Are You Up On Your Pedestal?
Fine character in a woman will stir deep feelings in a man. It may awaken love. It surely will let him know that he can trust you with his feelings, thoughts, and dreams.
Some Traits of Fine Character
It seems no other trait pertains to so many things as does self-control. You need this trait to be successful in many areas of your life. It helps you control your tongue, appetites, thoughts, money, emotions, time, and more. How do you gain self-control?
-Develop a sense of self-worth and a good self-image. This will give you the confidence you need to trust in your decisions. Remember that it is a feminine trait to vacillate. You need to trust yourself and your decisions.
-Doing without food for a period of time while you fast and pray will give you a head-start on gaining self-control. Fasting accompanied by prayer will also give you the spiritual strength you need to fight the battle with your will and win.
-Get in the habit of telling yourself “no” or doing something difficult in order to train your will every day. You can do something unpleasant, or eat something you don’t like, take on a hard job, go without something you usually allow yourself, put yourself on a time limit, or other such things.
-An important element of self-control is determination. Set your face like a flint and make up your mind that you are going to succeed. Don’t allow discouragement, hardships, or temporary setbacks to keep you from your goal. Make sure others don’t hinder you with side issues, time wasters, or discouraging talk. Keep your eye on the goal and stick with it.
It takes a fair amount of self-thought to gain self-control, but at the same time you have to be unselfish. This seems to be a contradiction. Self-love is what you need to take care of yourself and stick to your standards and goals. Unselfishness is giving part of yourself for the good of someone else. It does not mean you compromise your standards, but that you put the needs of someone else in the forefront even when it causes you some discomfort.
There are many of us who can be kind when it’s easy and costs us nothing, but for an act to be truly unselfish it must have an element of sacrifice on your part. You do not have to love the person you are caring for, but instead are moved to action because it is what you do when someone has a need – unselfishness is a principle you live by.
While unselfishness spurs us to action because of duty, charity causes us to act because of feeling. Charity is deep love for another regardless of race, social standing or religion – it is much like the love of our Father toward us. This kind of love awakens service toward others.
Your first duty as a wife and mother is to your family and home, but after these needs are met, you have a duty as a charitable woman to the outside world. There are many less fortunate or weaker than you that need your help.
There are three main parts to charity – compassion, understanding the need, and sacrifice. Compassion will cause you to see the worth and value of an individual. It’s what causes you to take notice of them in the first place. After you notice them, a wise person will get to the root of the situation and perceive the actual need. Meeting the need will most likely require some sort of personal sacrifice or discomfort. It may mean going the second mile. It will help you if you remember, service is almost never convenient.
As I have stated before, humility is not false modesty that comes from denying you have talents or gifts of some sort. A humble person knows they have these things, but also knows how to use them, appreciate them and appreciate the talent in others. You are not arrogant or proud about your gifts, but instead are thankful and appreciative of them, and desire to use them in the best way. A humble person is free from a feeling of superiority over others and is aware of their own shortcomings.
It is all too easy to let things like riches, money and possessions, knowledge and learning, good looks and figure, character traits, and social standing become sources of pride. If you notice yourself looking down at others or becoming critical of those not as fortunate as you in some area, then pride is rearing its ugly head. Yes, you may have a gift someone else does not have, but you have your own areas of lack, too.
Keep things in perspective. No one is so wonderful and marvelous that they have no need of humility. Humility is essential to a person of high character.
Responsibility is the trait of getting a job done that has been entrusted to you, and doing the job right, to the best of your ability, and having it done on time. This trait is especially needed when you have no one looking over your shoulder to make sure the job gets done.
This is what so many wives of today are lacking – a sense of responsibility for the work they do in their homes and for their families. You don’t have a time clock to punch or a manager coming by to check on you to make sure the job is getting done. Without this outside pressure, many of us just don’t do as good of a job at home as we would do somewhere else. What’s missing? That trait of responsibility.
Even when parts of your work are done by others, such as with daycare or hiring a housekeeper, your responsibility to see the job gets done is still yours. The children and the house are still yours to look after, and it is a serious flaw to tack a lax attitude about your responsibilities.
Diligence is closely related to responsibility, in my opinion. Responsibility lets you know that you have important work to take care of, and diligence sees the job through to the end. It gives you the stick-to-it-ivness you need to keep going when you want to quit.
Patience is the trait of waiting for the right timing. Patience means you have a large amount of forbearance. You tolerate things with a good attitude. You put up with inconveniences, delays, mishaps, and the many interruptions life hands us with a good attitude.
You need patience when you deal with other people. Your own home is an excellent incubator in which to grow patience. Children must have a sense of responsibility in the area of seeing to it their parents grow in this area. Husbands and wives need patience when learning to get along with each other.
It also takes patience to develop character qualities you are lacking. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you fail, but keep at it. Take the same attitude when learning a new skill or subject.
Can you stand your ground when faced with criticism, humiliation, gossip, personal loss, or even bodily harm? If so, then you have the trait of moral courage. In order to have moral courage you first have to know what you believe and why. You have to have values and standards in place. Once you know what these are, times will come when you are questioned or tested. It takes courage to stick to your beliefs and not give in to pressure.
Some tests of your courage may be small. Are you able to say “no” when asked to take on duties that are too much for you? Can you get off the phone or computer when you are needed elsewhere? These are great starting places to begin practicing moral courage.
It also takes courage to admit you are wrong. There can be serious consequences to your wrong action, and it will take strength to get your actions out in the open.
I doubt many of us are out and out liars since we have been trained to tell the truth, but do you realize that stretching the truth or covering the truth are forms of dishonesty? It is dishonest to conceal facts or embellish them. Usually we think we will suffer in some way if the truth comes out, so we hide the facts. Use your moral courage to be truthful in all things. You will be glad when you have a good conscience toward your Maker and your fellow man.
Chastity is sexual pureness in thought and deed. It means to refrain from adultery, fornication, homosexuality or other sexual sins and to guard your mind in this area by avoiding pornography, illicit movies, trashy books, impure thoughts and impure imaginations.
Other Character Traits
The Bible is full of talk of high-quality character traits, things like, graciousness, hospitality, joy, peace, goodness, gentleness, and faith. These are acquired by knowledge and application. Once you know what a trait is, you can begin to apply it in your life. I would like to encourage you to study character qualities of people you admire, then begin to do several things a day to build these qualities within yourself.
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R.M.D. Green said:
Thank you so much. I really needed that. God bless you.
Elizabeth VanderPutten said:
Very good… Just what I needed. Much to contemplate this Lenten season as we strive to better ourselves for Christ and our families. Thanks, Mum!
Wow, so many virtues to attain. Sometimes it feels like one will never make it, and other times as if one could take on anything. May Our Lady assist during this lent and through the year. Thank you.