Focus Scripture: 1 Peter 3:1-4
I am doing a study on “Quiet” and this was the first study...1 Peter 3:1-4
Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. 3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God (NKJV)
Sometimes I can’t help myself. I know that some things are better left unsaid, yet something just builds inside of me. And because I haven’t called on the name of Jesus, it comes spewing out of me and, of course, it never results in the desired outcome. I call it household management. My husband calls it nagging.
God teaches us, and wants us so badly to understand, that it is with our gentleness and in our quiet nature that we win our husbands over.
BUT GOD, he leaves those little floss pick things everywhere, all gooey and gross…in my car, on my countertops, my bathroom sinks, my couch.
“It is the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit that is precious in my site”.
BUT GOD, he is not listening to my exciting list-making plans for the weekend! How will he know what he is supposed to do???
“May he be won over by your conduct”.
I argue and wrestle with God in my own ignorance, not to mention my disobedience, that some things just must be said. As if my husband’s floss pick disposal habits were some sort of gateway to more atrocious, marriage-threatening behaviors. I mean, he leaves his used floss picks on the couch, what’s next, an affair???
But truth be told, when the household is just a mess no matter what I seem to do to organize, plan and officiate, when we are getting on each other’s nerves and there are tears and eye rolling, and everything is “FINE”, I know that it is usually me that must take the step back. Because for all my desire to be “helpful”, I am really just being bossy and pushy and controlling. The more I try to make a happy home, the more I bring it down.
Now, I am typically a quiet person, but I am NOT a quiet soul. My heart and mind work overtime. Constantly. And no one has ever accused me of being gentle. I have taken many personality tests in the workplace and I test off-the-charts aggressive. I have to constantly call on the name of Jesus in numerous situations where gentleness comes very naturally to most people. I fail miserably at “quiet” and count on God to be my rock in even the simplest of situations where quiet is needed.
But God gives us the gift of quiet and gentleness as women. I do not believe he asks us to sit demurely in a rocker knitting, singing psalms, and catering to our husband’s every whim, but I do believe he is telling us to stop the nagging. I do believe he is telling us that, to live as Christ would live, is to show our husbands what love is. I also think God is telling us that, during those times we feel like we just have to be their momma rather than their wife, we should actually take a step back, quiet our souls, and realize that our husband’s aren’t driving us crazy, we are driving ourselves crazy.
I think sometimes I see the word, “submit” and I lose it. My mind automatically turns to, “Baby, I’m fierce, don’t you know who you married???” But I let go of all that the world tells me and instead, I ask God, “how do I take this huge personality of mine that has nothing to do with gentleness and quiet and obey you?”
And he happily reminds me in his word that I seek Him first in all these things, that he knows my heart is full of contrasts, but that he created and made me new. He also understands that my heart is sometimes made hard again by the passions and desires of this world but often reminds me in a song, a devotional or through a friend, that my life was reborn with his breath and my body houses his spirit deep within me.
He reminds me that it is not the practiced, “outwardly humble” attitude that is precious to him, but the true, HIDDEN, Jesus-submitting humility that is indeed “precious in the site of God”. He teaches me that it is what is inside me, what is gathered in my heart, is what wins my husband over and what teaches him the love of Christ.
He reminds me that this beauty is Incorruptible. God promises that when we capture “a gentle and quiet spirit”, we will be given this incorruptible beauty. That for all of our sexiness and attractiveness our husbands love on the outside, I am convinced there is no more beautiful strength to a man than a woman who can handle life’s more unendurable moments with gentleness.
God knows my sensitivities, my passions, my drives and my innermost desires. He knows that I battle the forces of the world and that Satan works overtime to see if I’ll give my soul up to the world.
What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? (Matthew 16:26, NIV).
So, each day, before I roll out of bed, I declare Him as my rock and my fortress to win over anything Satan can through my way. And he quiets my soul. He knows that I have to pray that He help me push all self-righteousness and bitterness and anger and all other exhausting emotions aside so that I can be a better wife, mother and employee than I was yesterday. And he quiets my soul.
And God knows that some days, I will come home to deal with “organizing the household” and that I will be faced with some choices: 1) I can give my family the crazy eye, stomp across the house, climb over the couch and let everyone know in a 45-minute rant just who the momma is, or 2) I can close my door, do my little, “my family is crazy dance” and scream “Satan be gone!” or 3) I can ask God to help me rise above this situation and handle it with fierce gentleness.
Sometimes this verse (our focus scripture) is a difficult one to read. We want to adjust it for modern times, we want to read something else into it or we want to abuse it for our own needs. In my case I get all puffed up about who is in charge. I can hear my awful self now, “huh, tell me to be quiet, let me TELL you what’s on my mind.” I get feisty. I have a lot of work to do yet, but I have not given up on myself, nor has God. I know he works on my side and chips away at the hardness of my heart with every prayer. And the more time I spend with God on this verse, the more he reminds me that he wants me to pursue the quiet because I love my husband, not so that he will love me.
I encourage you to really take some time with your bible and these verses, and in prayer ask God:
1. Where am I not quiet when it comes to my husband?
2. In what area of his life, does my husband need my gentleness the most?
3. What, in my life, has hardened my heart and how do I work to remove it?
4. Where is the noise in my life? What keeps my soul from being quiet? How can I remove the noise and restore the quiet?
I pray earnestly for all of you, that God would restore the gentleness and quiet to your soul and that he would show you the strength within you that nurtures each. I pray that he shows you the difference between the strength that arises from anger, bitterness, fear, self-defeat and indifference and the strength that comes from the fruits of the spirit and submitting to Him.