"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands," 1 Peter 3:3-5
I have always liked this verse, and I've always been fascinated by it and it's concept... But, I've always believed that it didn't apply to me because lets be honest I'm not quiet, and gentle only depending on the situation...
And then Gloria, my roomie in Ghana who had to leave a day early left me a note that said that I have "...an enduring sense of strength and love for adventure, coupled with the gentle and quiet spirit (not mouth, spirit)...." (haha..she obviously understands me a little huh?) I truly think it was one of the most touching things anyone has ever said to me, and it was given to me at the perfect moment.. and I felt it in the very core of who I am. So, then I began to wonder what does this mean and did this verse really apply to me also? I mean I can point to a multitude of women who have these qualities and I always admire them.. My mom being one of the most blatant examples of this in my life.
So, lets break it down then.. what does it mean if I of all women have a Gentle and Quiet Spirit?..
ESV, NIV, and ISV use the words "gentle and quiet spirit"
KJV and YLT use the words "meek and quiet spirit" ... now here's where I have to chuckle to myself because I LOVE the word meek, it's one of my favorite words of all time. In English the word meek means shy, timid, weak, incapable, coward etc..etc.. When actually the word was used to describe war horses and it meant "Power under control"... haha let that sink in for a second... Power. Under. Control. I love the word Meek.
Ok, so lets break down the other words..
Considerate or kindly in disposition; amiable and tender. Not wild or turbulent, polite; refined. (Obviously there are a whole SLEW of other descriptive words.. but this gives you an idea)
Making no noise or sound, esp. no disturbing sound, restrained in speech, manner, free from disturbance or tumult; tranquil; peaceful, free from disturbing thoughts, emotions.. etc..etc..
An attitude or principle that inspires, animates, or pervades thought, feeling, or action. Temper or disposition. The essential nature of a person or group. (Again, there are a whole lot more.. but you get an idea where I'm going with it.)
So, then can this verse describe me?.. I think so. Not all the time, but as a general characteristic of who I am this can now describe me because of who God has been shaping and molding me to be. I'm not sure I could say that about myself even just a few years ago, but I've gone through things that I can see have created some of these characteristics in myself. So.. I seriously give God praise cause he's creating me to be this. He is creating me to be beautiful from the very core of who I am out. So, Lord let my hope be in you so that I can be beautiful the way you made me.
And as a side note... I like how tagged onto the end as part of a beautiful woman is one who is submissive to her husband. I didn't used to like that idea at all... But, the more I'm beginning to understand what that means, the more I really like it, and realize how purposeful and wonderful it would mean to be submissive.