My mother raised me to be a lady by modeling lady-likeness herself. Most of it was communicated without words by watching her kindness and courtesy to others. There was also the ebb and flow of mother/daughter conversation on how to do things beautifully (even on a shoestring budget) and with an eye to excellence.
(If this post makes you feel guilty, ashamed or inferior, please say ‘No’ to that feeling! Those feelings are not from God. The goal is to call us into greater focus to all God has for us within the context of our unique Heaven-sent gifting and personality and for us each to figure that out with the help of the Holy Spirit. We are all at different places in our walk and in our parenting.)
Mom started young teaching me how to eat, talk, walk, dress, and respond to adults with respect and poise. I needed to work on my posture and to say thank you and please. Later I learned phone and table manners, how to set the table properly for any occasion, how to introduce someone and make them feel included. My sister and I also got routine lessons on personal grooming, hygiene and nutrition.
“Being female is a matter of birth, being a woman is a matter of age, but being a lady is a matter of choice.” ~Unknown
I will admit that when I went off to nursing school and the work world, I shed some of my refinement, feeling that I would be out of step with the times. But I’ve come back full-circle. I discovered the fascination of being a lady. Truly, it never grows out of style or becomes out-dated. Being a lady actually brings more fun into life and decency into the world.
Being a lady must start from the inside and work its way out. It is more than being a pretty face or having a proper exterior. Once you determine to live as a lady on the inside, expressing everyday lady-like kindness and courtesy can become second nature.
In this little gem of a devotional Rise Up, Princess: 60 Days to Revealing Your Royal Identity by 2009 Miss USA Kristen Dalton Wolfe, you will be reminded of who God says you are (He being the King of Kings, making us princesses of the King) and you will learn how to apply one of the following principles to your life every day.
What is more beautiful than being the best version of your God-given feminine design and expressing it with grace and dignity to the world?
30 Marks Of A Modern Lady
- She is honest. A lady says what she means and means what she says. She is kindly direct, never passive-aggressive, she does not leave room for misunderstanding.
- She thinks before she speaks. A lady takes a moment before speaking her mind to ask herself if the comment is necessary, kind or helpful. If it isn’t, she reconsiders making a reckless comment.
- She is steadfast. She is consistent across time and circumstances. When she makes a commitment to herself, she doesn’t allow pressure or trends to cause her to waver.
- She promotes moral excellence. A lady does the right thing even when no one else is looking. She takes the time to find a trash can rather than leaving it on the sidewalk.
- A lady is gracious. No matter who or how small something seems, a lady is never above thanking someone. She is sincerely thankful and always expresses her gratitude in a meaningful way.
- A lady is self-aware. A lady is aware of the experience others are having with her and sensitive of their time. She quickly realizes when she is in the wrong and needs to apologize to someone.
- She uses her words wisely. A lady refrains from gossip and negative talk, remembering that her words are the reflection of the content in her heart.
- She draws boundaries. Being kind doesn’t mean you are a people-pleaser. She has boundaries in place regarding what she will and will not allow and people know where the line is drawn usually without her saying anything.
- She is a thoughtful gift-giver. A lady gives gifts that shows the recipient that she cares about what they like. It doesn’t just have to be for special occasions.
- She is a leader. She sets the highest and best precedent in any given situation, but she is never bossy or pushy. She knows that she has influence and uses it to lead people to good.
- She has a heart for justice. She has a strong sense of right and wrong and is passionate to see the oppressed redeemed.
- She is a peace-maker. A lady doesn’t contribute to dissension, discord or division among friends. She does not stir up drama. She is a vessel of mediation and peace.
- She is temperate. She practices discipline and self-control in what she consumes, especially when she may be surrounded by those trying to practice discipline.
- She is the best-version of herself. A lady doesn’t downplay her beauty, gifts or intelligence in order to please others or make people comfortable. She walks in the best version of herself which actually releases other women to do the same.
- She expresses genuine interest in others. A lady is interested, not interesting.
- She takes pride in her appearance at all times. Going to Walmart on a Saturday morning is not an exception.
- She is original. She has role-models and mentors but never copies or compares. She knows that being inspired by God will lend to longevity and passion.
- A lady is hospitable. Even if she doesn’t necessarily have the innate gift of hospitality, she does her best to ensure her guests or the people around her are comfortable.
- She is humble. Others are gracefully allowed to shine and have their moments.
- She is honoring. A lady always gives acknowledgment where acknowledgement is due.
- A lady is kind. A lady is inclusive, always aiming to protect anyone from feeling like an “outsider.”
- She is adaptable. A lady knows how to navigate various social situations and settings with ease and confidence.
- She cares properly for her hygiene and health. A lady knows she can not be dynamic in her purpose if she is not making her health a priority. She will also make sure to have good hygiene in an effort to not be offensive.
- She is always learning and remains teachable. She is constantly growing, is thirsty for wisdom and is never a “know it all.”
- A lady is a generous listener. She listens to others with grace and does not attempt to overshadow the speaker with comments like, “I already knew that.” She does not interrupt.
- She knows when to let things go. A lady picks her battles and realizes that getting upset or flustered is actually giving her power away. She remains un-offended.
- She is noble. A lady does the good thing even when it is not expected of her. For example, she blesses someone’s reputation who has attempted to curse hers.
- She is a seeker of truth. She is not spineless. She defends the truth even when it isn’t popular.
- A lady represents herself with class and dignity on social media. She is gracious in her remarks and well-reasoned in how she answers and gives her thoughts. She does not use inappropriate language.
- She trusts her Creator. Her identity is rooted in her Maker. Her strength and vision come from daily prayer.
[Excerpt from the devotional Rise Up, Princess: 60 Days to Revealing Your Royal Identity]
“Make me to know Your ways, O LORD;
teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
for You are the God of my salvation;
for You I wait all the day long.”
~Psalm 25: 4-5