Ladies

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Purpose Statement:
This column will examine God's
Word and His plans and purposes for ladies as women, wives, homemakers and mothers.

Email Celeste
 

Teach the Young Women to be Discreet

As we continue our study in Titus 2 of the things God tells older women to teach to younger women, we find this phrase, "to be discreet." Finally accepting the fact that I was an older women and was teaching younger women at Liberty University, I decided I'd better find out what this word meant and how it could be taught.

According to Webster, discreet means "careful about what one says or does; prudent, especially keeping silent or preserving confidences when necessary". This is a great need among women. I hate to admit it but I am afraid some of us are prone to talk too much, at the wrong time and about the wrong things.

Solomon presents a graphic portrait of a woman who lacks this virtue in Prov. 11:22, "As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion." Have you observed this before? I've seen women who were very beautiful in appearance until they opened their mouths and began to speak with profane or vulgar language and their beauty
instantly vanished.

There is a very close link between wisdom and discretion. When Pharaoh's dreams were interpreted he was told to "look out a man discreet and wise and set him over the land of Egypt". This position fell to Joseph as the Pharaoh stated, "there is none so discreet or wise as thou art".

May I challenge you to do a study as I once did on this word especially in the book of Proverbs. The whole purpose of the book is outlined in the first few verses: "To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; to receive the instruction of wisdom, justice and judgment, and equity; to the young man knowledge and discretion".

In chapter two we see the value of discretion. "Discretion shall preserve thee; understanding shall keep thee." In the same chapter we discover the source of discretion. "The Lord giveth wisdom; out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

In chapter three we are commanded to "keep sound wisdom and discretion", and in chapter five "that thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge." Thus we see that verbal communication is also involved.

In Proverbs 19 we see the value and the practical results of discretion. "The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression". In Psalm 112:5 a good man or woman "will guide his/her affairs with discretion. But HOW do we learn discretion?

The answer is found in Isa. 28:25, "For his God doth instruct him to discretion and doth teach him". Therefore, it seems that we older women must teach the younger women the importance of knowing the Word of God and how to apply it practically in our every-day experiences. We must set the example. As we make this our practice, asking God to set a watch upon our lips daily, he will decorate us with the "ornament of a meek (submissive) and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price" (1 Peter 3:4). We will become the epitome of the expression, "the soul of discretion."
 


Dear friends, I am passing along to you this month something I did not write, but I think it is worth reading. I trust you each will have a blessed and healthy new year. - Celeste

Letter from God to Woman

When I created the heavens and the earth, I spoke them into being. When I created man, I formed him and breathed life into his nostrils. But you, woman, I fashioned after I breathed the breath of life into man because your nostrils are too delicate. I allowed a deep sleep to come over him so I could patiently and perfectly fashion you.

Man was put to sleep so that he could not interfere with the creativity. From one bone, I fashioned you. I chose the bone that protects man's life. I chose the rib, which protects his heart and lungs and supports him, as you are meant to do. Around this one bone, I shaped you....I modeled you. Created you perfectly and beautifully.

Your characteristics are as the rib, strong yet delicate and fragile. You provide protection for the most delicate organ in man, his heart. His heart is the center of his being; his lungs hold the breath of life. The rib cage will allow itself to be broken before it will allow damage to the heart. Support man as the rib cage supports the body.

You were not taken from his feet, to be under him, nor were you taken from his head, to be above him. You were taken from his side, to stand beside him and be held close to his side.

You are my perfect angel.....You are my beautiful little girl. You have grown to be a splendid woman of excellence, and my eyes fill when I see the virtues in your heart. Your eyes......don't change them. Your lips-how lovely when they part in prayer. Your nose, so perfect in form. Your hands so gentle to touch. I've caressed your face in your deepest sleep. I've held your heart close to mine.

Of all that lives and breathes, you are most like me. Adam walked with me in the cool of the day, yet he was lonely. He could not see me or touch me. He could only feel me. So everything I wanted Adam to share and experience with me, I fashioned in you; my holiness, my strength, my purity, my love, my protection and support.

You are special because you are an extension of me. Man represents my image, woman my emotions. Together, you represent the totality of God. So man...treat woman well. Love her, respect her, for she is fragile.

May God richly bless you during the coming year. Happy New Year!

Celeste
 


Basic Differences in Men and Women

In our first article several weeks ago we talked about God creating woman, (Eve) a designer original, very different from the man, Adam. We will proceed to show just how very different she is!!

Though many traditional social differences between men and women have been erased, scientific evidence indicates that there are still a substantial number of differences between the way men's and women's brains and nervous systems function. Evidence from recent brain research reveals that some behavioral differences are based on differences in brain functioning that are biologically inherent and unlikely to be changed by cultural factors alone. In spite of the fact that society has been trying to establish the fact that they are mostly cultural and have been trying to reverse the roles, the fact that men and women DO differ biologically, cognitively and behaviorally is indisputable.
I have studied this topic for many years and have made quite a collections of
articles from magazines, books and newspapers. They all come to the same conclusion - men and women ARE different.

We'll explore this topic for the next few months and show some of the comparisons and examples of them. It is too lengthy to try to exhaust in one or two
articles.

These differences are detected even in babies:

Female babies:

  • More sensitive to certain types of sounds

  • Easily startled by loud noises

  • Increased skin sensitivity, esp. in fingertips

  • More proficient at fine motor performance

  • More attentive to social contexts - faces, speech patterns, subtle vocal cues

  • Can distinguish photographs of familiar people by 5 mo.

  • Speak sooner - exceed boys in language abilities.

Male babies:

  • Early visual superiority

  • Better total body coordination

  • React to inanimate objects same as people

  • More curious - explore environment

  • Better at manipulating 3-dimensional space

  • More susceptible to childhood diseases

  • More likely to stutter and be color blind

We will explore various physical (biological) and emotional (mental, psychological) differences. This will encompass the difference in needs and expectations of each sex. Some are great eye-openers.

Let me just give you one quotation which I was so delighted to find because it confirms the same things I had been saying and teaching for years. Gary Smalley made this statement in one of his books which points out how important it is that we understand each others' differences.

"Men and women lack understanding about the general differences between men and women. I would venture to say that most marital difficulties center around one fact - men and women are TOTALLY different. The differences (emotional, mental and physical) are so extreme that without concentrated effort to understand them, it is nearly impossible to have a happy marriage."

May I recommend a couple of books which deal with this subject:

His Needs, Her Needs by Harley
If He Only Knew and also If She Only Knew by Gary Smalley

Let me know if you are interested in this study. It could be very helpful. Even if we know all these things, we need to be reminded sometimes.

Basic Differences in Men and Women (Part II)

We noted last month that basic differences between men and women begin in infanthood, and continue for a lifetime. We compared some of these differences.

I included a quote from Gary Smalley which I would like to repeat for the benefit of anyone who did not see last month's article. The reason for repetition is that I think it is of utmost importance. I have felt this was true and taught it for years before I came across this quotation that helped to confirm it.

"Men and women lack understanding about the general differences between men and women. I would venture to say that most marital difficulties center around one fact - men and women are TOTALLY different. The differences (emotional, mental and physical) are so extreme that without a concentrated effort to understand them, it is nearly impossible to have a happy marriage."

I would venture to go a bit farther. This does not only apply to married couples but to any man/woman situation - father-daughter, mother-son, brother-sister, male employer-female employee or vice-versa, male teacher-female student or vice-versa. Once we understand these differences it can make a world of difference in all of our interpersonal relationships.

Let's look at some of the physical or biological differences. Of course all of us know men and women are different but look at what Dr. Paul Popenoe of the American Institute of Family Relations says:

(Please remember that these statistics are generalized. They do not apply in every situation. You can find an abnormally strong female and a very weak male.

Women have a greater constitutional vitality due to her chromosome makeup. She outlives the male by 3-4 years in the United States.

A woman's metabolism is generally lower than man's. They differ in skeletal structure: she has a shorter head, broader face, less protruding chin, shorter legs, a longer trunk. The woman also has larger kidneys, liver, stomach [they could have
omitted that], and appendix along with smaller lungs.

A woman's body has several unique and important functions such as menstruation, pregnancy, lactation, and numerous different hormones. A woman's thyroid is larger and more active. It enlarges during pregnancy and menstruation; makes women more prone to goiter, provides resistance to cold; is associated with her smooth-skinned relatively hairless body and thick layer of subcutaneous fat.

A woman's body contains more water and 20% fewer red cells. Since red cells supply oxygen, women tire more easily and more prone to faint.

A man possesses 50% more brute strength than a women - 40% of man's body is muscle, only 23% of woman's. Her heart beats more rapidly -80 beats per minute - 72 for men. Her blood pressure is 10 points lower - less tendency to high blood pressure until after menopause. She has lower breathing power and withstands high temperatures better.

Now, before you start citing exceptions, remember I said these are generalities. Not every one applies to every man or woman. But I found them very interesting.

The most interesting and pertinent part of this whole study is in the area of mental and emotional differences and the differences in needs. They will have to be reserved for the next article, but wanted to lay down this background material first. Just to give you a sample of what is to come: Men are more logical, women intuitive; men rational, women emotional; men objective, women subjective; men concerned with fact, women with feelings etc.

Looking forward to hearing from some of you. Celeste

Basic Differences in Men and Women (Part III)

Last month we referred at great length to the physical differences between men and women. Perhaps you already knew a lot of that but I'm sure some were surprising. This month we want to look at the mental differences. Remember that these are generalities and there are always exceptions

Most men would say that men are logical and women illogical. In one aspect that is true, men are logical while women are intuitive. Personally I think women are as logical as men but we have a feminine logic that defies the male understanding. Men and women can arrive at the same conclusion as he reasons it out and she gets there quicker by intuition. Have you experienced that?

Women catch subliminal messages faster and more accurately than men. Someone compared this to a butterfly and a buffalo. If we tie a pebble to the wing a butterfly can't fly but will die but the buffalo doesn't feel it. While she is sensitive and quick, he is tough and strong.

Just a word of caution to you men, should you be reading this page, pay attention to your wife's intuitive feelings. One man got into a business investment deal, the wife was very uneasy about it, so he backed out. All the investors were later indicted by government. Sometimes she can't give a good reason but her intuitions usually are accurate. If she tells you some woman has her eye on you, believe her and be careful. Women can read other women like a book while men seem to have blinders on.

Men think with their head, women with their heart. A man says "I think", the woman says "I feel". While he is more rational, she is more emotional. Realizing that this is true, while I think women can do most anything men can do and sometimes do it better, I think one of the most difficult jobs a woman could undertake would be that of judge. It would be very hard for a woman to make a decision based purely on the facts of the case, excluding our emotions.

One writer says women use both sides of their brain at once while a man works from one side or the other. That is why sometimes women can do two things at one time. Women are more flexible, while men are more brittle.

Men are more objective while women are more subjective. For example, if a couple sits down to dinner and the husband asks the question "Where did you get this meat?" What is her immediate reply? "Why? What's wrong with it!" Did that answer come to your mind? I have asked it many times in women's meetings and that is the unanimous first answer I receive. Later we will get into a little bit on communications and the six different messages that two people can hear. No wonder there are so many misunderstandings!

In order not to make this too long, we will divide this lengthy list up. These are more practical, pragmatic differences, but very real nonetheless. We will talk later about such subjects as the differences between men and women in regard to
facts and feelings, things and people, admiration and attention, sex and security.

There will be Biblical substantiation for the future differences. Hang in there and stay with us. Let me suggest another book if you are interested in this subject:  Men and Women - Enjoying the Difference by Dr. Larry Crabb.

Basic Differences in Men and Women (Part IV)

For the few lessons, we have looked at some of the various differences between men and women. Remember these are generalities and there are always exceptions. It does not apply to every man and woman. But it is so important to understand to see some of the reasons behind frequent misunderstandings and perhaps hurt feelings. Please don't feel I am trying to take the woman's part and place any blame on men. It's just that if we as women expect men to respond, to
think, to feel as we do, we have a long wait ahead. They are different!

One important area is in our perception. Men are inclined to see the overall picture. Women observe the details. They want to hear all the details and they want to tell all the details of any situation. Haven't you heard a man say often to a wife, "Just get to the point"! I feel sorry for the woman whose husband must go ahead of her to find a new home in a new city. When he returns and tells her he has found one, he has been careful to find out about the neighborhood, the schools, the construction of the home, etc. However, when she begins to question him about details, colors of carpets, closet space, cabinet space and counters in kitchen, traffic pattern etc. he may be hard put to give an accurate descriptions. These things are of lesser importance to him.

Men also focus more on the future while women focus on the here and now. While men react from a long range point of view, women tend to react to things in the immediate future. Perhaps they got a nice income tax refund and he has
already planned how they can invest it wisely, but she sees the need for a new refrigerator now, or something else needed in the home. Neither points of view are wrong nor one better than the other, but they are just different.

Men and women have very different needs and expectations in marriage. This is vividly pointed out in the book "His Needs Her Needs" by Willard F. Harley Jr., published by Revell. According to him the man's five most basic needs in marriage are:

1. Sexual fulfillment
2. Recreational companionship
3. An attractive spouse
4. Domestic support
5. Admiration

He lists the woman's five most basic needs in marriage as:

1. Affection
2. Conversation
3. Honesty and openness
4. Financial support (security)
5. Family commitment

I don't know that these would be the same ones I would list nor the order of importance. But let's just take the last one for men and the first one for women which I view as parallel.

Men need admiration (respect), women need affection (attention, love, etc.). Years ago my husband and I were called upon to do a Marriage Seminar. It would be a 3-hour session with me doing one with women, him with men, then we switch and I do one with men and he with women, and then he did a joint session. I was petrified. I never had spoken to a group of men. I went through the Scripture and jotted down (no computers in that day!) every reference that referred to wives and how they should treat husbands and then listed every reference on men and their relationship with their wives.

I found a page and a half of typed verses for women, only half a page for men. I decided we must need the instruction twice as much as they did. Only one word kept appearing on the men's page -"LOVE your wife" while the central thought on the women's pages was "OBEY, REVERENCE, RESPECT, SUBMIT TO" your husband. I can still see the shocked looks on the faces of young college women in my class on "The Christian Woman" when I told them that it was more important that they respect their husband or boyfriend than that they love him! God nowhere in Scripture tells a woman to love her husband. He tells us all to love one another. He tells older women to teach younger women HOW to love their husbands (Titus 2:2ff) Love grows from respect.

We as women need to learn how to feel and to express admiration. After being raised in a home where I was taught not to brag on things of mine, it has been difficult to brag on my husband in front of him and to other people. After 56 years I am still learning. But it is absolutely essential. It is more important to a man that his wife admires him than if everybody else does. No matter how much she may really admire and respect him, it must be voiced over and over again. Just the way we need to hear "I Love you", he needs to be hear us praise him. I knew this would get lengthy. This is also true concerning your children. Brag on them, in front of them. You may be amazed at the results!

Maybe this will give you something to chew on for a while. Meantime read Ephesians 5:17-33. To be the loving wife we should be we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Eph. 5 shows the results of a spirit-filled life. If you need help in this area, please see my husband's book How on Earth Can I Be Spiritual. It's great.

God bless each of you. Celeste

Basic Differences in Men and Women (Part V)

If you are on my husband's email list you will see we have been on the same subject these days. He is writing about marriage and the fact that men need admiration and women need attention. Sound familiar? If you would like to be on his email list and get his helpful exhortations three times a week, sign up by following this link.

Just writing this up sort of piece-meal monthly, I'm not sure if I am covering everything like I would if I were speaking. One very interesting difference that is easily seen and most of us realize is that men are interested in the overall picture and women remember the details. We may have touched briefly on this before.

How many times have you heard a husband relating a story and the wife interrupts him to correct some of the details. For instance, he says, "Last Friday about two o'clock..."and she says, "no, dear, it was Thursday and it was four o'clock". She is probably correct and may have won this skirmish but is losing the war. Men don' t want to be corrected by their wives, especially in the presence of others. Remember we are not his teacher to instruct him. The details usually don't make that much difference to a story anyway. But I know sometimes the corrections just jump out of our mouths before we can stop them.

This is so easy for us to do because we do remember the details better. One time we were in Hawaii and my high school age daughter was with us and had heard me speak to a group of women about marriage at a camp in Maui. That evening we were having dinner with some folks and my husband was telling some story and I said something to correct the details and my daughter reached over and pinched my leg. She had just heard me say don't do that, and there I was doing it. We both began to laugh. At least she had caught the message.

Remember, as I have said before, we are speaking in generalities and there are always exceptions. As a rule, men are more goal-oriented while women are more relationship oriented. Men are concerned about things and getting the job done, while we are more concerned about people and their feelings. Sometimes we are the buffer between our children and our husband or other members of the family and him. "Dad is not angry at you. He had a hard day today".

Have you ever had someone call on the phone just when you were ready to go someplace and your husband was already in the car and honking the horn. It is difficult to get off the phone without a few minutes of conversation. We don't want to hurt their feelings by being in a rush.

I am in no way putting men down by these remarks, they do not intend to be rude, but their motivation is just different - accomplishing a goal, getting something done. When your family travels, is he willing to stop to see Aunt Sue who is just a few miles out of the way, or is he intent on just getting to your destination?

We will try to wind up this topic next month with the differences about sex and security and sight and touch. Until then, may the Lord bless each of you.

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