As I continue with the Invest series on discipleship, the next quality in Titus 2:3-5 that the aged women are to teach the younger women to be discreet. As we disciple women, we are to teach them to be self-controlled, to be careful and circumspect, prudent, and inconspicuous.
I found that last synonym interesting because Paul says in Titus 2:1 “speak thou the things which become sound doctrine”. The word “become” in that verse means: to be conspicuous, or stand out. Sound doctrine should be conspicuous, not us.
3 areas of discretion to focus on: Speech, Dress, and the Flesh.
Speech– Because she’s sensitive to the Holy Spirit, the discreet woman knows when to speak truth in love, and when to stay quiet and just listen. Ecclesiastes 3:7 says there’s a time to keep silence, and a time to speak, and the discreet woman will know the difference. We need to use discretion with every conversation we have.
Sometimes we are just too quick to give our opinion on a matter, or to tell someone how they should fix their problems. A discreet woman will prayerfully consider the right timing and follow the Spirit’s leading when giving counsel.
Some examples of a woman without discretion:
The know-it-all- She’s been there, done that, fixed that, got that, learned that, or knows someone who has. There’s not a topic that she can’t pipe in on. God delights in a teachable spirit, not a know-it-all spirit. We have to be teachable in order to keep growing. We need to be humble to be discreet.
The opinionated woman– she’s very quick to share how she feels and what she thinks is true and right. I know a woman who is very headstrong, a type-A personality who is very opinionated about politics and women’s rights. Her opinion is the only one. You dare not enter into a conversation with her because you’re just asking for a heated debate if you disagree. Discretion is being moderate as to our opinions and passions, so just because we think or feel strongly about a matter doesn’t mean we should necessarily share those thoughts or feelings.
Then there’s the tell-it-all woman- She spills every detail of her life, or she can be a gossiper and share everything she knows of everyone else’s life.
In the heart of all of these women is pride. They want to be seen as mature and intelligent, confident and capable, someone who can handle anything, known and understood, and “in the know”. But God hates pride. Proverbs 8:13~ The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
Proverbs has a lot to say on the topic of having self-control with our tongue. Proverbs 29:11, Proverbs 10:19, Proverbs 11:13, and Proverbs 18:8 are all great verses to memorize to help cultivate discreet speech.
When my youngest was little and would say words he shouldn’t or call his siblings names I would tell him that God gave him his mouth to glorify Him and to kiss his Momma, so he needed to think before he spoke and make sure what was coming out of his mouth fit those guidelines.
The next key area we need to be discreet in is:
Dress– Being discreet women in our dress would mean wearing clothes that don’t draw attention to the curves or make your body stand out as an object of lust and cause someone to stumble. Just because you can wear those tight clothes or low-cut tops doesn’t mean that you should.
Men are visual creatures and when women dress to draw attention to themselves whether purposefully or subconsciously, they’re going to get that attention. They could cause the men in the church to be distracted or drawn away from their own wives and carried away with their imaginations and fall into lust or extramarital affairs. Some women say “men should just have better self-control, I like dressing that way and he should just keep his eyes to himself. I’m not changing how I dress, modesty is old-fashioned and out-dated.” That thinking is flawed, immature, and prideful.
~Romans 14:13~ Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.
1Timothy 2:9-10 says that women should wear modest apparel, be reverent and sober, adorned with good works. 1Peter 3-4 says the same thing. We need to control our desire to put all our effort into our outward adornment, and focus our attention on cultivating the inner adornment of a meek and quiet spirit.
This is of course counter-cultural. Society today will tell you, “if you got it, flaunt it!” But as Christian women we are called to glorify God and make the gospel stand out, not our bodies.
The third area we need to be discreet in is:
Flesh– Walking in the Spirit, denying the impulses and desires of the flesh to rule us. Some of those desires may be to overeat, overspend, overrule, over exaggerate, oversleep, or overwork. Proverbs 27:20 says that Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied. Our flesh is never satisfied!
Like Eve in the garden, she saw all of the provision of paradise, but fell to the temptation to overstep the bounds of God’s word. She had a longing to know more, have more, and be more. But instead of resting on truth and finding fulfillment in her relationship as a daughter of the Creator of all things, she consumed more than she should have and brought the world down with her.
We have to use discretion when we’re tempted with those lusts of the eyes, the flesh, and the pride of life. We have to be satisfied with what the Lord says we can know, have, and be, because he is our Authority. We gave up all rights to lead our own life when we bowed the knee to Jesus Christ as Lord.
We belong to him and he wants us to be more like him, and we do that by denying our flesh and relying on the Spirit of God to remake us from the inside out. And just like Eve’s choice had consequences that affect us today, our choices affect those around us:
Going into debt may hinder you from being able to give to your local church, to a missionary, or go on a mission trip. Sleeping late may steal your bible time and hinder you from walking in the Spirit and investing in your family or disciples the way they need you to. Choosing to spend hours on social media instead of memorizing the word may hinder you from being able to be used by God to deliver a verse of encouragement. Overeating and being overweight may shorten your life span, affect your health, and hinder your ability to minister to the capacity and duration that God has planned for you to. Overstepping God’s bounds of purity and fornicating with your boyfriend could cost you ministry to a youth that desperately needs a godly big sister to follow.
Being discreet is putting to practice Paul’s words in 1Corinthians 6:12 and 1Corinthians 10:23. We have liberty, but just because we can do, say, or wear something, doesn’t mean that we should. We need to have that same mindset as the Apostle Paul that we will not be brought under the power of anything.
We need to be intentional to walk in the Spirit because that’s where our power comes from. If you feel like you’re not a discreet woman, be intentional to:
- Spend time with the Lord in prayer and in his word.
- Obey and apply the truth he reveals.
- Memorize a verse that applies to your personal lack of discretion.
- Meditate on it and speak it when you’re tempted to say something you shouldn’t, wear something inappropriate, or give into the lusts of your flesh.
- Feed your Spirit with praise music and sermons.
- Keep yourself surrounded by mature women who will keep you accountable.
God is looking for discreet and wise women who make a difference for His kingdom. He wants us to be fruitful and faithful followers of Christ who reproduce those kind of disciples who bring him glory. A discreet woman is discerning, disciplined over her flesh, diverting the attention from herself, determined to put the gospel on display. Let’s be discreet woman and teach other women to be the same!
~Proverbs 11:22~ As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.
If you would like to read more in this Invest series, go to the Biblical Discipleship Category on my home page! 🙂