Becoming Mrs. Bennett

Kim Sullivan

May 8, 2014

I have allowed myself to become like Mrs. Bennett from the overwhelmingly popular novel Pride and Prejudice. It is true. A few years ago, my daughter had the privilege of playing the most coveted female role ever, Elizabeth Bennett. As I sat there (bursting with pride, I might add) I found myself fascinated with Mrs. Bennett. She’s such a fun character to laugh at…that is, until you realize that you have become like her!

Check your priorities

The first characteristic I noticed in poor Mrs. Bennett is that her only ambition is to see her children married well. I must admit that as my children are approaching marriage age I have found myself often dreaming up imaginary romances for them. Unfortunately, I have directed their eyes to many an eligible bachelor or bachelorette rather than directing them to focus on God. I have prayed for my children’s spouses, whomever they may be, and I don’t want to ruin any of the plans God has for them by distracting them from what they should be focusing on: God’s desires for their life.

  • Work on your own romance, don’t imagine one for your children. I wonder how happy Mrs. Bennett could have made Mr. Bennett if she had redirected some of her energies spent on the romances of her girls to her own marriage.
  • Continue to place the hands of your children in the hand of God, not in the hand of a prospective suitor.

Set aside anxiety

Next, I noticed that Mrs. Bennett’s nerves were always shot. Whatever happened in the Bennett home, she was either in spasms of terror, the depths of despair, or squealing with delight. Consequently, her husband and adult children and her entire neighborhood never took her very seriously. Unfortunately, I feel it incumbent upon myself to inform you…that I have found myself highly emotional at times. Proverbs 31 speaks of a woman who is clothed in dignity. This woman is a very sensible woman, not moved by her own circumstances, but easily moved in compassion for the circumstances of others.

  • Clothe yourself in dignity. You have no reason to be flighty and fretful if you are trusting God.
  • Be easily moved in compassion for others, while allowing Him to control your emotions for your own situations.

Practice discretion

Mrs. Bennett is about as discreet as Howard Stern. She does not follow any protocol, and her outbursts of emotion are an embarrassment to her entire family. She drinks too much, eats too much and talks too much. The only thing she does not do too often is think. How often have I spoken before I thought things through! I am sure that I have brought embarrassment to my family and myself more times than I care to remember. Discretion is defined as the quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid social embarrassment or distress. “As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a lovely woman who lacks discretion.” (Proverbs 11:22, NKJV)

  • Speak in such a manner as to bring honor to God and those around you.
  • Act as though you are preforming for an audience of One.

Give God your worries

Lastly, I find Mrs. Bennett to be quite the worrier. At one point she even imagines that Mr. Bennett will be killed in a dual and that she and the girls will be turned out of the house by Mr. Collins. I have been ravaged by irrational fears from time to time, and never once has any of them come to pass. Worry about the future brings discontent to the present.

  • Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Phil. 4:6
  • Luke 12:25 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
  • 1 Peter 5:7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Though Mrs. Bennett is a rather likeable character, she is not to be admired or taken seriously; and certainly not to be imitated. She, in fact, is almost the direct opposite of the Proverbial woman. God’s Word transforms and changes us, where we cannot change ourselves. Therefore I will endeavor to allow His Word to change me into His likeness….even when I have been looking a little like Mrs. Bennett.

About the author — Kim Sullivan

Kim Sullivan is a writer with a background in everything from homeschooling to nonprofit management. She has raised three children each of whom are successful in their own unique way. Recently, Kim has done the most radical and risky thing she has ever done…she moved 700 miles from her suburban Chicago home and everything familiar to her and relocated to Tulsa, Oklahoma. She is working on a brand-new website and blogs at Journey to Epiphany. She is also writing a book about her adventures in following Jesus.

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