I love Downton Abbey….like LOVE it! Their clothes, the precocious characters, their poise and vast vocabulary, the forbidden and unrequited loves, and the accents can soothe even the mightiest of migraines.
These women were expected to act in a certain way because they were the daughters of the Earl. If they didn’t then they brought shame on their family and could ruin everyone’s reputations.
As I was watching an episode, it struck me how much we can spiritually identify with Lady Mary, Lady Edith, and Lady Sybil as they struggle with the desire to follow the morals of their family and deal with the consequences of their rebellion against the behavioral expectations of their status as the Earl’s daughters.
They were held to such high ideals because of who their father was. For them to act outside their status brought shame to their family and their father. If such high standards and expectations were placed on daughters of an earthly father for the honor of their family, then how much more is placed upon the daughters of the King of the Universe to bring honor to Him?
We are daughters of the King, so why do we not live more like we’re a part of a royal family? You’re a daughter of God, The King, and the Ruler of the World. Do your actions reflect your status as His daughter or are you more like the ladies of Downton Abbey?
Are you Lady Mary?
You know you’re family and you know exactly who your Father is – and that means that you’re better than everyone else. You may act civil and do your good deeds for the day but inside your heart there is judgment and a feeling of superiority over the woman struggling to keep her kids under control at the grocery store or even the younger sister in faith in your Tuesday morning bible study. (Gal.6:10;1 Jn. 2:9-11) You know you’re better than them because you’re from God’s family and you pity their lack of Christian breeding. But the daughter of God, lives in humility, keeping in mind her old position and living
Are you Lady Edith?
On the outside is sweetness and compliance, but inside you find yourself constantly comparing yourself to your sisters and feels as though your Father has dealt you a bad hand in life. Why aren’t you as beautiful, intelligent, finding contentment with how He designed you and embracing that, using it for the good of your family, you’ve let envy, hate, and bitterness take root in your heart. (Eph.4:31; Heb. 12:15) God has made you alive in Christ, given you a heavenly inheritance and made you His daughter but you are still living with insecurities and living for the approval of man, even though you have the approval and love of the King. (Ps.16:8-10; Mic. 7:18; Rom. 5:1-11; 8:30-32; Gal 1:10; Col. 3:22-25; 2 Tim.1:7)
Are You Lady Sybil?
Lady Sybil was vivacious, intelligent, and could care less about upholding the reputation of her father and her family. She didn’t care what her father said, she was going to marry whoever she wants, live however she wanted, and make sure she wasn’t shackled to the constricting and suppressive ways of her family and society. Like her, you’ve ignored the wisdom of your Father and decided to run your own life; honoring God and upholding the reputation of the Gospel isn’t top priority for you. (1 Tim. 3:7) Your desires for your life come before the desires of your heavenly Father. (Rom. 12:2; Eph. 4:22; 6:5-7; 1 Thess.4)
Unlike the women of Downton Abbey, whose expectations were set by man, God has set our standards and His ways are perfect and good. (Deut. 32:4; Ps.18:30) . Through God’s grace, you were adopted in the family of God, ransomed from darkness and death into a glorious inheritance. (1 Jn.3:1-2) But your new Father requires a new life; you’re a daughter no longer living life in the flesh but living in holiness, just as your Father is holy. (1 Pet. 1; 2:15) Being part of God’s family is a wonderful thing but it does require giving up your own rights, your own former desires to conform to a new life that honors God and makes His Gospel attractive to those who are perishing. (Titus 2)
The ladies of Downton Abbey didn’t seem to care what their actions did to the reputation of their family, because they thought it only affected themselves. But we, as daughters of God, have so much more at stake. We reflect who God is here on this earth because we are His ambassadors, His daughters. (Matt 5:48; 2 Cor.5:14-21) If His daughters act without love, holiness, patience, kindness, goodness, then the world will think our Father is without love, holiness, patience, kindness and goodness. The only way the world will see what it’s like to be God’s daughter is through His daughters.
We don’t live our lives protecting our own reputation, for our own fleshly desires but we live our lives making sure God is glorified and His name is honored through our lives. (Matt 6:33; Col.1:22; 1 Tim.6:14) Your status is as God’s daughter, no longer as a daughter of flesh and darkness; you are a daughter of the King so do you live like it?
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Titus 2:11-14
Which Downton Abbey character do you identify with? How can you reflect your status as a daughter of the King to others?