The New Testament frequently refers to the virtue of “self-control.” The word that is translated self-control is the Greek word sophron. A sophron state of mind is what will enable us to live a life that is self-controlled in our behavior, but it starts with a mindset, a sound mind. It’s a sophron state of mind that enables us to curb our fleshly desires. A sophron state of mind will result in our practicing self-control in every area of our lives—our tongue, our behavior, our habits.

A woman who does not have sound thinking:

Her mindset and attitudes
1. Impetuous, impulsive
2. Easily taken in by unbiblical ways of thinking and ungodly philosophies
3. Overly concerned about what other people think
4. Lacks discernment; not careful about what influences her; lets anything in
5. Feeds the flesh; flesh controls the spirit
6. Seeks escape from pressure and problems
7. Victim of her circumstances and past
8. Self-centered: “How does this affect me?”
9. Consumed with externals
10. Mentally unstable
11. Has good intentions but doesn’t follow through; commitments are short-lived
12. Discontented; entitlement mindset: “I deserve better”
13. Manipulative; takes matters in her own hands
14. Focuses on the here and now; little or no thought for eternity

Her emotions
1. Emotions controlled by circumstances; lives on emotional roller coaster
2. Choices driven by feelings, external pressures, circumstances
3. Falls apart in a crisis
4. Easily provoked/irritated; flies off the handle quickly
5. Fearful
6. Moody, sullen, temperamental
7. When life doesn’t work, becomes angry, resentful, depressed, loses hope

Her tongue
1. Says whatever comes to mind without hesitating
2. Talks too much
3. Quick to vent frustration/anger
4. Wounds/belittles/tears down others with her words
5. Exaggerates
6. Speaks roughly, uses profane or crass talk
7. Argumentative—has to get the last word
8. Excessive shyness; fearful to talk

Her behavior
1. Life is out of order—chaos, confusion, perpetual drama; out of control
2. Instant gratification—must fulfill cravings now!
3. Impulsive spender; buys things she can’t afford or doesn’t need
4. Eats whatever she feels like eating, when she feels like eating it; lives to eat
5. Unpredictable
6. Rash—acts without thinking about the consequences or impact
7. Morally careless—lacks discretion; flirtatious, sensual, easily led astray
8. Yields easily to temptation; in bondage to fleshly, sinful desires
9. Frivolous; lover of vain pleasures; lives for temporal pleasure
10. Procrastinates—puts off hard to unpleasant duties; play now, work later
11. Struggles to maintain consistent disciplines and routines
12. Given to excesses and extremes
13. Makes foolish decisions; lacks wisdom to deal with difficult issues
14. Wasteful
15. Silly, vain, trite, foolish
16. Loves mindless entertainment; life’s a party
17. Fritters away time; lives for the moment
18. Easily distracted—flits from one thing to another; inability to focus
19. Makes decisions based on feelings

A woman who does have sound thinking:

Her mindset and attitudes
1. Exercises restraint and self-government
2. Brings every thought captive to the obedience of Christ
3. Fears the Lord; lives for His approval
4. Careful/discerning regarding what she reads, watches, listens to
5. Feeds the spirit; restrains the flesh
6. Willing to endure hardship for the sake of ultimate gain/reward
7. Uses her past as a stepping-stone to greater fruitfulness
8. Other-centered: “How does my behavior affect others?”
9. More concerned about being godly than looking fashionable or beautiful
10. Healthy, stable; mind fixed on the Lord
11. Follows through on commitments; develops godly disciplines
12. Contented, humble, grateful; gives thanks in all things
13. Surrendered; waits for the Lord to act
14. Has an eternal perspective; views the here and now in light of eternity

Her emotions
1. Emotionally stable; remains calm/doesn’t lose it under pressure
2. Choices driven by the Word of God
3. Heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord; responds in faith rather than fear
4. Slow to get angry; not easily provoked
5. Trusts in the Lord
6. Peaceful, joyful; the joy of the Lord is her strength
7. Hopes in the Lord; trust Him to write her story; waits on Him to right all wrongs
8. Prayerful, trusting

Her tongue
1. Slow to speak; words are measured; thinks first
2. Good listener
3. Quick to praise, give thanks
4. Words to minister grace/blessing/encouragement to the hearer
5. Careful with the truth
6. Gracious, pure words
7. Humble; yields the right to be right
8. Blesses others by speaking good words in due season

Her behavior
1. Well-ordered, peaceful life; controlled by the Spirit and convictions
2. Willing to delay gratification; can say “no” now for future benefits
3. Wise, restrained spending—doesn’t spend money she doesn’t have, generous
4. Temperate, balanced eating—eats to live versus living to eat
5. Consistent
6. Stops and considers the potential consequences of her choices before acting
7. Modest in dress and behavior; morally chaste/pure
8. Resists temptation; servant to God and righteousness
9. Eternal values; finds joy in the things that bring God pleasure
10. Diligent and faithful in her responsibilities—worship and work first, play later
11. Develops and maintains healthy, consistent disciplines and habits
12. Temperate, moderate lifestyle
13. Shows good judgment; has the ability to solve difficult problems
14. Wise steward of the resources God has entrusted to her
15. Sober-minded, wise
16. Enjoys wholesome recreation for the glory of God
17. Uses her time purposefully; considers long-term results of her choices
18. Focuses on what God has given her to do at the moment; brings tasks to completion
19. Makes decisions based on biblical principles

© Excerpted from AdornedLiving Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together, p. 170–171. Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, Moody Publishers 2017.