“…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.” 1 Peter 3:4
My wife is a quiet and gentle woman; I am not a quiet and gentle man. I want to be. I pray daily to be…but I am constantly acting in pride, selfishness, and harshness. I grieve these sins, because I know they grieve my Master. But thank goodness, my God has given me an amazing wife-a daily reminder, and frequent conviction, to pursue gentleness, and to be slow to speak, slow to anger, and quick to listen.
Things that are precious in God’s eyes are things that draw people to Jesus, by resembling him, his character, and by giving off his fragrance of life. A gentle and quiet spirit does this. Not only does it draw people to Jesus, it makes people like Him. I have seen this time and time again through own marriage, as have many others.
Countless times I come home from work talking about my day, complaining or grumbling about something, yet I am quickly convicted by my wife’s calm and gentle response. I’ve seen her criticized, judged, unfairly treated by other women, only to respond with humility and dignity, withholding any unsavory or negative words. In all of these instances, God breaks out His chisel and breaks off pieces of my own sinful nature, teaching me lessons through my wife, and conforming me more to the image of His Son.
A perfect example of this happened this week. I, against my better judgment, joined in on a conversation online and defended my belief that a specific English translation is not the only translation that correctly translates the Word of God. Comments flew back and forth, between me, other men, other women, quoting facts, making points, and trying to prove the other wrong. My wife watched as it happened, and was bothered by many of the things that were said, but never made a comment.
“She isn’t well grounded in those things,” some may say. Honestly, similar thoughts crossed my own mind. But I was wrong. It was her wisdom, and her gentle, quiet spirit that prevented her from joining in. Throughout the entire time, she never said one word. But then, away from the public sphere, she asked the one question that couldn’t be answered…and it was so wise.The lesson was clearly in line with scripture, “When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent” (Proverbs 10:19). Prudence and truth was able to shine through her one simple question, instead of my rambling, many words.
As the conversation went on, she suggested we leave it alone, and pray. Against my will, I promised to leave it alone and not make any other comments. I continued struggling with wanting to chime back in, to ask this question, or make this point. But I chose to follow my wife’s example. I began to realize that in this very moment, she was teaching me how to be like Jesus…and it was a lesson that would unleash a healing and peace with other things I was dealing with in my heart. She taught me through a simple response to a silly conversation how to entrust everything to him, surrender to Him, and not strive in my own strength to bring about the things I think God wants.
Jesus, in the darkest hour of His life, exemplified this full surrender. He tells His Father, “not my will, but yours, be done.” He then goes through a brutal arrest and trial before the high priest, enduring beatings, floggings, and another trial before the Roman Governor that led to a inhumane crucifixion. All the while, He was silent. He had a gentle and quiet spirit. He made no attempt to explain himself, defend himself, or prove himself right. “Like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth” (Isaiah 53:7). Why? Because He was trusting in the Father’s plan.
It may sound like a silly application to a silly argument, but this has been very profound for me in many other areas of my life. This lesson has given me the ability to turn many things in my life completely over to God, fully surrendering and trusting Him, and it all came simply through my wife’s quiet and gentle spirit.
She gave me a prayer booklet to use today that has written on the inside,
“We are more willing to rely on our ability to scold, nag, convince, persuade, convict, preach, or modify behavior, as if it all depends on us. We get in God’s way by such soulish tactics. God is in control! He has a plan! He is smart and loving! He does not need us to help him by playing Holy Spirit. Allow the One who has all knowledge to work His will in His way and in His time to answer our prayers.“
As I read this, I began to question if my wife is just years ahead of me in terms of spirituality- but this is simply what the wisdom, the preciousness, of a gentle and quiet spirit does- it resembles Jesus, and opens the door for the Holy Spirit to speak, for Him to teach, for Him to work out His will!
The lesson was so simple, but so profound. It doesn’t depend on me. Nothing does. It all depends on Him, and I can trust Him to work out his plan. I don’t have to bring it about. I can be like Jesus, turn everything over to Him in prayer, and live at peace. This lesson has brought me so much peace and confidence, and it all came through my wife’s gentle and quiet spirit, which I firmly believe is God’s chisel for my heart, to pry away the rock of my sinful nature, making me more and more like Him.
Wives, pursue this spirit, it can change your husband from the inside out, and make him more like Jesus! Husbands, pray for this spirit within your wife, help foster it in her, but then, get ready- the chisel is coming!
Thank you, my sweet, precious Jenna.
I love you!