I was driving in to work late one morning after an early doctor appointment. A large, grungy pick-up truck pulled up to my left as I was stopped at a light about two miles away from the office. I’ve learned to resist the temptation to look over at the person in the car next to me so as to not incite any kind of unwanted attention.
As I kept my gaze fixed ahead something in the corner of my eye caught my attention — a brown, hulking figure slowly leaned forward in the front passenger window of that car next to me. Frustration and annoyance began to well up within in me as I had this “NO WAY am I getting hit on at a stop light two miles from work at 9:00 in the morning! Who do they think they are?” speech angrily racing through my head.
Completely peeved I turned to my left to offer my disapproving glare only to see a brown, hulking hound dog sitting in the front passenger seat eagerly looking out the window at me.
Enter, humility. No one was hitting on me. No one wanted to give me a compliment. No one was paying the slightest bit of attention to me. I had worked myself up over a scenario that didn’t even happen.
As girls, a part of us seeks attention from the opposite sex so we try to present ourselves as attractive. Another part of us gets offended when we either don’t get the attention we seek or when it comes from the wrong kind of person.
What do we do with the other parts? We develop:
Grace: Dictionary.com defines this as “a pleasing or attractive quality.” This doesn’t mean seeking out attention by wearing provocative clothes. Or having regular dates with the tanning bed. Or experimenting with hair dye, fake nails, piercings, vocabulary, attitudes, or anything else that you think the world defines as pleasing or attractive. Grace is a quality … an “air” about someone. Not something you put on for the day.
Elegance: Dictionary.com defines this as “Refinement, grace, and beauty in movement, appearance, or manners.” This has to do with how we present ourselves.
- We can be elegant in our movement by walking like a lady. I’m not suggesting you need to wear the high heels everyday, just carry yourself like the respectable young woman you are. Stand up tall with your shoulders back. Take smaller steps instead of long, gangly strides. Be confident. Look people in the eye when you greet them.
- We can be elegant in our appearance by taking everything in moderation — hair dye, lipstick, foundation, eye shadow, piercings — all of these things can get out of control quickly! None of them are bad, but use them in moderation and be tasteful.
- We can be elegant in our manners by actually implementing manners into your routine (no obnoxious burps, help clear the table after dinner, thank the hostess, take people’s coats from them when company comes to your house) speaking kindly of others instead of being the first one to verbally bash someone, and by being more complimentary of other people.
Maturity: This is probably the part of your being that you will spend the most time developing … and it lasts forever. Believe me! Girls have lots of emotions so it’s hard to learn to override them when you need to. Don’t let your emotions control you. If you find you are mad at your friend or family member, stop before reacting — there’s most likely a logical explanation for or solution to your dilemma. Look for this and then you will come across as a young woman developing maturity instead of a girl who needs to be petty. The same can be said about girls who seem to need attention — it’s possible to survive a day without a guy commenting on your looks or hurling a “Yeah!” out the window of his car while he’s driving next to you. Maturity is being able to look at a situation, assess it, and make a sound decision without a lot of unnecessary drama. Maybe you don’t get a compliment for a few days — it’s okay. You know your worth and you don’t need to change anything to go get that affirmation.
The combination of these three qualities will make you irresistible to the right kind of people. You will attract loyal friends and respectable guys as they realize your humility and your classiness.
Now back to the traffic light. After the light turned green I sped away from the grungy pick-up truck, swallowing my pride and allowing humility to wash over me. I’m not all that. I’m nothing without Jesus. I’m on a journey. God help me grow in grace, elegance, and maturity.