Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Gentle and quiet? Who me?

In my daily devotions, I've been studying the book of 1 Peter - which lately has included slogging through Tyndale New Testament Commentary by Wayne Grudem.  While some of it is just a load of "Greek"...haaaa pun intended....there are some really great insights as well.

This morning I got to study 1 Peter 3  - aptly titled Wives and Husbands.  How fitting that I am a wife! With a husband! I tell ya, this passage has ruffled more than a few feathers in its day but it's one that I cherish and I was so excited to see what Mr. Grudem had uncovered.

Let's revisit the first few verses of 1Peter 3:

Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior or their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. 1 Peter 3: 1-4

I don't want to hit on the submissive bomb too much.....maybe that's for another post.  Mr. Grudem had some great things to say about that too.   But anyway.....

What I want to touch on is the last two verses regarding the beauty of a woman.  It's often hard to just be a woman in today's society.  Media and Hollywood constantly impress on us the "ideal" image. As wives we feel "judged" by our ability to keep house, raise children (for those who are blessed in that way) or be that perfect loving wife. Perfect. Ick.

Unfortunately when we internalize these ideals, we often project them on to the people we love the most - our spouse, our children, our family. It's really hard to be perfect when the rest of the crew isn't keeping up, eh?

Some people say that the Bible doesn't translate into today's age....but I disagree! I think these verses hit the nail on the head. 

"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment" - I don't believe that Peter is suggesting that we dress like slobs, wear our hair in a way OTHER than braids or go without jewelry. He is saying that our value and worth are not from outward adornment.  We've all met a woman that is beautiful to look at but has an ugly character, right?

"Instead it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit..."(vs 4)

According to the Tyndale New Testament Commentary, the adjective "gentle" (praus in Greek) is defined as:

- not insistant on one's own rights
- not pushy
-not selfishly assertive
-not demanding one's own way

(I don't actually need to say anything about that list, do I?.....Didn't think so )

Mr. Grudem goes on to say, " Such a spirit is the result of a quiet and continual trust in God to supply one's needs."

That's all it is ladies.  When we are looking to someone (or something) other than God to meet our needs.....they won't! They can't!  Our poor husbands are not able to meet our EVERY NEED ladies. They're human and sinners saved by grace.  But if we choose, every day, to cast our cares on our Creator and let Him fill us up (like only He can) then our hubbies are free to be who God made them to be.

I betcha if we stop putting so much pressure on our husbands to be who "we" want them to be, they'd be more inclined to try.   Get it?

And I betcha when God fills in all the gaps, you'll find your husband meets more of your needs than you realized :)

I'm pretty bad at this....for the record. "Quite" and "gentle" are hardly in my vocabulary. But I've seen the changes in MY life, when I stopped looking to my husband and I started looking to God. And it's funny, I'm starting to see the changes in my hubby too. God works in wonderful, sneaky ways. Who knew?!

Courtney over at Women Living Well wrote two great posts about dealing with p*rnography in marriage and cited a number of really great resources. Maybe one day soon I'll share our story about how God is making a dirty, jaded mess into something beautiful ....I know He is....I can feel it.

Beautiful on the inside :)

Edit: I'm linkin this post up to Courtney's Women Living Well Wednesday

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