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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

To have a gentle and quiet spirit


Do you ever have those realizations that there's something you've been missing?  Not doing?  Not understanding?  I had one of those "aha" moments yesterday.  And it was humbling.

I want this kind of spirit as a wife: a gentle and quiet one.  This is the kind of spirit that Peter says creates true, unfading beauty:

"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.  For this is the way the women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful.  They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master.  You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear."  (1 Peter 3: 3-6)

There's a lot in this passage.  I want to point out a few things that have stuck out to me in many readings of these words.

First, look at this phrase from verse 5: "the women of the past who put their hope in God..."  A gentle and quiet spirit comes when our hope is not in ourselves or our own abilities, but in God and his Spirit at work within us.

And this: "Sarah...obeyed Abraham and called him her master."  This passage isn't talking about being our husband's slave, but it is descriptive of a wife who highly respects her husband.  This respect isn't shown just in our actions, but in our words and thoughts.  Do we show our husbands by how we speak to them that we respect them?  Do we make the effort to let them know that they are priceless treasures to us?  Do we pay attention when they talk?  Do we make it clear that we're interested in all parts of their lives?

These are things I've been struggling with.  This, and distrust (my constant battle).  Thus, look at the last part of this passage:

"...do not give way to fear."

Fear, my mother often reminds me, is of the Enemy.  Fear is what comes naturally to our sinful selves.  The opposite of fear is faith, which is a gift from God.  Faith in God and his promises...hope in him...this is what enables us to be wives after God's own heart.  Wives who love, respect and trust their husbands.  Wives who are beautiful not because of their outer looks but because of the quiet and gentle spirit within them, that comes from God.

This is the kind of wife I want to be: 

"A wife of noble character who can find?  She is worth far more than rubies.  Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.  She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life."  (Proverbs 31:10-12)

I want to be the kind of wife in whom my husband can have complete confidence, and who he can trust fully.  I want him to be able to trust me to bring him good, not harm, every single day.

But you know what?  I cannot be that kind of wife on my own willpower.  I don't have the ability to do it alone.

That's why I take comfort in the fact that God's strength more than makes up for my weakness.  In fact, as God promised Paul, so he promises me, and I can say this with Paul:

"But he [God] said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong."  (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

If you've been struggling with this at all, take comfort: you are not alone.  And for whatever trials you are experiencing, know that God's grace is more than enough.  His love covers you completely.  His forgiveness is unfailing and never-ending, and encompasses even those things for which we feel most guilty.  Jesus has taken away that guilt, paid the price for our sins, and enables us to live as his children.

I'm taking comfort in this: today and every day!


Linking with: To Love, Honor, and Vacuum; Exceptionalistic, Messy Marriage

4 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you "unpacked" this passage, Jaimie. I really appreciate the insights you've pointed out and brought to light. But even beyond your wisdom here, I appreciate your heart. Your desire to love your husband and treat him with respect even though you honestly admit the difficulty you've had with it, is inspiring and encourages me to focus more on this as well, sweet friend. And thanks so much for linking up with Wedded Wed. I pray it encourages others as much as it has me. :)

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    1. Thank you, Beth! You have been an encouragement to me in so many ways. :)

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  2. This was quite some post Jaimie, Fear to me is very real in one area of my life but I read this and I can put things into perspective.
    Thank you.

    Yvonne.

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    1. Thank you, Yvonne! I'm glad it was a blessing to you!

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