Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Casually Feminine: The Mouth

Boy is this a big topic. Hee Hee. I really mean it. The Bible talks A LOT about the mouth. Oh there are many, many things to say.

But we are looking at "the mouth" in light of being casually feminine. And if I may say so, I don't think that what comes out of our mouth needs to be taken lightly. Therefore, there isn't much "casual" to this part of femininity.

When I think of casual speech, I think of sloppy, slang, joking around, even cussing. All things that a lady should not be doing. We had a visiting family at our church a few years ago when I was teaching Sweetheart's class. At the end of class the mom came in to pick up her little girl. She was really a pretty lady. That was really the first thing I noticed was how pretty she was.

And then she opened her mouth. She was impatient, snappy, and even just downright rude to her little girl. I figured maybe she was having a bad day. You never know what her morning had been like. But I will never forget how quickly the image of "pretty lady" was completely and totally CRUSHED.

So what we say and how we say it really do matter. These verses should give us a clue about our speech:

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. Ephesians 5:3-4

I grew up in a very sarcastic family. It took me a few errors before I figured out that not everyone appreciates a good sarcastic remark. My blunt joking was unappreciated by some, to say the least. Note to self: pass on this information to daughters.

Obscenity is never feminine. A woman who cusses like a sailor is not lovely to behold. Foolish talk---well, I think gossiping falls under that. It is not how the Lord would have us to act. Instead, our mouths should be used for thanksgiving. A woman with a thankful attitude is lovely in every way. Even if physically she isn't much to look at.

Now, let's discuss volume. I have consciously worked on this one in the 17 years we have been married. I used to be LOUD. In high school I thought the louder I joked and made everyone laugh, the better. My husband is a quiet person and cherishes a quiet environment. I know there were times I embarrassed him early on in our marriage just because I was talking or laughing loudly in a room full of people. I was flabbergasted! But in my more mature years, I have noticed that women who speak quietly are truly lovely to be around. I am more and more turned off by loud and obnoxious. I'm not talking about turning into one of those people that you have to lip read to follow their conversation.....just about not being the one who is always LOUD.

I don't think we can leave this topic without discussing the physical problems with the mouth.

1. A lady does not talk with food in her mouth. I am STILL trying to teach this one to my children. WHEN will they learn? I have intended to put a mirror in the dining room for quite some time now so they can see their loveliness in action. Also, a lady closes her mouth when she chews. Still working on that one too.

2. Good breath/bad breath. Here's one advantage of being quieter. If you do have bad breath and are unaware, you will be sharing it with fewer people.

3. And while you would think gum might be the answer to number 2....I have noticed more and more lately that chewing gum is not always lovely. Oh I think there is a time and place for it, but I have noticed women chewing gum when they are giving an announcement in a group, talking to a lot of people, just about anywhere! I think that chewing gum just anywhere you are is being a bit TOO casual. I used to chew gum a lot, but I think it's more a thing for very casual settings now. Just something I've been noticing lately.

4. Lipstick is not always the answer. My roommates in college, and they would not mind me sharing these stories with you, were big on lipstick. When L was student teaching, she always made sure to touch up her lipstick throughout the day. She was convinced she looked more professional with it on and freshly done. Before she left, one of the little girls in the class wrote, "Thank you for teaching us Mrs. J. You always have nice lipstick." She was ecstatic!

BUT, my other roommate K went by the same theory in childbirth. She ended up having a c section but she touched up her lipstick before wheeling off to surgery. She was determined to look good in the hospital pictures. When she got them back, here was her pale face with BRIGHT CORAL LIPSTICK emanating from every picture. It was hilarious. I think, being women who prefer a more casually feminine look, that chap stick or lip gloss might be our best friend. I wear lipstick to church. Other than that, it's just Vaseline or whatever.

5. Do I even need to tell you about how it looks for a woman to have a cigarette hanging out of her mouth?

Like I said, many things to talk about here. What matters most is what the Bible has to say about it. The other things require a mirror and becoming a people watcher. If it doesn't look lovely on anyone else you see, it probably isn't a very lovely or feminine thing at all.

Do you think our more casual dress and more casual (about everything) society has affected the way we speak/chew/talk etc?


  1. You left no stone unturned, Brenda. This was great!

    I used to be a lipstick girl, too. Red, no less! Gave that habit up years ago because I found that when I needed to dress up, I didn't look much different than I did every other day because I was always so made up.

    And it was far too much work.

    I have a sarcastic daughter. I have tried to teach her that such speech is not godly. Thankfully she seems to be getting the message.

  2. Uh oh...the mouth? Really? Ok, I posted mine. LOL.

  3. Yes, I'm with Terry. You hit it all.

    I'll post soon, Lord willing. :)

  4. I am bad with slang! Growing up in an ethnic family there are a lot of slang words we use to describe ourselves, other people and circumstances.

    I also suffer from quiet sarcasm.

  5. Whoa Brenda! You really hit it all, and I've been convicted! I too grew up in a sarcastic-ish family. Once while my husband and I were dating I called him, jokingly of course, a jerk. That's sort of a term of endearment in my family, we're all jerks to one another. I never thought anything of it, until my husband looked at me and said ever so seriously "what did you call me??" Yikes....I had to explain that in my family a jerk is a well loved person and just a joke and what not, but he explained that in his family a jerk was a niceness intended......needless to say, I had to work very hard on changing my speech and still creeps up but I'm reminded of this verse in Ephesian often:

    'Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification, according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.' Ephesians 4:29

    Thanks for yet another great post Brenda!

  6. Ok, so sarcasm isn't ladylike. I need to work on it. Great post! I didn't mention manners at all, so I'm glad you did! :0) What's our topic for next week??

  7. I have no clue. You pick. :) Or we can make Karly pick since SHE'S LAST!! :) (What? LIke she has a baby or something.) ;)

  8. Is that sarcasm I hear in your voice, Brenda? :)

    I had an incredible headache yesterday, with fever, so I was down for the count. As much as I am able to be with the kids running around like crazy. :) Hmmmm... I'll think about the topic and let you know.

  9. Of course it was. You know it was. See? I refrained from saying, "What, me, sarcastic???"" :)

  10. Bummer. I make a post about the mouth, and guess what I struggle with this week? Yep. Last night I was talking with three awesome women, one is a very good friend that I also happen to go to church with, another goes to my church, and then one was my friends mom. I said something just to have my friends mom say "hey, watch your mouth" in front of everyone. My friend is 35 so her mom is a lot older than that so coming from her I didn't mind I was just embarrased, especially since I'd just posted about this!

  11. I love that you do this each week! Very fun. Are you familiar with Debi Pearl, and Created to Be His Helpmeet? In one chapter she talks about this woman who laughed and smiled and was full of friendly chatter at her business, and how attracted the men were to her (even though Debi said she was not the most attractive of women). Then Debi and her husband saw this woman out of her work environment, and she was snapping at her children and frowning, and Debi's husband did not recognize the woman. That's what your post today brought to my mind. How much what comes out of our mouths effects how we're perceived by others. Thank you! :)


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)