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Archive for November 30th, 2017

Images on the TV’s cooking shows set the standard for your Thanksgiving Day centerpiece—a well-dressed, yummy turkey with all the stuffing. You’ve labored for hours chopping, basting, blending to make sure everything’s just right. You slide that buttered, spicy goodness into the oven and aromas you’ve longed to smell all year long soon fill your home, tantalizing and tingling your guests taste buds for the next few hours. Then the moment arrives when you place that browned-to-perfection, lusciousness in the center of your holiday table.

And you wait for the smiles and nods to confirm you’ve met the turkey standard again this year.

But how about that beautiful pre-teen treasure sitting across the table from you. That curly haired, sparkling-eyed image of you—who sets the standard for her presentation to the world each day—TV or movie personalities with necklines down to their belly-buttons and hemlines hoisted to their hips and not enough fabric in between to make a difference?

Just like the preparation of a fine dinner, you have only a few years to set the standard for your child’s presentation to the world, but we’ve become so over-burdened with the affairs of each day, this standard-setting principle falls by the wayside or is out-shouted by advertisements on what the well-dressed young lady shouldn’t wear.

I remember one such morning when our blonde haired, blue-eyed almost-teen daughter raced from her bedroom headed for the front door. Her hand was on the knob when I called, “Wait a minute, young lady. Where’s my hug?”

“Don’t have time this morning, Mom. School bus is here.” And she pulled the door open, without so much as a glance at me, and tried to step outside.

“Michelle…” One word, but she knew I meant STOP!

She turned around and if I hadn’t been so shocked I might have chuckled…might have, but didn’t.  “Get yourself to the bathroom and wash your face, young lady.”

“I’ll miss the bus,” she wailed.

“Then you’d best hurry.” I stood in the doorway like a traffic signal, pointing to the bathroom.

We had many of those mornings through high-school where a change of clothes or a face scrub was necessary before she was allowed to meet her world. But in each of those exchanges she learned about the standard. After all, she was leaving to sit in a building full of hormonal teens—all day. I was not about to allow her to be savored like that naked, browned turkey on my Thanksgiving platter.

The TV screams news of man after man these past few weeks whose moms never taught them about standards. And woman after woman whose moms never taught them about standards either. Women who clothe themselves with dresses too short on each end and stretched to contain no unrevealed detail underneath—walking invitations and temptresses and then they’re shocked when men desire to see, touch, and taste what they advertise. And they whine, I didn’t know what to do. Really? I’ve never met a female who didn’t know how to kick, scream and throw a wall-eyed fit. Or the I was afraid I’d lose my job excuse. Well, slap-me-up-side-my-head and call me stupid…you’d rather spend your days like that Thanksgiving turkey—waiting to be devoured? Do women ever think about turning off the neon-blinking lights and clothing themselves in modesty? Those who play that teasing game are bound to be caught—sooner rather than later.

So, who sets standards of behavior, dress, and appearance? Humanistic teachings have been taught in our public schools over the past forty years and have taught our children It’s okay  to do whatever you want to do, as long as you have a good reason for doing it. This is a direct quote from my children’s text books in elementary and middle school back in the late ‘80’s. And we wonder why teen pregnancies and abortions have soared? We are not animals as their science books teach. We are not required to act and react to every impulse that crosses our minds or our emotions. Those are fiery darts and lies from the enemy of our soul.

I can still hear my mom’s voice. “A girl sets the standard for a boy’s behavior, and her manner of dress establishes the boundaries she expects a young man to respect.” Mama’s words served me well when as a young secretary I worked in a law firm full of politically powerful men and my employer made suggestive comments. The old expression of nipping something in the bud applied. My dress was appropriate. My behavior pleasing to God. And I am eternally grateful for a mother who taught me I set the standard for how men treat me.

Are you teaching your daughters they are standard setters? If not, why not? Or are you a victim too?

 

“Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly…” (1 Timothy 2:9 NAS).

 

If the kitchen’s not to hot men, we’ll talk about the boys’ standard next week! Stay tuned.

 

 

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