The Role of an Old Fashioned Girl in SocietyIn 1870, Louisa May Alcott published yet another book that delighted her many readers.
Although An Old-Fashioned Girl was written long ago, the challenges of being an old-fashioned
girl are the same a century later.
The story shows the differences between two girls of the same age, one, a kind girl, living out girlhood to its fullest. The other a spoiled girl, trying to grow up too quickly.
Such is the dilemma girls face today. As society screams for girls to grow up, and have a good time running wild, there are those old-fashioned girl trying to live as the Bible teaches, to stay home and be useful, and to not Awaken love before its time. (Song of Solomon 2:7)
Such were the differences between Polly and Fanny. Polly arrived in the city to visit Fanny, and found her a part of a group of silly girls, not interested in learning useful things. Instead, they were consumed with trying to be models of the latest fashions and getting the dandies to notice them.
Polly, after the first acquaintance with these grown-up girls, was soon thought of to be â€œjust a girl and dreadfully old fashioned! Polly could have put her good sense and modesty behind her so that she could fit in and have a good time, but instead she devoted her time to trying to be helpful.
She left her quiet and thoughtful mark on everyone, by entertaining little Maud when she needed to be "amoosed", to showing Tom the picture of a true girl. She showed Fanny ways to have fun without being frivolous, and spent time with the neglected Grandma, giving her hope that there were still sensible girls around. She was also a cheerful helper to Fanny's father, making him wish that he had raised his girls to be like Polly!
Of course Polly wasn't always kind and thoughtful, there were many times that she got envious and even gave in to tempting behaviors and grown-up dress. However, she was always reminded of her mother at home, and strove even more to be dutiful daughter that would make her mom proud.
So how can one be an old-fashioned girl in a society like today's? One must first answer the question, What is an old-fashioned girl?â€
Being old-fashioned in this way, doesn't necessarily mean living like the 19th century girls, wearing dresses and working just in the home. No, in this case it means having a quiet and gentle spirit, being dutiful, helpful, kind, respectful, and modest in dress and manner. Despite all that the feminists would like us to think, girls are different than boys! Girls need to realize that God made us uniquely for the purpose of helping, and we should honor Him by making the most of our years of girlhood!
So how can one be an old-fashioned girl? One must try to follow the principles from the Bible. Although there isn't much reference to girls in the Bible, Proverbs 31 is a great example of what a girl should strive to become. It tells of the Wife of Noble Character. She works hard at home, and afar, caring for her household. As a result, she is honored by her children and husband.
Also in 1 Timothy 4:12, it says Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. Again, when speaking to the women, Peter said Your beauty should not come from outward adornment. . .Instead it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. (1 Peter 3:3a,4)
Above all, girls should fear the Lord, for Proverbs says â€œCharm is deceitful and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.â€ (Proverbs 31:30)
We can all learn from Polly, who did not give in to the demands of the society of that day, but blossomed into a beautiful young lady, in spirit as well as in body. Years later she was still an â€œold-fashioned lady. However by waiting and living each day in a gentle way, her dreams finally came true.
To me the words of Paul in Colossians 3:12 are helpful in living as an old-fashioned and valuable girl in todays world. Therefore as God's holy people, chosen and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience
Copyright 2006-2008 Anna Lofgren