1 Peter 3:4-6 KJV – 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. Even as Sara obeyed Abraham calling him lord: whose daughters ye are as long as ye do well and are not afraid with any amazement.
Let it be the hidden man of the heart. This I learned, is my quiet place with Jesus. It’s where I look into the Word and let it wash me. It’s in my chair in the corner of my bedroom, where I shut the door and pray to my Father in secret. In this hidden place I am not telling anyone but Jesus my hurts, anger, and insecurities. Here in this corner I am asking, pleading, and crying for help from the Holy Spirit to know how to respond with Christ’s love to my husband instead of with my human reaction of hurt and retorts that try to explain or justify myself. Often I say it to Jesus out loud. This is what gets me to the really hidden man of the heart and exposes compassion and wisdom for how to deal with others. I ask to be filled with Jesus so it lasts and holds me when I get up and go downstairs to real conversation and regular work. All kinds of private conversations with God happen in that chair and miracles occur there.
In this secret place, I am drawn to worship. I turn from me to Jesus. I lift my hands open in petition because I am so weak and tired and broken. I need help from Jesus: my Savior, my Healer, My counselor…Mighty God for all things. Soon, my petition turns to praise and joy and thanksgiving. I am reminded of the times God has gone before me already having answered specific prayers for help. I might think of an incident that happened in the last 24 hours and I finally notice… It was a miracle. It was God at work. I am free to dance, a little child twirling in carefree abandon filled with unspeakable joy because I am loved and made whole in this quiet place.
The ornament of a meek and quiet spirit. Admittedly, I’m still learning how to wear this. I am naturally more familiar with the opposite of a meek and quiet spirit. I have to work hard at being gentle and humble, which is the true meaning of meek. I am too prone to using words and explaining myself and informing others of my knowledge. However, as I spend more time working on the hidden man of the heart, I find my spirit is quieter and that I can be calmer in sticky situations. Actually, it seems like situations are less sticky as I find out that I don’t have to explain myself or set the record straight. I learn as I grow with a meek and quiet spirit, that not expressing my first thoughts is giving the Holy Spirit a chance to give me better directions while Almighty God moves in on the problem, solving it better than I ever could have.
Holy women of old who trusted in God. The example of Sara is a good one because it is full of behavior without words. I surely would have set up a fuss if my husband had let me be taken peaceably away with the Pharaoh of the land. (mainly because I was beautiful and my man was scared of conflict). It had to have taken a tremendous amount of trust in both God and her husband to remain calm in that particular situation. Who knows how many other difficult scenarios played out in their Nomadic lifestyle? Yet Sara is mentioned as an example for us as women to learn from throughout the Bible. Trust in God is a pivotal behavior that is acquired by practicing a gentle and quiet spirit.
Not afraid with any amazement. Another version says, “holy woman of old who did not give way to fear”. This thought is given in the context of how Sara treated Abraham. How she felt isn’t mentioned. It’s as if it wasn’t important to good behavior. She called him lord. What she did, how she treated him prior to the thought of not being afraid with any amazement, was about her trust in God. She was able to call Abraham, lord, because she trusted in God.
With this attitude of trust in God, a gentle and quiet spirit, and the ability to call her husband, lord, Sara couldn’t have been focused on the times Abraham said something harsh or demeaning or unfeeling. Abraham was human and made mistakes I’m sure. So to be able to treat her husband with kindness and respect without fear of what crazy decision her husband came up with required a huge amount of trust in an Almighty God.
I am learning that our enemy, Satan, is the one who plants fear in our hearts when we see a poor decision being made or something else our hearts tell us is lacking in our husband’s character. Sometimes there are real burdens and reasons our hearts are heavy for our husbands. Men go through some pretty hard places as leaders. They have pasts that rear their ugly heads at the most inconvenient times. Often the grueling work of providing has a way of making them act mean and unforgiving. All of those factors are not reasons or excuses as women to fear and lose our gentle and quiet spirit.
This is when it’s the hardest to not give way to fear but this is also when it counts the most to God and to our husbands. If you can get past the choking sensation that seems to paralyze your thinking ability or compromise your stash of courage, you will get through it. If you spend the amount of time needed to feed the hidden man of the heart, to find that corner of Holy Spirit power, and continue to trust in God, You will be able to win your husband by your behavior without words.
Recently I asked myself two different questions to try to better understand why and how this concept of good behavior without words works.
- Why can’t I win my husband into great conversation or deepen our relationship with words?
- Why does my behavior shine more than words in communicating respect to my husband and love for God?
In answer to the first question…Because words can be interpreted like this: Control. Manipulation. Whining. Nagging. Fear. Anxiety. Outsmarting. Disrespect. Etc…they have potential to do greater damage. Not all men interpret wordy wives in a negative light, I’m sure. But sometimes little boys who have been damaged by words become big men who have trouble interpreting what they are hearing. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how nice you think you said it, a damaged husband will only hear more damage.
Behavior wins because this is where the attributes of Jesus heals the broken parts of your husband…and believe me…we all have broken parts. Attributes: Gentleness. Kindness. Joyful. Peaceable. Humble. Approachable. Secure. Calm. Thankful. Appreciative. Honest. Respectful. Thoughtful. Etc…
If you are one of those glowing brides or well seasoned wives who have taken to married life like a duck takes to water, please, continue. This was written in no way to shame you. Give glory to God and be a continual blessing! But if you are like me and want the next twenty five years of your life to be a little more peaceful and a lot less full of turmoil; I give you this challenge with full assurance that it works. I’m not saying you won’t go through more unbearably hard times. I will never give false hope that everything will be fixed instantly or that all the healing that needs to take place is wrought in one moment. But I do believe if we fix our eyes on Jesus; trust in Almighty God and do not give way to fears or doubts when things go wrong; we will win our husbands’ hearts and affections without words by our behavior.
Bio: Shilah lives by a lake in Washington state where she enjoys the nearby mountains and her garden. She writes thoughts about life and lessons learned. She is passionate about the marriage relationship and tries to be relatable and honest about less than perfect parts of her own marriage while seeking to draw attention to Jesus and what He does for all of us in our broken places. She has a blog you can find here: shilahs.blogspot.com or on Instagram @delight40.