June 8, 2011
God gives specific instructions to wives in how they should minister to their husbands living in disobedience to the the Word of God. In essence, they should follow the example of Jesus Christ, and focus upon behavior. Today we will look at what the well-dressed wife will be wearing.
1 Peter 3:3, page 1896
Attention to Adornment. I have met many women who dress carefully. My wife has worked in hospital labs and private labs, often with strict dress codes. She will put on her scrubs, of a particular color worn by all lab employees, and get ready for work. She will then put on minimal jewelry, arrange her hair, and go to work. I am sure you have seen women who also take care to dress appropriately for work. In 1 Peter 3:3, page 1896 above, we see that God tells wives to be careful about their outward appearance. Interestingly, Peter focuses upon “dresses” (“ἱματίων κόσμος“), and literally he means the outer garment like a cloak, gown, or robe worn outside the inner garment. He also describes it with the word “kosmos,” from which we get the word “cosmetics.” Peter uses a complex metaphor here to contrast the outer appearance with the inner heart. Peter knows that women often take a special interest in having the right hairstyle, having just the right earrings or bracelet to highlight their style, or getting just the right dress for the occasion. God says what you wear interests Him. But He cares about what you wear inside, as well as outside.
1 Peter 3:4, page 1896
The Hidden Person of the Heart. God wants women, and particularly wives, to adorn the hidden person. God has concerns about what your heart is wearing. While we tend to look on outward appearance, God focuses upon our inward attire also. When your husband acts disobediently to the Word of God, you need to be sure to dress appropriately. What you wear inside will change the way that other people see you. Of course, the world trains us to think that clothes really matter. Actually, God teaches us that what we wear inside, in the hidden person of the heart, matters most. God calls upon us to have an imperishable quality of spirit. This quality never fades over time, but continues to shine with eternal virtue. God provides clothes of righteousness for us to wear in our hearts (Ephesians 4:24, page 1831). He also emphasizes the eternal fashion of a gentle and quiet spirit. The word “gentle” (“πραέως“) describes the quality of the woman as she lives with a disobedient husband. The gentle woman embodies the quality that Jesus spoke about in the Beatitudes: “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5, page 1506). The gentle have a mild, soft and tame spirit. Peter also describes a “quiet” (“ἡσυχίου“) spirit. This word describes the silence that fell over the crowd when Paul spoke to them in Hebrew (Acts 22:2, page 1744), and way that Jesus silenced His critics as He prepared to heal on the Sabbath (Luke 14:4, page 1629). This quiet spirit reminds us of Jesus standing silently before Pilate as He was on trial (Isaiah 53:7, page 1155; Matthew 27:14, page 1553; see also Matthew 26:63, page 1552). When your disobedient husband reviles you, attacks you, or scorns you, you remain silent, just like Jesus.
Precious in the Sight of God. God wants every woman to know that He values the woman who has a gentle and quiet spirit and calls her “precious.” So many woman living with a disobedient husband feel useless, hopeless, and worthless. Their husbands verbally abuse them, and scorn them. The Lord Jesus, however, wants that woman to know that He calls her precious because of the gentle and quiet spirit within her. Instead of responding in kind to her husband, she lives before her husband with this gentle and quiet spirit flowing through her. She does not rise up to fight back against the sinful behavior of her husband, but rather demonstrates the same spirit that motivated the Lord Jesus as people attacked Him and ultimately crucified Him.
So we learn more about spiritual wives today and their role in daily devotions.
● Being a wife in Christ means that you adorn yourself with a gentle and quiet spirit, no matter how your husband lives. Your gentle and quiet spirit will be a part of the wife’s daily ministry to the husband living in disobedience to the Word of God. Her behavior will be an example to her husband, her children, and everyone who observes her behavior.
● Being a wife in Christ means that you rely upon the Lord Jesus to produce His life in your life, and He clothes you on the inside with a gentle and quiet spirit.
● Being a wife in Christ means that you know that Christ considers you “precious” in His sight, especially as you demonstrate the gentle and quiet spirit within you.
Application for Today
Sometimes the wife teaches her children how to live in marriage. She sets the example of having a quiet and gentle spirit. She knows that God considers her precious, even when her husband may scorn her. The Godly wife continues to live for Christ, no matter how her husband lives. His disobedience to the Word of God will not discourage her from living for Christ. Will you demonstrate that gentle and quiet spirit in your life today?