Thursday, August 24, 2006

It's all about your mood

". . .in behaviour reverent. . ." (from Titus 2:3, literal translation).

Yesterday I started a word study on the whole Titus 2 passage. I'm thinking about doing word studies on all the New Testament passages specifically geared toward women, and then moving on to Proverbs 31:10-31. This is going to be interesting, but it's going to take a long time to go through one phrase at a time! Bear with me, though; I think we'll learn a lot this way.

"In" is a preposition. If you need an explanation, consult your nearest grammar book.

"Behaviour" is a noun. It is translated from the Greek word katastema, which (and here's where things get interesting) is only found in this verse.

"Reverent" is a predicate adjective, meaning that it describes the noun "behaviour," but also implies action. It is translated from the Greek word hieroprepes, another Greek word found only in this verse.

Why is it significant that these words are found only in this verse, and, therefore, only applied to women? I think I understood the reason as soon as I looked deeper at the meanings of these two Greek words.

Katastema has a deeper meaning than just behaviour. Our English word behaviour implies outward action--everything you do or say. Katastema goes deeper than that. It means "personal appearance, mien, deportment." We'll get to personal appearance and deportment later. The subject of this post is mien.

mien [meen] noun
somebody's general air: somebody's facial expression or general appearance, bearing, or posture, taken as an indication of his or her mood or character

(from Microsoft® Encarta® 2006. © 1993-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.)

According to Encarta, mien is probably a shortened form of 16th century demeine, from which we get our word demeanor.

On reading this definition, the word mood caught my attention, and I immediately sensed why katastema was only used in connection with women. After all, the other half of the population is not ruled by mood nearly as much as we women are. We are such emotional creatures! And, oh, the hormonal problems we have! I don't need to go into detail. You all know what I'm talking about! And in all this we are supposed to be reverent?!? Oh, if only I'd understood this years ago! Think how much grief my longsuffering husband could have been spared!

So what about hormonal problems? After all, hormones DO exist. They are not just a convenient excuse for snarky behaviour--hormones are real, and sometimes they do get out of whack. I've been post-partum nine times, I have a teenage daughter, I have lived with a menopausal mother, and I have seen friends and/or their teenage daughters go whacko once a month. I've gone whacko myself more than a few times. You could probably tell your own stories.

According to what I learned here, even in this we are to be reverent.

I'm going to suggest several things to help you with your hormones. These are all things I've tried, more or less, and I know they work. I intend to do these things even more in the future, because I want Christ to be glorified in my life in ALL things. There is never an excuse for sin.

1. First and foremost, use this time for increased prayer. Christ made both you and your hormones. He understands how they work better than you do. When you sense your mood changing, run to Him. Shut your door and pray. God will give you grace. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (1 Corinthians 10:13). The way to escape our sour moods is to cling to Christ in prayer.

2. Have you carefully examined your diet? A couple months ago I stopped eating anything with refined sugar or corn syrup in it, and I have seen an incredible difference in my overall health. Refined foods of any kind are not healthy. Look at what you're eating and make plans to eat a more natural, healthy diet. I could write a whole post about this, and why meat from animals raised on pasture is MUCH better for you than meat from animals raised on grain in feed lots. You can research that for yourself.

3. How much exercise do you get? I don't mean going to the gym and working out. I mean getting outside in the fresh air and riding your bike, taking a walk, working in your garden, hanging up your laundry, playing with your children, hiking through the woods or up a mountain, swimming, exploring nature with your children. Regular amounts of this kind of exercise will do wonders for your mind and body, and will foster great relations with your family when you do these things together.

4. Red raspberry leaf tea is wonderful for everything that ails a woman. I like so much to have a hot cup of this in the morning that I plan to buy it in bulk. I was first introduced to this when I was expecting my fourth child and began seeing a traditional lay midwife who has a lot of herbal knowledge. She started me off on a quest in search of medicinal herbs for my whole family. My oldest daughter is interested in this now, and we are going to work together constructing an herbal garden for food and medicine next growing season. I strongly encourage you to research this, too. It will be well worth your time.

5. Pray. I know I said this before, but if you do everything else and miss this one, you will not gain victory over your moods. You must pray, pray, pray. ". . .neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:10).

Joyfully, prayerfully,



DLS said...

I like your word study and hope you do more!
Thank you

pearl of grace said...

Stay tuned! :)


Twinklemoose said...

"in behaviour reverent"

This is very very interesting, especially with the fuller translation you've provided for behaviour. It just seems so much more attainable - an attitude of reverence rather than an outward show - and of course the attitude is more important and even dictates the outward appearance. Thanks for the insight!

pearl of grace said...

Twinklemoose, you'd think it would be easier to put on an act and do right than to develop a right attitude. But after years of trying to put on an outward show, I finally discovered that once I developed a more God-honoring attitude, the outward behaviour simply fell into place without my even being conscious of it. I just suddenly realized that, hey! I haven't [insert wrong behaviour] in quite a while!

This way of thinking was very liberating to me.


Twinklemoose said...

I've found it exceedingly helpful to announce to the world, and in particular my husband, "I'm crusty today." Everyone knows, and I've admitted it to myself too. I'm not trying to excuse the wrong attitude, but I'm not denying it's there either. All the things I'm feeling bitter about weren't making me feel bitter yesterday, and they won't tomorrow. It's the fact that I'm in this state that is truly to blame, rather than all the problems in my life I can't control being to blame. When I tell my husband about my crustiness, it becomes a joke for him rather than him having to walk on eggshells all day, feeling he's in trouble and not really sure what he did wrong.

Twinklemoose said...

P.S. I really am crusty today... so don't mess with me!

pearl of grace said...

Well, Moose, you'll be twinkling again soon! Keep looking up.