Must I have a “gentle & quiet spirit”?

1 Peter 3:4 instructs wives to have a gentle, quiet spirit.  Hmmm.  Why do so many of us rebel against that idea?  Well, for me, I think it boils down to 2 things.

First, I fear that being quiet and gentle means I’m going to be controlled by my husband or become a weak doormat kind of wife!  Personally, I fear being controlled.  It’s because I was hurt by people who controlled me when I was young.  So, I rebel at anything that even smells like control!  But here’s what both you and I need to know.  Just because we allow our husbands to lead, does not mean that we are weak and have no voice.  It is something we get to CHOOSE to do to bring honor to God and honor to our husbands.  Also, I am not a doormat because I DO get to speak up respectfully and establish boundaries if my husband is sinning against me. (Matthew 18:15-17)

Second, I fear that if I strive for a gentle, quiet spirit that I’m going to have to change my personality!  But that’s just not true!  You can still be playful, joyful, and flirty with your husband.  You just don’t yell at him, argue with him about everything, boss him around, and demand your own way all the time.  ๐Ÿ™‚

How to conquer insecurity

I’m a fairly confident, secure woman….most of the time.  But there are still moments where that awful insecurity shows up.  How about you?  For me, it often relates to the way I look.  I compare myself to other women and fall way short.  Sometimes, I’m insecure in terms of whether friends or even relatives really like me.  Other times, I get down on myself about whether anything I do really matters.  Ugh.  I hate feeling so insecure!

So, how do we become more secure?  Well, for me, it means turning to God for my “value”.  I need to remember the only audience that really matters is an audience of one.  God is the one with whom I will spend eternity.  He is the one who created me to be in relationship with Him.  He is really the only one I need to please, and what he says about me is really all that matters.

Meditate on these Scriptures and if you’re anything like me, you will feel a warm blanket of security envelop you.

Psalm 139:13-16

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my motherโ€™s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Zephaniah 3:17

The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you; He will quiet you with his love; He will rejoice over you with singing.

Hebrews 13:5

Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you

Seeing yourself as God sees you

For you and I to become confident, dignified wives who refuse to put up with disrespect or abuse, we must begin to see ourselves the way God sees us.   Emotionally-bruising words may have been spoken to you as a child and those hurtful words can easily become your identity.  Perhaps you made some major mistakes as a teen or young woman, and you started calling yourself a loser or hopeless or unlovable.

God wants you to listen for His voice above all the other voices we hear both externally and internally.  In John 10:27, Jesus says “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”  Jesus wants to speak to you!  He wants to let you know how He sees you and how much he delights in you.  Here are 2 things that can help you truly comprehend how God sees you:

1) Meditate on Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is with you.  He is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you.  He will quiet you with his love.  He will rejoice over you with singing.”

2) Be still and ask God to whisper a word to your spirit about how he sees you.  Have faith that He WILL speak to you.  Be receptive, and listen.  He loves you!

If you’re facing something daunting

If we could all truly embrace the Biblical principle of taking just one day at a time, we would all be better off!  Yes, this is a Bible principle.  Jesus says in Matthew 6:34: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  In other words, instead of worrying and fretting about the “what if…” questions, Jesus tells us to just focus on doing what we should do today. 

How does this apply to you?  If it seems overwhelming to you to put your marriage back together after betrayal, just choose to move forward, one day at a time.  If you tend to avoid confronting your husband or establishing boundaries on wrong behavior because you fear the possibility of future tension, trust in Jesus and move forward, one day at a time.  If it seems daunting to take off the 50 pounds you’ve gained in recent years, don’t think about how hard this is going to be for the rest of your life. Just choose to eat healthy today and take it one day at a time.

Worrying about the future is pointless.  Being consumed by the “what if…” questions will only keep you trapped in fear.  Let’s do what Jesus says.  Let’s decide each morning to do what we know we should do that day, and let’s trust God to handle tomorrow.

How to become a confident wife

Do you lack confidence in handling disrespectful or sinful behavior by your husband (or boyfriend)?  If so, there are some common reasons.  Perhaps you avoid conflict because you grew up in a home filled with rage and verbal abuse.  Maybe you’re so insecure about your own worth that you can’t stand up for yourself if your husband is treating your poorly.  However, you need to recognize this truth.  If you remain insecure and scared of confrontation, it’s likely nothing will ever change in your marriage.  You’ll keep getting what you’re getting right now.

There is a solution.  First, ask God to give you courage to confront any sinful behavior in your marriage.  He will be glad to answer that prayer! Throughout the Bible, God continually tells his people to be strong and courageous.  In fact in Joshua 1:9, God says “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.โ€  Helpful hint:  When I need courage, I ask God’s Holy Spirit to be the one who actually does the confrontation.  I ask Him to simply use me as his mouthpiece.

If insecurity is the issue for you, then ask God to reveal your true worth and identity in His eyes.  Meditating on what God says in Zephaniah 3:17 is a good place to start.  He says, “The Lord your God is with you.  He is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you.  He will quiet you with His love.  He will rejoice over you with singing.”  In addition, take a moment to close your eyes and ask God to speak one word into your mind about how He views you.  You will likely be amazed at the loving, encouraging word He has for you.  You may hear the word “beautiful” or “chosen” or “adorable” or “strong”….

The tendency to compare yourself with other women

It is so incredibly easy to get out of balance as a wife, mother, employee, homemaker, ministry leader, etc. We focus on our roles and begin feeling pretty insecure. We start comparing ourselves to other women and feel we’re somehow lacking. Then we start picking up self-help books, we google “how to become a better ________”, we attend classes and workshops, we beat ourselves up for not being as “good” as other women, and we relentlessly push ourselves to be better!

The crazy thing is that we get so consumed with beating ourselves up and reading self-help books that we push our relationship with God farther and farther away! I mean, who even has time for God when we are completely focused on being as “good” as the other women around us.

As I was pondering this dilemma the other day, I sensed God convict my heart in a way that I had not expected. Instead of him assuring me that I’m amazing the way I am, God gently revealed to me that these thoughts that “I’m not good enough” are really prideful thoughts! In other words, I want people to like me, to approve of me, to think I’m pretty incredible as a wife, a mom, a ministry leader, etc! This tendency to compare myself is actually rooted in pride. Ugh. We know that pride is something God detests.

What’s a woman to do? Well, how about if we agree with God that we’re NOT “good enough” and that Jesus is the only one who is?! How about every time we start comparing ourselves to other women, we stop ourselves and remind ourselves how thankful we should be that Jesus died to save us from our imperfections and sin? Maybe at that very moment, we should turn our thoughts toward Jesus in gratitude and adoration. In that moment, spend time worshipping your creator and Savior. Colossians 3:1-2 “Since then you have been raised with Christ, set your heart on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.”

Bonus: When I start worshipping the Lord in song, I find that I quickly gain a whole new perspective on what’s important. I am better able to choose how to spend my limited time and energy. I don’t feel so driven to compete with other women. As you focus on the majesty, grace and love of Christ, you will develop a heart posture that brings balance and peace.

— or view this topic as a 4 minute VIDEO

4 keys to becoming a mature wife

We all want to be viewed as mature, but how does a wife actually go about becoming mature?    The Bible gives us some hints.  In short, the Bible indicates that maturity comes from persevering, from disciplining yourself to discern between good and evil choices, from speaking the truth in love, and by receiving wisdom from the Word of God.

Here are the verses that reveal these 4 means of becoming mature.  James 1:4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  Hebrews 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.  Ephesians 4:15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.  Colossians 1:28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.

By the way, the very best way for you to receive wisdom is by spending time reading God’s Word!  By that, I don’t mean simply reading one verse per day from a daily devotional.  I mean reading ALL of God’s Word.  It might take you two years to make your way all the way through it, but it will be totally worth it.  You will find so much of value along the journey ๐Ÿ™‚