Or more accurately, to get it, you must live it. (cheesy!!)
My thoughts about beauty and respect are closely tied together, so it's hard to think of beauty without having thoughts of respect at the same time. So the day after I wrote the post on beauty I thought about respect and I opened up my Bible before I left for school in the morning. It opened (just on its own.. lol. My Bible does that. O_o) to Proverbs chapter eleven. The first verse that I saw was, "A kindhearted woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth." (verse 16).
After that my heart filled with thankfulness. For many days, weeks and months the Lord has been teaching me about how my actions are reflected in how others treat me. He used friends and people that I know from church, men who are strong in the Lord and who I respect, to teach me about respect. One of my friends basically said that the girls who are not vulgar and wait patiently get the truly loving response from guys.
This post isn't actually about girl/guy relationships, honestly. It's about how girls get treated. One of the reasons that I felt that I was not beautiful 3 years ago was because no guys treated me the way they treated the other girls. Today guys still treat me differently.
For instance a few weeks ago I got to youth group and a friend of mine got there at the same time as me. So just randomly I said hi as I walked by. Then we exchanged the "how are you?" bits and whatever. Then he said, "Actually, could you help me with something?" So I helped him carry some of his stuff in. It was a good thing because we were able to talk about a friend of his who is making really bad life choices. My friend is having a hard time watching his friend mess up. So the Lord had that whole meeting planned out. I felt kind of refreshed afterward because that guy and I rarely ever have a conversation. I thought about our conversation for weeks afterward. I finally realized that he talks to me differently than he talks to other girls. When he talks to other girls he flirts with them and is kind of hasty in his words. But in our conversation he actually spoke to me like a human being and we had an adult conversation.
Our conversation was so refreshing because he respected me by not treating me like some worthless girl. So what I've realized is that because I present myself in a respectable way (not just clothes, but also attitude) that my guy friends treat me differently.
Not to say that I'm perfect, because I'm not. But because the Lord has worked in me I live differently than most girls my age and people do notice.
So beauty and respect are closely linked in my mind. It's a little hard to describe, but I believe that the way you act shows who you are on the inside and if you are receiving respect then you can know that God is working in your life.
I must also say that many of my friends are amazing. They are so beautiful on the outside and their actions show how lovely they are on the inside. I thank you girls for being deeper than the average girl. Sadly, many girls care nothing about being respectable, they want immediate results and they aren't patient.
The other verse that is in that chapter that so closely relates to my last paragraph is verse 22. "Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion."
So what's my challenge this time? Be patient ladies! Let the Lord work in your hearts. You can send me an email, post a comment, give me a call and I'll tell you more about my struggles and how far He has taken me. He really doesn't just leave us where we are, stuck in sin. He perfects us.
I have some verses from Philippians that are very relevant to this.
"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
aaaand, "I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."