Steel Magnolia

Last week the residents began to study the book called, Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild, written by author and speaker Mary Kassian.  The book contrasts the characteristics of the “Wild Thing” of Proverbs 7 with the qualities possessed by a “Wise Thing”, as discussed throughout other parts of scripture.

Conversation during class centered around defining the word Amenable and its antonym, Defiant.  Mary Kassian writes, “A Girl-Gone-Wild is stubborn. She gets irritated and sullen when someone tries to correct her or rebuff her. She is not willing to give in or change…She will not budge. Her way is right in her own eyes. She is not open to input.”  The ideals of our day and age highly promote the lifestyle of the Proverbs 7 woman; a woman who is identified by her loud, clamorous, strong-willed, and wayward actions. Many of the girls in class began to face the sobering truth that these attitudes of defiance are promoted and encouraged by society today and have become a way of life for many of them; something that they desire to change.

On the flipside, the Girl-Gone-Wild temperament was contrasted with the Girl-Gone-Wise attitude and demeanor.  The Wise Girl can be spotted by her three most notable characteristics – She is: gentle, calm, and amenable.  Whereas a stubborn and hard heart refuses to be lead by another, the amenable girl is inclined to bend, comply, and submit, not only to her human counterparts but more importantly, to God Himself.  This soft and responding heart is the pleasing to God and brings Him glory as the Wise girl joyfully chooses to acknowledge God’s will for authority and structure in her life.

The term “Steel Magnolia” is used by Kassian who says, “A brazen, defiant attitude stands in stark contrast to the soft receptiveness that the Lord intended for women. [The term Steel Magnolia] melds beauty with perseverance, softness with backbone, delicacy with durability, sweetness with stamina.” The ladies at Vision of Hope are in the midst of the process of becoming Steel Magnolias in full bloom!

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