The Titus 2 mandate is a familiar passage to many of us. As Christian women begin to mature in age and wisdom, the lessons learned through life and growing in God can be a blessing to younger woman - as God directed.
Titus 2:3-5 "the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things, that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed."
Many time we are eager to share lessons learned on how to keep the house, love the husbands and children. But every now and again a phrase pops out that demands closer examination. "To be discreet" would be one of those phrases that make us stop and contemplate.
What exactly does being discreet mean?
- Is there a line between what is okay to talk about online and what is not okay?
- Where is that line?
- What does running from house to house look like in this modern age?
- Where is the line between venting and gossiping or tearing another person down?
- Do we really have a right to say whatever we want to say?
- How can we remind ourselves to practice discretion?
A formal definition of discreet is: Marked by, exercising, or showing prudence and wise self-restraint in speech and behavior; circumspect.
Discreet is a virtue that is reflected through our words, actions and attitudes. It speaks (loudly) about what we are really made of!
When we are online we tend to exercise a bit more freedom in our actions and words. Since we are not face to face, it is easier to say things that we may not ordinarily say. Before we get online we should have a firm boundary in place for our conversations. Once we set that boundary, the rule should be to never cross it - period.
- A few off limit topics may include:
- Talking negatively about our spouse or children
- Talking negatively about anyone else
- Gossip or repeating things for others to see
- Sharing too much of your personal life
- Expressing your opinion without thought to other's feelings
- Communicating with the opposite sex
In our culture we may not run from house to house, but do we run from "blog to blog"? Blogging is a fantastic tool for giving and receiving encouragement. It is one thing to stop for a visit, read, glean from and put into practice what we learned. It is entirely different if we are spending hours on the computer visiting blogs and becoming personally attached to the circumstances and life of a blog so that our own duties are neglected. A good rule of thumb is to meet the needs of our home and family first. Blogging is a fun hobby, not an obsession!
Online it may be easier to vent some things that bother us. Again a good boundary should be in place to guide us and it may be to exercise the right to express our personal opinion without attacking or being personally critical of another person. If our comment tears down another person, it is probably out of line.
Do we have a right to say whatever we want to say? We have a right, but as Christians we are not led by what we "can" do, but if we follow biblical principles, we will not only look to our interests, but look to the interests (or good) of others. Here are a few verses from Proverbs which warn of being foolish by saying too much:
- Wisdom rests in the heart of him who has understanding, But what is in the heart of fools is made known.
- The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.
- A fool vents all his feelings, But a wise man holds them back.
To be discreet is not a place we arrive, but a day by day journey. Being discreet in our actions each moment is how this virtue is planted and developed in our hearts. It may be as simple as not giving the answer that first pops up in our minds, to not wearing that article of clothing even though we know we look good in it, to knowing who to talk to and what not to reveal about ourselves. Being discreet is a choice by choice process which begins with seeking the Lord and His wisdom to be revealed in all that we do. Following His leading will keep us discreet in all circumstances and allow us to be the Titus 2 woman we strive to be.
Discretion will preserve you; Understanding will keep you. Proverbs 2:11