The Value of a Gentle and Quiet Spirit
I Peter 3:1-6
Community Bible Church
March 30, 2008
When God created the world and all that is in it, He did not just merely impart physical life. He also ordered that life. The regulation of family and society are just as much a part of the creation order as our physical lives. This is easy to forget. Many people wholeheartedly embrace a literal creation, but will not submit to God’s order for HIS
Creation. Rebellion in society in general and chaos in the family in particular are ultimately traceable to our unwillingness to accept God’s order of things. Put another
way… “The one who created all things must also be given the right to order all things as He sees fit.”
Satan began this downward spiral shortly after creation. Although God had created Satan with great beauty and unmatched power, he did not submit to God’s right to order and
rule His own creation. The Devil insisted on his own order and rule of things and instilled that same rebellion against God in the hearts of all men.
Jesus came restoring this order of submission under the hand of God. Those who are in Christ are no longer slaves of sin and rebellion. Neither are they mere sons of Adam, but of God instead, through Jesus Christ. Referring to Adam and Christ, the book of Romans says this:
18Romans 5:18-19 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all 19men. For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.
This truth is crucial to our understanding of the teaching on wives and husbands in Scripture. Until we yield our hearts to God’s right to order His creation, passages like
this one in I Peter become a curse rather than a blessing. They provide grief and bondage rather than joy or freedom. I Peter 3:1-6 is about God who is the Lord, our Creator and the lover of our soul. He made all things and ordered arranged them perfectly. Man in the fall, has joined Satan in defying the Creator. Christ redeemed His own children from Satan’s power and is now instructing us how to “arrange ourselves” under His perfect
order. This is the meaning of the word translated “submit.” It does not simply mean
obey. It means “being at peace and having our minds at ease.” It is an attitude of the
heart. Outward obedience can never give the joyous freedom that Scripture describes in these few verses. Verses 1-6 are aimed right at the heart of you ladies. It is particularly applied to wives, but all women have a heart that God wants to trust Him more. God shows you how to trust Him in four specific ways.
; Trust God more than your Husband [1-2]
; Trust God more than your own beauty 
; Trust God with your inner self 
; Trust God with your physical life [5-6]
The passage is not just a teaching on the role of woman. It is far, far more than that. It is one application of the much broader principle that God has revealed in I Peter 2 and elsewhere. There are two more applications following in verses seven and eight.
Trust God more than your Husband [1-2]
1 Peter 3:1-2 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the 2behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.
In the same way: Refers to a list of character qualities that should characterize all our relationships as born again and blood washed children of God. They are:
; Submit to human institutions [2:13]
; Live as Free Men [2:16]
; Honor all People [2:17]
; Submit to your Masters [2:18]
; Entrust your welfare to God who is always just [2:21-23]
The instruction to wives is not a “stand alone” instruction. It is an application of the instructions God has given to all men. God has instituted the family. God wants wives to live as free people. God wants us to honor all people which means honor the place that God has assigned to them. Ultimately all of this is done by means of complete trust in God. He will care for you. Fallen men [in this context…husbands] will fail you. They
may even mistreat you for doing what is good. God will never fail you.
Be submissive to your own husbands: This is the specific application for a wife and
there is a reason that God has to say this. It is because women do not by nature “arrange
their hearts peacefully” under the authority of their husbands. And you don’t even need
to tell me why. I already know. He doesn’t understand me. He doesn’t help me enough.
He does not take me seriously.
Even if any of them are disobedient to the word: Christian husbands will automatically
exempt themselves from this statement, but I caution you not to do that. This is a continuation of the argument about submission of slaves to masters, which is a submission of the heart and not mere obedience. We are to submit because God has told us that it is His plan and will that we submit… and we trust Him. Therefore, this does
not just mean a man who does not profess Christ. There are many men who profess
Christ and come to church regularly who are disobedient to the Word. Peter is going to address those men in verse seven, but we should look at it for just a moment now.
1 Peter 3:7 You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way,
as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of
the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
Are their men who profess Christ and go to church who:
; Do not live with their wives in an understanding way?
; Do not consider the ways in which she is weaker? [physical, emotional]
; Do not honor her as an equal heir to eternal life? [consider her spiritually inferior]
They may be won without a word: The instructions that are being given are between
you wives and God. God wants to turn your mind away from the obstacle of a disbelieving husband and the fear and grief he creates in you. AND…He wishes to
absolve you of all responsibility to nag, harp, preach and convince him. He wants you to “order your life” under him because God is the one in whom you trust. How will this man ever be “won” if you don’t keep up the pressure? After all, isn’t this your calling in
life…to change him and make him into the man God wants him to be? God has a different idea about that ladies.
As they observe your chaste and respectful behavior: Peter describes a woman who is
at peace with God. She trusts God to protect her and care for her. She knows that God is the only Sovereign who can change a man’s heart and give him a love for Christ and God’s Word. She is said to be “chaste” which means “pure and unique” in her behavior.
She feels no need to have the last word. To point out his shortcomings, failures, lack of spiritual leadership and Bible knowledge. Neither does she speak of it to her friends to run him down behind his back. She is respectful of him because she trusts in God alone and not in any man. The God in whom she trusts will care for her even while she is in submission to a disbelieving husband.
Not only does she trust God more than her husband, she trusts God more than herself.
Trust God more than your own beauty 
31 Peter 3:3 Your adornment must not be merely external-- braiding the hair, and
wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses;
For all the complaining that goes on in our day…women do have a good deal of influence over men. It has to do with the way God created them physically. A woman’s physical
beauty and attractiveness gives her power over a man. If you are not careful ladies…now listen carefully….if you are not careful this will be your default state of mind. You will always go to the one thing that you know will give you influence over a man…in this case your husband. You will trust in your own beauty or physical attractiveness to him.
Is God teaching that you cannot adorn yourself? I do not think that is the point at all here. This text must be understood in context. The immediate context is what will have an effect on a husband who is disobedient to the Word of God. So…God tells you plainly
here what will not have an effect on his heart; External adornment. The NASB has
added the word merely which is not in the original text to clarify the context of Peter and the Bible at large. Adornment is not forbidden in the Bible. Let me show you.
Song of Solomon 1:10 "Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments, Your neck with strings
Song of Solomon 4:11 "Your lips, my bride, drip honey; Honey and milk are under your
tongue, And the fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon.
The bride in these verses was beautiful before she adorned herself. Her outward beauty was not considered perfect…in fact she was overly darkened from working in the fields.
Song of Solomon 1:6 Do not stare at me because I am dark, because I am darkened by the sun. My mother's sons were angry with me and made me take care of the vineyards; my own vineyard I have neglected.
Hers was an inner beauty. Her adornment enhanced her inner beauty.
The problem is a heart problem. It is easy to capture a man’s attention with outward
adornment, but you will never capture his heart with them. Here is why. There will always be someone more beautiful, more elegantly dressed and younger. Reliance on the outward reveals a lack of inner peace. Is God saying that you should be unkempt and undesirable? No. He is saying that when you make yourself beautiful on the outside make sure your heart is adorned for God. Outward beauty attracts and pleases shallow and ungodly men. It will never capture your husband’s heart.
Proverbs 11:22 Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.
This is a chance to examine your own dependency on God. God has called you to trust Him more than your outward beauty.
Trust God with your inner self 
41 Peter 3:4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.
Hidden person of the heart: This is inward not outward. It maybe hidden from
another’s eyes, but it is certainly not hidden from God. We all have a hidden person within. The danger is that we will silence that person. We will dismiss it as unimportant
and concentrate only on the outward…the visible. This is done in hundreds of ways. Obsessing over hair and makeup is only one. The house you have…is it good enough for people to see. What will they think of you if it is not perfect enough. The dinner you serve…what will people think if it is not prepared properly or if the main dish or dessert is a complete flop. It is this “hidden person of the heart” that drives us. Outward
obsessions serve this universal purpose…they keep the hidden person of the heart…hidden.
Are you surprised that God wants your heart? You shouldn’t be! This is an important
point now. It is possible for you to swear off all makeup, jewelry and attractive clothing. You can determine never to color or style your hair. You can do all these outward things and never trust God fully with your heart. I personally know woman who live pretty much like I have just described and still do not possess the hidden beauty of the heart. They are still using the outward to please God. DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT I
AM SAYING HERE. Neither Outward Adornment or the lack of it is the issue.
NIV 1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
What God offers is the ultimate beauty treatment. It is available to all women and it works exactly as well for a teenager as it does for a senior. It will make you beautiful to God and your husband. If I could sell it I would be a millionaire overnight. But it cannot be bought…it is not sold in stores. It is given to you by the Lord of heaven. It is the
birthright of every new born daughter of God. God describes it here.
Imperishable: This is the key thought here. It means…”not liable to getting old or wearing out.” America spends 20 billion dollars a year to try to keep itself from looking older.” God offers imperishable beauty. It is a beauty of the inner person…the heart. It trumps the outward every time. It overcomes gray hair and wrinkles and injury and sickness. It is the first thing God says about this beauty…it does not grow old or get out
Gentle: This comes from a word often translated humble. That makes perfect sense in this passage. This inner beauty is one that does not have to have its own way to be content. Such a woman is at home under the authority of her husband because she knows that God has ordered His creation this way. She is never more secure than when she is where God wants her to be. She is therefore Gentle in her demeanor toward her husband. She is acting the way Christ acted and continues to act even today toward us. Christ displayed this inner quality of beauty with outward acts of submission to God and men.
Matthew 11:29 "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.
NIV Matthew 21:5 "Say to the Daughter of Zion, 'See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.'"
Quiet: She is also at peace. She is quiet and tranquil. Jesus promised this to the woman who would take His yoke upon herself and learn of Him. Again this is not just stubborn outward submission. It is inward trust in Christ. Christ is calling you to trust Him with your inner self…your heart…the hidden you.
Of great worth in God’s sight: Now I want you to look at this phrase with me for a
moment. It says…God is looking at your heart. Yes…that is what it says here. God is looking at your heart. We are talking about your hidden self…your spirit and heart and God says that He sees it. It is before the eyes of God. Your heart may not be of great value before the eyes of the world. Our society values the outward. The external. The so called “beautiful.” God values this.
And it is not just valuable. It is precious. That means it has surpassing value. You have things like this. No one could ever buy them from you because they are of surpassing value. Your children are like that. We say such things are “priceless.” God has placed a surpassing value on a Gentle and Quiet Spirit in a woman. And I will tell you why it is of such value…because with it she totally trusts God alone for every need of her life from beginning to end. She knows that the Savior who died for her on the Cross will care for her in this life and in eternity. No Fear
NIV 1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
You can love Christ with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength because… He has loved you and sent the Holy Spirit into your life
at salvation to give you love for Him. That love will give you a gentle and quiet spirit in your inner self.
Now God wants you to take these miracles of a transformed heart and reveal His glory to the world through your life. This instruction Ladies…This is very important and not to be missed….This instruction is not at all about bringing women into submission to their husbands. It is about you being given the unspeakable privilege of revealing God in this world. God created you for this purpose. Remember how we observed that God not only gave life to His creation but also ordered it. You are now given the joy of revealing that creation order to the world and to a disbelieving husband. This is a high and blessed honor from God.
God wants you to trust God more than your husband and more than your own beauty. He wants you to trust Him with your inner self. All this, will lead you to trust Him with your physical life.
Trust God with your physical life [5-6]
51 Peter 3:5-6 For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, 6used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah
obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.
Holy women: Sorry ladies. This is not referring to some sort of priestly class of perfectly sinless women. It is related to the word ”chaste” in verse two. It means she is
pure and unique in her behavior. Do not succumb to the peer pressure of this world with regard to your marriage and your husband. Stand out by trusting God like Sarah did.
Who hoped in God: He uses Sarah to illustrate. She was not a perfect woman, but she continued to trust God in spite of her husband’s failures. She did not panic when Abram
failed God. She hoped in God and she did it….
Without being frightened by any fear: Abraham almost consigned her to a harem to
save his own hide. Do you recall who rescued her from that?
2Genesis 20:2-3 Abraham said of Sarah his wife, "She is my sister." So Abimelech king 3of Gerar sent and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelech in a dream of the night, and
said to him, "Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is married."
And here is something else to think about ladies. Abraham did not always fail. He was not always weak. He rose to dizzying heights of faithfulness and courage with God.
6Galatians 3:6-9 Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO 7HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who 8are sons of Abraham. The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "ALL THE NATIONS WILL 9BE BLESSED IN YOU." So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.
And who was “Abraham the believers” wife? Everyone knows the answer to this question. It was Sarah…who adorned herself with the inner beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. Do you think your husband can never be great for God? Then you might want to consider Sarah. You will certainly want to consider God’s explanation to you this
morning of how He has ordered His own creation. What He desires for you and for your relationship with your husband is perfect in its intent and outcome. Lean on God’s Word.
3Proverbs 3:3-6 Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, 4Write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute In the 5sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your 6own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.