grace & eloquence: why words are important

I began this series on biblical femininity with the intention that I would post on a topic each Monday for four weeks. One post for each week. Easy enough, right? So I thought. But as I began writing a book fell from my fingertips. There is so much information, guidance and commands given in the many resources available to us that I fear if I put each subtopic in one post you would run away and hide from the lengthy piece.

So, I will simply have a little each day on the topic of the week. I pray for guidance, wisdom and discipline as we dive into this journey, as we delve head first into the becoming of a feminine woman after God's own heart. 

Thanks for reading!

Grace. Eloquence. Class. Articulateness.

These words are a far cry from any sort of description we could likely give the average woman* of today. Being choosy about the words we say is not a lesson many are taught, yet it is a God-command. The woman of a true, godly, feminine heart is described in Proverbs 31. This woman of God is said to speak with grace and eloquence, for she "opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness." We can find even more throughout the book of Proverbs that it is better to hold our tongue than to speak without discernment, proving ourselves a fool. Proverbs 10:19 blatantly states that "too much talk leads to sin," and even further points out in verse twenty-one that "the words of the godly encourage many, but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense."

Why is being prudent in the words we say so important? As James put it in the third chapter of the book he wrote, the words we speak hold extraordinary weight (James 3:3). Like the rudder on a ship, words seem small in apparence but are vast in power. Words can build up---a person or one's own reputation---and they can destroy said person or reputation. It was Brennan Manning who said in his book The Wisdom of Tenderness, "God has invested his children with an extraordinary power through the gift of speech. What power we have with our words to bless or to curse, to affirm or to reject, to revere or to blaspheme God!"

What great weight the tongue holds. The power it has reminds me of a story in Dorothy Gies McGuigan's Metternich and the Duchess about a poet turned priest named Zacharias Werner. This man was at the pulpit one day preaching loudly and sternly (as he was known to do). He began describing a small, but deadly, part of the body that leads to all sorts of immorality. "That tiny piece of flesh," he said, "the most dangerous appurtenance of a man's body." Women began to blush. Men began to clear their throat. Tension, embarrassment and sheer horror had stricken every person in the building. He graphically described the ramifications of misusing this body part and, as the sermon came to a close, he looked at the listeners and screamed, "Shall I name that tiny piece of flesh? Shall I show you that tiny piece of flesh?" Wide-eyed, paralyzed listeners braced themselves for the worst. And then he smiled and said, "Ladies and gentlemen, behold the source of our sins!" And he stuck out his tongue.  

It is vital that we become prudent in the words we speak. Have you always felt that the tongue held great weight? Do you think you are choosing your words decisively? Do you struggle with holding your tongue?

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