatmom said...

I always love your posts. Thank you for taking the time to write them.

Michelle said...

Thankyou for taking the time to write this post.
What a lovely reminder to think on today and let sink in.


Lydia said...

I am had a lot of trouble with the fonts in this post. They are not supposed to be bold, but I was unable to make it do what I told it and could not get the font I wanted.

Shani said...

So very much to think upon in this post, and so convicting. I have, ashamedly, let my mouth speak without checking it first in the past. This is something that I have been working on, and so appreciate your loving words of direction.

Your manners lessons this week have been thought-provoking and very well said. Many times I have been nodding my head in agreement with you as I read, and a few times I have felt convicted of my own less-than-godly behaviour. I appreciate you speaking the biblical truth; most people nowadays won't utter a peep. I only wish I had a circle of older ladies (and ladies my age or younger!) that behaved in such a dignified manner in my life. It's so much easier to be dignified oneself if ones companions mirror the behavior one would very much like to adopt.

God bless you this day, Lady Lydia!

Andrea R said...

Thank you so much for this wonderful post! I think this can be a wonderful reminder to me, as I work to guard my speech even further as I grow.

God Bless you Lydia!

anonymous said...

After being convicted of my own speech and desiring to change, I found and framed this poster written by Pastor Jack W. Hayford of Living Way Ministries.

The Power of Profanity

It diminishes the creative power of mind and tongue.
It substitutes brassy speech for genuine boldness.
It sacrifices character on the altar of acceptance.
It produces abnormal responses and stifles healthy interaction.
It begets an atmosphere of hostility or adversity.
It depends on shock or crudity to establish authority or create humor.
It cheapens or desecrates life's most precious relationships.
It acclimates the mind to the world-spirit.
It instills a reticence to speak righteously.
It erodes sensitivity toward ultimate eternal issues.
Pastor Jack W. Hayford

Mrs. J.

anonymous said...

Thank you so much Lydia for these great lessons. I so look forward to the wisdom the Lord has given you. Thank you sharing them with us. So encouraging.

Bless you, Mrs. J.

Lydia said...

Janet, that is a very good list!

While most ladies I have heard do not curse, they often talk about things of a lower nature that are not necessary or edifying.

Barbara said...

This is a well-written and timely post. Thank you so much for writing this.

Southern Ladye said...

Thank you so much for this excellent post! I do enjoy them very much!

Grace and Tea For Me said...

Lady Lydia:

Thank you very much for this post. It is a gentle reminder about keeping our conversion clean and pure. As an older women I want to be a godly example to the younger women in whom I come into contact with.

Blessings on you and your home.


Mrs. B

LeeAnne, Style N Season said...

Dear Lady Lydia,

Thank you for writing this post. People have been saying, not in a bad way, mind you, that I'm like an open book, but I think it will be much better if I have not revealed so much. Still learning everyday. :)

Style N Season

Rain San Martin said...

Thank you for bravely speaking this truth. I have always been amazed how women openly discuss medical problems and grotesque anatomy descriptions at the drop of a hat.

Candice said...

Thank you for this post! Can you direct me to some of your posts which gives insight on a woman managing money well and being prudent in her spending? Thanks