Today we are in 1 Peter 3 and these verses are not easy to tackle.
1 Peter 3:1 and 2 says:
“Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct.”
First we see that Peter is speaking to wives – that’s us!
Do any among us have a non-Christian husband or a husband, who is not obeying God’s word? How do these verses say we will win them?
The answer…without a word.
Notice this does not say, by how many Bible studies we attend, how many meals we cook for the sick, how many Christian books we read, by the Christian music we listen to or by pointing out our husband’s flaws.
A husband is won…
without a word.
Simply by our submission…respect and purity.
1 Peter 1 continues in verses 3 and 4:
3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
In this passage the word adorning is also translated as beauty.
Does this passage forbid the braiding of hair or gold jewelry? No! Thank goodness because I love braiding my hair and my daughter’s hair and if you’ve seen my videos, you know this girlfriend likes some big earrings, right? Lol!
This passage says our focus should not be the same as the world’s. The world sells beauty as the pinnacle of achievements for women. Every magazine in the grocery store is graced with a cover of a gorgeous woman and then 10 tips on how to apply eye shadow, 4 tips on how to diet, 5 tips on the newest fashion trends and so on.
A steady diet of beauty magazines will starve your soul.
It is a woman’s “fear of God” that will lead her to pursue what is precious in God’s sight – - – a gentle and quiet spirit.
I remember when I first discovered these verses in high school. I was mortified! Did this mean I had to stop laughing so loud and become introverted? I was anything but a quiet girl. How could I become what was precious in God’s sight?
After talking this over with my mother, I learned that this was not about my personality! Thank goodness!
This passage is referring to an inner peace, calm and strength that comes from a deep trust and faith in God. A woman with a gentle and quiet spirit will be meek. She will deal lovingly and gently with others. She will not be consumed with worry but have a quietness and peace in her soul that draws others to Christ in her.
1 Peter 3:5-7 says this:
5 For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.” 7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
Oh boy, the difficulty of this passage continues. Stick with me here.
We need a little background about Sarah to understand what she did that was so exquisite.
In Genesis 12:1-20 we see that Sarah was beautiful externally and Abraham was fearful that the Egyptians would kill him to steal his wife. So he asked her to…stretch the truth… and say she was his sister. Truthfully, she was his half-sister. See what happened below:
10Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. 11As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. 13Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.”
14When Abram came to Egypt, the Egyptians saw that Sarai was a very beautiful woman. 15And when Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh, and she was taken into his palace. 16He treated Abram well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels.
17But the Lord inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife Sarai. 18So Pharaoh summoned Abram. “What have you done to me?” he said. “Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? 19Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her to be my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and go!” 20Then Pharaoh gave orders about Abram to his men, and they sent him on his way, with his wife and everything he had.”
In 1 Peter 3 we see Sarah being praised not because she was externally beautiful but because she trusted God and obeyed her husband in a dangerous situation rather than giving way to fear.
Now – hold on to your hat because this gets even more interesting… this scenario repeats itself again in Genesis 20 when King Abimelech sees Sarah’s beauty and once again, Abraham tells her to call herself his sister. She is taken as King Abimelech’s wife and then later she is released after the King has a dream from God that he should not have her as his wife!
Seriously! Abraham – what are you doing? Why was he not trusting God? He was giving into fear! But Sarah – was as cool as a cucumber. She submitted to her husband, trusted in God and God protected her.
Sarah was clearly beautiful on the outside – possibly she was as beautiful as Queen Esther…since both a Pharaoh and King pursued Sarah’s hand in marriage the moment they laid eyes on her.
But it’s not Sarah’s external beauty we read about in 1 Peter 3 – it’s her inner beauty. A beauty God admires and a beauty God has called us to.
You won’t read about having a gentle and quiet spirit in the beauty magazines being sold at your local grocery store. But as we read through the Bible cover to cover, God will transform all of us from the inside out as we lay down our ugly sin filled hearts at the foot of the cross and exchange them for what is precious in God’s sight.
Today we have a choice – what will we pursue? A steady diet of the world’s beauty secrets or a steady feast of the living bread.
Let’s look at beauty from God’s perspective.
Let’s examine ourselves according to this passage and see where we are lacking.
Let’s ask God today to help us make changes in areas where we are lacking.
Walk with the King,
**Looking for the GMG resources for this month? –> click here.
Why do you think 1 Peter 3 is such a hard teaching for women of our day?
Do you struggle with having a gentle and quiet spirit? What gets in the way?
How does your husband respond when you display this kind of living?
What else is God teaching you this week through your study in 1 Peter?
BLOGGERS: Are you blogging through the Bible with us or have you written a devotional based on your own quiet times this week?