WFT- demean

29 August 2009

The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day for August 6th was demean.

Meaning : to conduct or behave (oneself) usually in a proper manner

Example Sentence Sylvia was proud of the polite way her young children demeaned themselves in front of the dinner guests.

Here is the background on the word they provided:

There are two words spelled "demean" in English. The more familiar "demean" — "to lower in character, status, or reputation" — comes straight from "mean," the adjective that means "spiteful." Today's featured word, on the other hand, comes from the Anglo-French verb "demener" ("to conduct"), which in turn comes from Latin "minare," meaning "to drive." This verb has been with us since the 14th century and is generally used in contexts specifying a type of behavior: "he demeaned himself in a most unfriendly manner"; "she demeaned herself as befitting her station in life"; "they knew not how to demean themselves in the king's presence." As you may have already guessed, the noun "demeanor," meaning "behavior," comes from this "demean."

The difference between the two words spelled "demean" is remarkable.  Using today's instance of the word (meaning to conduct or behave) we find that Scripture has a few things to say.

For husbands:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,  so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.  (Eph 5:25-27)

Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them. (Col 3:19)

You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. (1 Pe 3:7)

Interesting point for husbands: if we fail to honor our wives our prayers will be hindered.

For wives:

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.  But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. (Eph 5:22-24)

Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. (Col 3:18)

In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.  (1 Pe 3:1-2)

I know that my own path to faith in Messiah was shaped and blessed greatly by my wonderful bride adhering to this word of encouragement from Scripture.

For children:

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you. (Exodus 20:12)

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. (Eph 6:1)

Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord. (Col 3:20)

Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous;  the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.  (1 Joh 3:7-8)

My child, observe the commandment of your father And do not forsake the teaching of your mother; Bind them continually on your heart; Tie them around your neck.  When you walk about, they will guide you; When you sleep, they will watch over you; And when you awake, they will talk to you. For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching [Hebrew: Torah] is light; And reproofs for discipline are the way of life... (Prov 6:20-23)

No matter how old we are, 8 years old or 80 years old, we are still someone's children.

For men and fathers:

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Eph 6:4)

Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.  (Titus 2:2)

For women and mothers:

Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good,  so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. (Titus 2:3-5)

Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.  (1 Tim 2:9-10)

This is not an exhaustive list.  This is just a sample of the wonderful instruction that G-d has provided in His Word.  May we each demean [properly conduct] ourselves according to His Word in such a way that we would glorify our Father in heaven.  To Him be the honor and glory forever.  Amen.


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Yom Rishon, 11 Nisan, 5783

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