While attending a dinner gathering, I was interrupted mid-sentence, in a quite conversation with a friend, by the roaring laughter of a woman. As most anyone would, I looked over towards the direction of the laughter to see, and again hear the seemingly witch-like cackling coming from the woman. Wow, I thought, whatever she’s laughing at sure most be funny!
A little later in the evening, the host stood up and introduced to the attendees his pastor and his pastor’s wife. Looking in the direction he was gesturing, I saw a table of people, including the cackling woman. “Stand up, will you?” Asked the host to the pastor and his wife, and up stood the cackling woman, and her husband, the pastor. , I never would have thought that was the pastor’s wife.
That’s what I learned from the next “don’t,” “Don't laugh loudly or in a vulgar manner.” When the pastors wife roared with laugher from the belly, I wondered, where is her “gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Peter 3:3-4)? Where have our gentle and quiet spirits gone? Are we women who sit around and laugh it up with the boys, or are we ladies who quietly smile and quietly giggle to ourselves? We should be quiet and well-mannered in public, not to draw too much attention to ourselves, which does not honor the Lord.
The next “don’t” I’ve learned is “Avoid the following qualities in the voice: loudness, firmness, efficiency, boldness, dullness, mumbling, monotonous, singsong.” If we speak what’s on our hearts, wouldn’t HOW we speak also display what’s in our hearts. At work, if I talk with authority to my boss, it might seem as though I’m undermining my boss’ authority. This could really mess up my witness as a steward.
What I learned: Laughing loudly can be very manly and inappropriate for a woman. When women are together there can be exceptions. A friend of mine, who I consider to be godly, and I agreed that when women are together in a relaxed setting, it is okay for women to “let their hair down”. This doesn’t mean that women can act sinful, or manly, but they should feel comfortable enough to laugh, talk and cut up together.
Lastly, HOW one speaks is almost as important as WHAT they are saying. There are times when ladies need to use firm voices (like with children), boldness (when sharing the Word of God), and singsong (when greeting a child). However, we need to choose carefully the tones we use that they may convey the proper message to the hearer.