Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Blessings of Etiquette

"Righteousness exalts a nation,
      But sin is a reproach to any people.
       The king’s favor is toward a wise servant,
      But his wrath is against him who causes shame."
Proverbs 14:34-35

Today I had a lovely visit with my Grandmother.  The boys and I made the trip south for a nice luncheon and afternoon visit before heading home again.  We are never at a loss of topics to be discussed, but today one thing really caught my attention.  My Grandmother's love of etiquette.  We live in an age where most people have not heard the word let alone know it's meaning.  Table manners, hand written Thank You cards, and elegant conversation are a thing of the past.  My Grandmother remembers the days when etiquette was taken seriously and appreciated by good society.

Etiquette (n.):  the conduct or procedure required by good breeding or prescribed by authority to be observed in social or official life ~Merriam-Webster

My mother learned proper etiquette from my Grandmother, but did not enforce it with my siblings or myself.  There are things that I have learned from experience...such as the proper way to ladle soup into your spoon at a formal dinner.  But alas, there are things that I am missing.  I have endeavored to undertake etiquette training for myself and add this to our already exuberant curriculum.

Who else to go to for this massive undertaking?  Emily Post of course!  She is the author of the most popular book on manners that has ever been written.  The very name Emily Post is synonymous with etiquette!  But there is more to excellent manners than just good breeding.  Emily post says this very well,

"Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use."
~Emily Post

Etiquette for those that love the Lord is another way to practice servant hood.  Being aware of others around you and caring for them the way Yeshua commands in His word,

"Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’  This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
Matthew 22:37-39

Now, I can hear the groaning already...but etiquette is so old fashioned...  Well, to each his own.  I personally love old things and the old ways of life!  I enjoy reading literature where there are strict rules to society, where even the slightest sniffle indicates that one should remain at home so as not to contaminate the atmosphere of someone else's domain.  I enjoy the thought of profitably spending time learning how to make others around me more comfortable with the help and grace of our Lord.

There are many women that have chosen to reawaken the role that God planned for the fairer sex.  They are choosing to defy culture norms and embrace Scripture.  Think of what etiquette can do to help strengthen the role of Biblical Womanhood and the Stay At Home Daughter!  How exciting to find a way to help promote a culture revolution...right in your own home!

The Old Testament is full of wonderful resources on etiquette for believers.  I am a firm believer that Jehovah, Creator and King of the Universe, did not allow one jot or tittle in His Word that did not have significant meaning.  You will find everything from what to eat to cleanliness.  For the believer, the Bible is the best place to start.  Then, I would recommend Emily Post's book, "Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics and at Home." 

As I mentioned before, this is an excellent topic to add to any curriculum.  Teaching your children the blessings of etiquette and teaching them how to respect those around them is an incredibly invaluable tool! 

"Remove from me reproach and contempt,
         For I have kept Your testimonies.
 Princes also sit and speak against me,
         But Your servant meditates on Your statutes.
  Your testimonies also are my delight
         And my counselors."
Psalm 119:22-24

My Grandmother, an elegant and refined lady.


Abundantly Blessed said...

I agree with you!! =)

Your grandmother is a very beautiful woman!!


Mar'ah said...

Thank you so much for stopping by! :)

Muthering Heights said...

Etiquette truly is a lost art!

Mar'ah said...

I agree with you, it truly is a lost art. I am so excited that there are others out there who are willing to see that etiquette is still beautiful...even the word itself is beautiful simply written out. :)

laughwithusblog said...

I'd like to think I am teaching the kids manners and etiquette, but I'm sure it doesn't compare to that of your grandmother!

Mar'ah said...

Oh my goodness, I understand! Everytime we visit my Grandmother I learn something new...something I thought I had a firm grasp of understanding on. I really wish she had put all of this together in a book or kept a journal.