When it comes to etiquette it can be hard to gage what is unnecessary and out of date, versus what is timeless, important and still elicits people's favor.
We all want to feel more ladylike. But we want it to be in a way that fits well with our life and responsibilities- not something that feels out of place, like wearing a hoop-skirt to a cocktail party.
I want to offer you three traits of ladylike behavior that never go out of style:
1. A joyful and kind heart
Please don't gloss over this point because it really is the most important one. The most beautiful, attractive, and timeless trait in a person is kindness. When people care and are mindful of us, we notice. We also notice when someone is just thinking about them-self. Unfortunately, that is the norm in most relationships today. Selfishness, self-absorbion and abrasive behavior are an absolute pandemic in our culture right now.
But because of that, nothing stands out and shines brighter than someone who is KIND, and looking to be a blessing to others. A kind smile, an encouraging word, bending down to interact playfully and kindly with a tiny person- these little gestures stand out like a rose growing out of a thorny bush.
Kindness is an outward flowing of a deeper reality; a peace and gentleness of the heart. If you're spending time with God daily, praying honest prayers, and taking the time to soak up his word into your heart- there is no way you can miss this fruit of his spirit!
"But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control."
What in the world is more ladylike than that?
2. Carrying yourself confidently
Standing up tall and confidently, speaking with a loud voice, looking into people's eyes, being able to carry a conversation with people of different ages, backgrounds and beliefs; these behaviors mark confidence. But these are things we must work at. Often the best attributes about us are not things that just happen naturally, they must be cultivated.
And remember, the greatest work will come from the inside out as you seek Jesus to make you new and empower you to live a purposeful life.
3. Cleanliness and order in your life
A cornerstone of ladylike behavior includes a lightness and a freeness to notice what matters. There is breathing room and space. There is order.
The opposite of this is someone who is overrun with busyness, haggardness, overwhelmed and has no neatness of person. This might sound harsh considering that many women ARE completely overwhelmed with life responsibilities. This is not to say that the VALUE of this person is any less. We are each dearly beloved children of God no matter what our circumstances, or how clean our house is. (Thank God he does not judge us as the world does!)
But, we would do ourselves well to focus only on what matters and cut out the rest. Simplfying our lives and possessions can lead to so much freedom, and so much more space in our lives to keep things (and ourselves) clean and orderly. This is a true trademark of a ladylike demeanor. Simplify, focus on what matters, and do it WELL.
I hope these points have helped to spark inspiration in your own journey to a more meaningful, peaceful and joyful life!