Intro: Following along with the series of messages I am preaching through 1 Peter, as Peter writes to the dispersed and persecuted church in exile throughout Asia Minor, he encourages them by writing, “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.” (1 Peter 2:11-12). In chapter 2 verse 13 through chapter 3 verse 8 he gives us three specific ways that we are able to have “honorable conduct”, even while living in an environment that is hostile to God and the gospel. Those three ways all involve submission to authority in different realms of our daily interactions. We are to be (1) submissive citizens, (2) submissive servants, and (3) submissive spouses.
As we look at these three focal points for submission, I’ve titled this devotional series “Our Mission is Submission – 1 Peter 2:13-3:8.”
Today we will look at a gentle and quiet spirit:
(3) Submissive Spouses – 1 Peter 3:1-7
A Gentle and Quiet Spirit – vs. 4
Verse 4 again, speaks of adorning “the hidden person of the heart with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” From modesty to meekness – and meekness is a reference to character and how you react to people. If someone mistreats you, do you react with humility and love or with a proud defensiveness? How do you react to stress? To negative emotions? The submissive wife is to be modest and now we see, meek. 1 Corinthians 4:21 Paul says he is coming and will need to discipline some in the church. He asks, “What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of gentleness?” This spirit of gentleness is referring to meekness. Not harsh or hard, but gentle. In Galatians 6:1 Paul tells us, “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.” How do we help someone who has fallen into sin? With harshness? No, with a gentle spirit – with meekness. We see then that the heart attitude of a submissive wife is one of gentleness and we see that this is very precious in the sight of God. This is something God values.
This gentles is a fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5, it is one of the things that the Spirit produces in us and something we should pursue to have present in our lives. As the Spirit leads us and works in us, we also see that a submissive wife has a quiet spirit. This refers to not be quarrelsome or demanding. A submissive wife is not a nag. Even though we all know that when a woman nags a man he immediately stops whatever he is doing and does what you are after him to do, right? Of course not – when someone acts inappropriately toward us our first instinct it to answer in kind. That is not how relationships are supposed to work.
A submissive wife is gentle and humble, she puts others first and is not quarrelsome and demanding. The opposite of a quiet spirit is best illustrated in the list that comes just before the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5. That list is the works of the flesh, those sins of attitude and action that flow from our fallen nature. Someone who is always in the middle of a mess, angry, upset, stirred up or stirring others up, and never happy, content, or glad, that is not a quality that accompanies a submissive spirit.
We will be back on Monday to study respect and honor.