A Gracious Woman*
by Tiffany S.
from Virtuous Daughters, August 2003~Volume 3, Number 5
In school last year, I was directed to choose a person and do a persuasive research paper. After much thought and doubt as to if I would have enough sources, I chose to write about First Lady Dolley Madison. Surprisingly, I found several sources, and much information to support my thesis statement: “Dolley Madison set a good example for America’s future First Ladies by being a gracious and generous hostess.”
I’d like to show you how Proverbs 11:16 describes the life of Mrs. Madison. “A gracious woman retaineth honor…” If you study the life of this First Lady, you will soon realize that she was always doing something for others. If she wasn’t opening her home to anyone (even those who disagreed with political opinions), then she was serving politicians or serving elsewhere.
People came to admire and love Dolley like no other First Lady. Since Wednesday nights were open to anyone to come visit the White House, many politicians or just curious visitors would be gathering in their home. As always, these visitors were treated with love and respect. After Mrs. Madison’s death, she was given a funeral as that of a President. The whole city of Washington, among countless others, attended this ceremony.
I think this beloved First Lady’s conversation with a Frenchman guest seems to explain to us her secret. The guest exclaimed, “Everyone loves Mrs. Madison.”
Her humble but honest reply seems to touch us all, “Mrs. Madison loves everybody.”
Sisters, I hope that we, too, can have this same heart of service. But do you see what I am saying about the verse in Proverbs describing her life? Dolley Madison was a gracious woman, and much honor did she retain! Even though this word is quite rare in our world, God is calling us girls to be gracious, that people may “see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matt. 5:16
One thing Dolley Madison is known for is her outward appearance, but that is not what made her gracious. God looks at the heart. Graciousness does not necessarily mean being beautiful on the outside, but in the heart. Proverbs 31:30, “Favour is deceitful and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.”
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