Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, 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 3:3-4
Many years ago, when I first read this passage, the "gentle and quiet spirit" stuck out at me. I felt that I was anything but 'gentel and quiet.' I talked too much and too loud. I said things and did things I later thought that I should not have. I wanted to be a women (and later a wife) that was both pleasing to my husband and my Lord.
There were many times though out our dating years and early marriage that I would think I was being too loud and that my husband would want a 'gentel and quiet wife.' So I would sit with him and not say a word. My husband (or boyfriend at the time) would ask over and over "what's wrong?" I would just shake my head and give a simple and soft spoken "Nothing."
Finlay, one night, after being asked over and over what was wrong; And after having so much I wanted to say, but felt like I needed to sit silently, I told him. I told my husband I was trying to be what God wanted me to be, to have a gentle and quiet spirit. My husband simply laughed and said, "You do!"
"I do?! But I talk too much and I talk to loud and I ask too many questions! I am trying so hard to have a quiet spirit, but there is so much I want to say!!"
That's when my sweet, patient husband explained it to me. Oh, and it changed everything! Having a gentle and quiet spirit, means being kind, living at peace and being content.
Lets look at one piece at a time.
Being gentle means living at peace with those around you. It means living peacefully without violence or aggression, without spreading gossip or purposefully causing trouble.
Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands,
just as we instructed you before.
1 Thessalonians 4:11
Living a gentle life doesn't mean "shutting up" it means living at peace with those around you- minding your own business. It doesn't mean not saying anything, it means choosing carefully how you say all you need to!
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Having a Quiet Spirit:
The way my husband explained it to me is this: when we think of someone having a 'wild' spirit, we think of someone who is not content. Someone who is always running about, who doesn't know what they want.
A wife with a quiet spirit is someone who is content with staying home and watching after her family and her household. A quiet spirited wife is not someone who doesn't talk, but rather someone who is happy with what she has, grateful what she is given. Her speech, the words she says and her actions reflects this inner contentment.
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Did you catch it? Not only does the Proverbs 31 wife, (The Wife of Nobel Character) watch over the affairs of her house, but she speaks! She speaks! Being gentle and having a quiet spirit does not mean 'shutting up and not talking', but rather talking with peace and living with contentment. It's not living silently, but purposefully.
How do we apply this to a life of a mom of young (or old) kids; To a wife of a hard working husband?
It means when the kids disobey we don't yell, we speak with peace.
It means when we disagree with our husband we do not become disrespectful, but live at peace with him.
A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
The last piece of 1 Peter 3:4 says, "which is of great worth in God's sight." I desire so deeply to do, to say and to be of great worth in God's sight. When I am gone from this earth I want my children and my husband to "rise up and call me blessed" (Proverbs 31:28)- not for the acknowledgement from man, but because I know that if they do, it means I have lived a life that was pleasing to my Lord.