Charm is deceitful and beauty fades; but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised.Proverbs 31:30
What do you consider elegant? Most likely, the first thing that came to your head was regarding clothing, and yes, an elegant person shows that virtue in what they wear. But a well-dressed person isn’t necessarily an elegant person, and I will tell you why. Elegance goes far beyond clothing. It has much more to do with the construction of our character and, therefore, the externalization of what has taken a special place in our hearts.
Elegance is in the details, subtle, but never unnoticed—the art of knowing how to choose the right words, our deportment, tact, decorum, courtesy. Elegance consists of cultivating and demonstrating high personal values.
Want to be elegant? Strive for elegance!
Often we go around withdrawn, depreciating ourselves, feeling inferior, incapable, our slumped shoulders and low heads reflecting our interior feelings. How can we attain that elegant bearing we admire? By cultivating it.
Our increasingly liberal society no longer seeks to motivate people to cultivate good character traits and upstanding principles. The message of the day is: “This is just how I am. I was born this way. I have to love myself as I am. If you don’t like it, leave.”
But we need to know better and reach further. If we lack something in our character, we need to ask God for wisdom to develop it. We often feel inferior because we really are. We don’t put in the work to improve ourselves, to renounce our bad traits and mold a Christ-like character through His grace. Our human nature doesn’t have many admirable attributes. It’s up to us to put in the work for self-improvement.
Fundamentals of an elegant character
The basis of elegance was described in Galatians 5:22-23, a passage better known as “the fruit of the spirit”. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are the characteristics that, when cultivated, produce changes from the inside out.
It’s impossible to reflect the image of Christ and walk downcast. The woman who follows in Jesus’ footsteps walks through life with her shoulders back, her head held high, and her eyes confident. She has discovered her value in Christ, and she reflects His image in the lives of those around her. She doesn’t trust in herself but puts her trust in the merits of Him who, in delivering us from Egypt and from the bondage of sin, has allowed us to “walk with our heads held high” (Leviticus 26:13).
Elegance takes work
Elegance reaches beyond looks; in fact, for it to be seen and noticed, hard work needs to be done within us. If you want to be an elegant woman, know that you will need to decide to live a life different from what the world encourages—a noble and just life. An elegant woman is fully convicted of her principles, and her values are non-negotiable. She lives what she preaches, she has her identity formed, and that’s why she conquers a position of credibility in society.
Elegance is only genuinely achieved when we place Christ first in our hearts. “True refinement will never be revealed so long as self is considered as the supreme object. Love must dwell in the heart. A thoroughgoing Christian draws his motives of action from his deep heart love for his Master. Up through the roots of his affection for Christ springs an unselfish interest in his brethren. Love imparts to its possessor grace, propriety, and comeliness of deportment. It illuminates the countenance and subdues the voice; it refines and elevates the whole being.” The Ministry of Healing, 490