I realized the weight of this verse at the Marine Corps Ball this past October. My husband and I are what you might call, voluntary wall flowers at dances. We would rather sit on the sidelines and make clever conversation than get wasted with the rest of the party and dance like drunken monkeys… Theatre is one of our greatest shared passions, and with our history of performing on stage, some of our friends and family members don’t necessarily understand how that need for a spotlight just goes away. I tell them it’s because we only do choreographed dance for paying audiences… Anyway, our wall flower status causes us to shy away from social situations in which we would feel out of place, i.e. a formal ball with an open bar. However, my husband’s attendance was made mandatory so we went despite our not really wanting to.
I had had a feeling that we would, in fact, be going, so I worked up a few alterations on a formal I already owned (see? I’m thrifty!) and my husband got his dress blues cleaned and prepped. The night of the ball came, and we found our way to the convention center at which it was held. By the time we got there, the bar had been open for about an hour. And while I see no problem with consumption of alcoholic beverages in responsible moderation, it was plain to see that most people there were already pushing that limit. I myself had a giant “Happy Birthday Marine Corps” stamp on my wrist denoting that I was underage, so alcohol wasn’t really an issue for me.
Anyway, as we walked through the lobby toward the ball room where the tables were set up for the dinner, I noticed that aside from a few of the other women in my husbands unit and the wives of the higher ranked marines, the formality I had assumed was a part of the ball wasn’t actually there and rather, seemed to be a contest to see which single marine could bring the most inappropriately dressed date. Myself and some of the other wives found it both inappropriate, yet amusing and had a good chuckle over the whole thing. But I tell you what, that verse from Proverbs was never more clear than when I looked around that ball room and saw some truly beautiful women using some of the coarsest language I have ever heard. I knew then that being opinionated and just flat out rude were two totally different things, and there’s no place for a potty-mouthed woman in my marriage. I noticed that you could put a beautiful woman in a gorgeous dress, but that doesn’t matter if she is without grace and dignity. I was reminded of a passage in Hebrews:
“Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word,
they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the
purity and reverence of your lives.
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.
Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which is of great worth in God’s sight.” Hebrews 3:1-4
Women today forget to value themselves as daughters of God and instead have little self-respect or dignity which causes them to do things that the world values. (wear trashy dresses, gallons of make-up, even plastic surgery) I honestly felt sorry for those women! And as my sober husband (he did have a beer, but I’m proud to say, is intelligent enough to show moderation) walked me out to our car after the dinner and ceremony were over, I felt like the most beautiful woman at the ball! Not because my dress and hair and make-up were perfect (although, not to brag, I think I did a nice job 😉 ) but because I knew that my husband valued me. I knew that when we got back in the car and headed home, I could belt out the most obnoxious car singing of my life and he would think it was cute! And though the lace at the hem of my dress had started to fall off, he loved that I sewed it myself, because let’s face it, guys appreciate low maintenance women. And when we got home and I took off my make up, slopped my hair up in a ponytail, and put on my yoga pants, he found me more beautiful at that moment than at the ball. And that feeling of being WORTH something without all the bling and hairspray is what I’m convinced a Proverbs 31 woman is all about.