Adorned Study 8
One spring day in my East Tennessee backyard, I took my grandsons out on our acre of property, with both excitement and kites in tow! We were going to fly their new kites for the first time! They were ecstatic! It had been many years since I had done this and I wondered if I could remember how to get this piece of plastic and string soaring into the air!
I held it up with the current, let out a little string and watched the kite lift for a minute, and then it began to jerk, bob and then take a dive downward where it crashed to the ground. I tried it all again, this time letting out more string so the wind could carry it upward. It soared. I handed the string over to my grandson. As he held it in his small hands, the string began to unwind further and further until it was totally unwound. The kite had lifted to the its full extent and was happily steady and flying smoothly! It stayed up there until we were ready to go inside!
Just a couple weeks after that fun event, I went through some typical struggles that all women experience in life. I was walking and praying one morning and the Lord brought to my mind the picture of that kite when it was bobbing and crashing to the ground. As my emotions engaged, this is exactly what I had allowed my mind to do. Rather than them being tethered to the string of truth, my thoughts were all over the place.
We’re all tempted to fall into that same kind of reaction when the winds of adversity blow or when a storm is descending upon us. But I’m thankful to know and learn that we don’t have to bob and crash! There is hope for us and we find it in God’s Word.
As we have been going through the Book, Adorned, we’ve learned through the study of Titus 2 that we are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, under control of our desires, teachers of sound doctrine. We’re to be using our lives to teach younger women. None of this can happen if we are out of control, if our lives reflect someone who looks like my out of control kite – happy one minute, depressed the next. Content and peaceful one day, screaming at God and everyone around us the next.
Titus 2 goes on to instruct us…
The older women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things,
that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,5 to be discreet,
In many modern translations, “be discreet” is translated, “self-controlled or sensible.” The Greek word is Sophron. It comes from two other Greek words – soos, meaning either sound or saved and phorn meaning outlook or mind. When we put the two together, it means to have a “sound mind.”
In chapter 3 of this study we learned about sophron – and we referenced it keeping us in control so we can be modeling for a younger woman a godly life, controlled by the Spirit of God. Sophron means “to be able to put on the brakes.” We are led by the Spirit to stop our words – to stop our attitude, to stop our wrong response. We put on the brakes.
Nancy says that a sophron lifestyle begins with a sophron state of mind – a way of thinking that affects everything about the way we live. We are what we think, so a sensile, sound, self-controlled mindset will result with a a sensible, sound, self-controlled life.
God’s Word is so practical for our everyday lives and this word shows us how to live out this sophron life – We must ask ourselves moment by moment, Is my thinking sophron? Were my words sophron? Is my response sophron?
There’s a spillover from not thinking sophron – our responses and appetites will lend themselves to excesses and addiction, as we talked about in the last lesson of this book.
How do we acquire this kind of sound thinking? Do we will it to happen? Titus 2:11-12 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
Remember my kite story? I had to let the wind have control over the kite. This is a beautiful picture of God’s Spirit controlling us when we just surrender to the Christ who lives in us. The Christ in us will always respond correctly.
Surrender – let Him have complete control. Be a woman with a sophron lifestyle – sound thinking that will control you, your thoughts and your responses. Your testimony as a godly woman will soar!
What do you struggle with most in regards to reining in your thoughts? You can go here to listen to the podcast on this chapter.