Home marriage Make-over Part 3: The Long Lost Art of Discretion

Make-over Part 3: The Long Lost Art of Discretion

by Kelly Crawford



“Teach the younger women to…be discreet, chaste, keepers at home…”

Discretion: “Having or showing discernment or good judgment in conduct and especially in speech; sensible.”

Satan knows our weaknesses so well, and this is one area where we must be vigilant in guarding against temptation.

Our speech, especially, is susceptible to a lack of discernment; and we could break off and do a whole study from James 3 about the “fire of the tongue.”

A beautiful woman will protect the reputation of others by her discretion; she will protect her own reputation, in fact. She will not be given to coarse language or crude conversations, and she will attempt to be thoughtful before speaking.

“When in doubt, leave it out”, could be the motto. As a side note, I’ve heard a study on the godly wife that encourages women not to talk more than their husbands in a social gathering, so it doesn’t appear that she “thinks” for the family. Which is really hard when you are talkative and your husband is not!

I think of the virtue of grace being closely associated with discretion. I challenge you to observe women the next time you’re in public. Note the women who appear to be graceful. Note the ones who are not. It is more and more a lost concept, and gracefulness is NOT being transferred to the young girls of this generation. When I see a graceful woman in public, she sticks out of the crowd.

A boisterous, over-powering manner of speaking is not beautiful; a loud and obnoxious speech is not graceful (let your speech be always with grace”).

Discretion is the kind, graceful conduct that ultimately places others first.

If you have ideas to add to the virtue of discretion, please feel free!

Part 4:  Make-over: But I’m Not Meek & Quiet!

part 5:  Make-over: Chaste?

Part 6:  Make-over: Teacher of Good Things

Part 7:  Make-over: Contentment is Lovely

Part 8:  Make-over: Wise Women Build

Part 9:  Make-over: The Total Beautiful Woman



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SM September 17, 2008 - 12:38 pm

Thank you so much for allowing the Lord to speak to me through your post today. The Lord has been dealing with me recently on this issue. My husband was raised in a home where freedom of thought was never allowed, and he would have been physically punished for stating any opinion that fell outside the boundaries of the facade of the family. This caused him to be very quiet and passive. I, on the other hand, grew up in a home where I was the “shining star” in the eyes of my father. I had two choices: become a lawyer or a doctor. To do anything “less” would mean not utilizing my God-given potential. I think my father always wanted to see me someday be a wife and mother, but he did not see how the “career world” would hinder that great calling. I made my father proud. Even though I did not become a lawyer or a doctor, I did become an executive in a large corporation and managed a large number of employees for 15+ years. Almost 16 years ago I left the career life to become a full-time wife and mother. I can tell you it has been a constant struggle for me, since I have, for the most part, attempted to manage my family as I managed my career world and to manage my husband as I managed my employees. I see now how I have only damaged my husband (not to mention my marriage) further, as I have often spoken out boldly while he often listened and even sometimes followed. I could write pages about how this has damaged him, but I could write even more about how this has damaged me as a woman. My husband has, at times, asked me to speak for him because he has felt so inferior in this area. I have gladly “stepped up to the plate” rather than encouraging him to speak for himself with the faith that God would speak through him as He saw fit. I have done much to further his feelings of inferiority. This brings great sadness to me now, especially since I have had sons who have been watching me do this. I have now asked God to develop in me a quiet spirit and to help me to trust Him that the world will not “fall apart” if my husband does not speak JUST as I think he should. Thank you for allowing God to speak to me through you in this area of femininity and Christian living.
I intended to comment on yesterday’s post and may still do that. But I would ask all who read this to consider how a female VP will further promote the problems I have discussed above. As I think on this election, God continues to bring to mind that He says in his Word that He WILL NOT be mocked. A vote for Obama OR McCain, in my husband’s opinion (and I fully agree with him), WILL blaspheme the Word of God and will mock our Lord. I fear there will be great judgment for non-believers and great discipline for believers and especially Christian leaders (due to their many compromises). We plan to vote for the only candidate who will be on the ballot in November who lines up with our Christian and conservative Government beliefs, Chuck Baldwin with VP Darrell Castle. If anyone reading this is interested, it is very easy to find information on these two men. Yes, we absolutely must all stay on our knees in prayer. But this country belongs to us, the people; and God will hold us accountable for our stewardship in this area. Our VOTE is absolutely part of this stewardship.

Mommy Reg September 17, 2008 - 2:51 pm

I was given wise counsel several years ago when I had only been married a couple of years. I was told to bite my tongue. So that is what I started to do. I bite my tongue often, not only with my husband but also with others. I have learned that biting my tongue saves me a lot of heartache from speaking when I shouldn’t like when my emotions want to do the talking for me. I have found that because I am slow to speak and do not speak often that I am listened to so much more when I do speak. I am very black and white and usually speak straight forward. If I am not careful I can unintentionally hurt those I care about because I can tend to not be graceful in my speech when I do not bite my tongue.

Anonymous September 17, 2008 - 3:16 pm

I really, really enjoyed this post. As I have been enjoying all the make-over posts!

But this one was esspecially touching.

It is interesting because I have stepped back and let my husband voice his/our opinions even if it is less eloquent at times. Which has been challening because by nature I’m a VERY vocal person, but I do detest conflict, so that helps.

I’ve actually been considering becoming more vocal, because I often fear my husband has no “tact” and is “too blunt”. I can see now where growing up in a painfully polite family probably gave me these judgements! Often after my husband says something I follow up with a comment designed to ‘soften up’ the message. 🙁

I really needed to hear this post, and sm’s comment as well. Thank you for bruising me today … aka, Proverbs 27:6 “Faithful are the wounds of a friend…”


Meghann September 17, 2008 - 3:24 pm

I love the thought of not speaking more than my husband in social settings…something I need to work on definitely because he is the quiet one! Very hard to do…it feels like nothing will be said at all if I don’t speak. Which I am sure is not true…enjoying these entries!

Word Warrior September 17, 2008 - 4:05 pm

Great comments…I can identify so much, especially with you SM 😉

I’m the one who *loves words*…I think it is a common dilemma for women to desire to speak over their husbands (her desire will be for her husband). Or, she may just think she’s better at it. And I think it’s great for women to exercise their gifts of communication, just with discretion, as the post reminds!

I’m constantly “scolding” myself for crossing the line here.

GEYW September 17, 2008 - 7:42 pm

DO any of you wise women have counsel for how a 61-yr-old, 13 years in the Lord can train her tone of voice to be pleasing? The Lord has graciously moved me toward “biting my tongue” on occasions when I would prefer to speak up; but I cannot seem to do anything about the strident sound that comes out against my will!

Word Warrior September 17, 2008 - 7:58 pm

GEYW…I do! Imagine that your house is bugged and the people with the receiver are your church friends.

One time I was out in the yard upset with my children and scolding them. Suddenly, it dawned on me that our neighbors could be out, and if they were, they could hear my tone. Boy does that change things fast! “Children, (in a much sweeter tone), you mustn’t argue with each other” 😉

Seriously, you can *train* a tongue that has been harsh with consistent practice. I’m still working in this area, but the Lord has really grown me.

Rebekah September 17, 2008 - 11:11 pm

Wonderful post! It reminds me of 1Peter 3:4 that encourages us to have a “gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” I do not naturally have a gentle and quiet spirit and have spent the last several years asking the Lord to help me in this area. I have not arrived, but He is changing me slowly. One thing I have learned is that God produces this type of change, but self-control seems to be part of it, too. Just like you mentioned that the neighbors might hear us being unpleasant in the yard–I can maintain a gentle spirit at church and even in the grocery store. Therefore, I should be able to show that same patience, calmness, and meekness at home within the privacy of my own house.

This post is a good reminder. How I want to be a woman of discretion and gracefulness with a gentle and quiet spirit! When this is the fruit in our lives, what a testimony to Christ!

Kathy, Jeff's Wife September 18, 2008 - 7:26 am

I’m loving this makeover!

Lisa of Longbourn September 18, 2008 - 11:40 pm

This concept has always gone with modesty in my mind. People object to too strict rules about dress but excuse themselves from the more stringent requirements of discretion, to guard their speech, situations, relationships, and conduct.

I really loved this post. Thanks.
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

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