But let it [adorning] be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands;” 1 Peter 3:4,5
I thought the trait of discretion would move nicely into thoughts about this popular verse which describes godly beauty. And folks, I’ve always struggled with this one! “A meek and quiet spirit” just doesn’t seem to *fit* my personality.
It helps to know that, of course, this verse doesn’t imply all women are to be quiet and shy. Some are naturally given to a quiet disposition, and some are not. The word to pay attention to here is “spirit”.
We must also note that Peter is speaking directly to wives, so her behavior is foremost in relation to her husband. To be meek is to “be easily imposed upon” or submissive. To have a quiet spirit, is to be imposed upon cheerfully . We can submit on the outside and yell about it on the inside…which is not a quiet spirit.
Peter was saying that a wife of an unbeliever will be more attractive and be more likely to convert her husband if she is submissive to him. Of course, the same instruction would much more apply to wives of believing husbands.
We all know that the word “submission” takes a beating, even from many Christians. It’s hard to believe that a large segment of the Christian community has danced around this word and redefined it. Boy we just don’t like submitting–not even to God!
Submission doesn’t imply devalued or trod upon; a man is commanded to be submissive too–to Christ. That doesn’t make him a wimp anymore than a woman who submits to her husband. And we are to be submissive to each other.
It is God’s order, and we have a choice to follow it and reap the blessing, or refute it and be miserable. In most cases, a husband responds to this supernatural order with love and honor–he submits to her needs in return.
A meek and quiet spirit defers to her husband and even her family. It really is the core of a servant’s heart, the one Jesus had.
Here’s a test: You are picking up your bedroom, and your husband’s clothes are scattered all over the floor–a usual scene. Do you:
1. Throw them all in a corner and “show him” what happens if he doesn’t pick up after himself?
2. Pick them up grumbling as you put them away?
3. Dwell on all the things he does for you that he doesn’t have to, and consider it a blessing to be able to serve him in such a small way? Proceed to fold/hang his clean clothes as neatly as possible for an “extra blessing”?
I know, we’ve all reacted the wrong way. I’ve got my hand raised too. But that’s why we’re working on it!
This verse says that a submissive spirit is an *ornament*…a decoration that makes us beautiful. Let’s focus on peaceful, quiet and submissive spirits. Let’s turn a deaf ear to the world’s prescription for a happy marriage (their track records stinks!) and become beautiful ornaments in our homes.
Part 5: Make-over: Chaste?
Part 7: Make-over: Contentment is Lovely
Part 8: Make-over: Wise Women Build