Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it 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
I Peter 3:1-5
What can have a more powerful effect on a man than a woman? King Lemuel, in his contribution to the Proverbs, asks of his son rhetorically, “Who can find a virtuous woman?” Let’s take our focus, for a moment, off the character of that wonderful lady, and think about the fact that someone was desperately searching for her. She was evidently so rare that the wise among men who were searching were willing to give handsomely to have her. Did you notice that little word wise? You see, talented, physically attractive, and bubble women are not really in short supply in our society. You might disagree, but society has placed such a premium on these attributes that women everywhere aspire to such things. Foolish men start with those things.
In our text, however, we discover that a man is not really moved by those things. It is important for a woman to develop her gifts to serve the Lord, take care of and adorn the Spirit’s temple, and exude warmth in her relationships with others. But these things are not at the core of the beautiful spirit of a Christian woman. They are the by products.
Peter zeroes in on the issue of adornment. I know women everywhere who get truly excited about words like “jewelry closeout,” “dress sale,” and the like. I can’t say I’ve ever really heard a lady jump at words like “subjection,” “chastity,” “fear” (reverence), “meekness,” or “quietness.” These words smack of antiquarian puritanicalism. Yet it is such words that, when describing a woman, can move a man to tears, repentance, and genuine faith in the Lord. I was sitting on the porch the other day when I was led out by the Holy Spirit to pray for my wife. As I began praying for her, I realized that it was I who needed prayer. I thought on her loving and godly example to me and was moved in my soul to really cry out to God in repentance for my own times of impatience and inconsistency in our relationship.
Ladies, the “ornamented,” or “beautiful” spirit is power. It is power with God, and it is power with men. Some of you may be pressing on in the midst of serving with a lost or, perhaps, and un-Christlike husband. Some of you may just wish he would do more to help out around the house. Let me encourage you that these may “without a word” be won by your beautiful spirit.
Written by Colin Richards. This article was published in the Summer 2006 edition of The Beautiful Spirit magazine.
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