A Wife's Attitude - Meek
I Peter 3:4 “But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”
The correct spirit, or attitude, of a wife is a rare and lovely jewel to God. He looks for a particular kind of spirit in a wife, and when He sees it, He values it highly. Two words are used in this passage to describe this proper heart attitude of a wife towards her husband, and they are two words which are especially of use during any bumps in that relationship.
In this article we will focus on the first word – “meek.” “Meek” is defined as ‘mild of temper, soft, gentle, not easily provoked or irritated; submissive to the divine will.’ (Webster’s 1828) Take the time to consider each of the words in that definition. (Also see the article “Conflict: Meekness.”) God is looking for a lady with a spirit that is easy-going, gentle, does not carry a chip on the shoulder, is hard to get a rise out of, and is looking to God and His plan instead of looking at people and their offences. This spirit is considerate of its effect on others. This spirit “in lowliness of mind” “esteem(s) other(s) better than themselves.” (Phil. 2:3) This is the spirit that God wants to see in us. When you are misunderstood by your husband, do you boil over in self-justification and self-promotion, or are you willing to softly and gently handle the issue? Does every little thing tick you off, or do you lay aside petty preferences? As differences of opinion come, do you recognize that God allows all of this and look to Him for the proper response?
This meekness of spirit will come out in our speech as Luke 6:45 so clearly shows: “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” Hot buttons and friction points bring out our innermost attitudes. When a husband and a wife are on opposite sides of a discussion, it seems like all the wrong buttons can get pushed. You know that what’s coming out of your mouth isn’t right, but you’re not sure how to turn it around. How am I going to say all those right words when all the wrong buttons are being pushed? Only by possessing the “good treasure” of a meek spirit. If we’re gentle of spirit, our words will reflect that. If we have a sweet attitude, we will speak sweet words. When a wife’s heart attitude is right, she finds that her mouth is much easier to control.
As we pursue meekness, Jesus holds Himself up as the textbook example of meekness. He counsels us in Matthew 11:29, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” How many times did men tempt and provoke Jesus, and yet how many times did He lose it and blow up? Not once. Instead He exhibits gentle love, patient mercy, and kind words, even to those disciples closest to Him who really should have known better. In our pursuit of Christ-like meekness, let’s not forget that the only way to be like Jesus is through Jesus. Most anyone can say nice things back to someone who says nice things to them. But it takes the Spirit of the indwelling Christ to enable you to, like Him, revile not when you are reviled. (I Peter 2:23) A truly meek spirit is accessed through God’s Spirit in the believer. (See articles on “Grace” in ‘Keys to the Home.’)
Christ lives out the definition of meekness, and the strange woman of Proverbs 7 lives out the antonym, the exact opposite. Proverbs 7:11 states, “She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house:” This woman is ‘stubborn.’ She rebels against her God-ordained place (see the article “Differences of Opinion: A Wife’s Attitude – Quiet”). And not only is this woman stubborn, she is ‘loud.’ She clamors for her rights. If her opinions are slighted, there will be a ‘tempest in the teapot.’ Nobody’s going to run her over. Proverbs has much to say about this perfect example of how not to be meek. Proverbs 21:9 – “It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.” Proverbs 21:19 – “It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.” Proverbs 27:15-16 – “A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike. Whosoever hideth her hideth the wind, and the ointment of his right hand, which bewrayeth itself.” This is the feminist agenda. We are encouraged and even pushed to please ourselves and no one else, to lack time and patience for others, to be intimidating and proud of it, to be stubbornly forceful, to confront anyone who dares to irritate us, to say whatever we feel like with no regard for others, to ‘be real and express ourselves’ – as if being rough, rude, and unkind was the only way to truly communicate. What a contrast to the meek spirit that God values so highly!
So as you think about that issue you and your husband are dealing with, consider your attitude, your spirit. Are you contentious – aggressively clamoring for your way and your rights? Or could you describe your spirit as ‘meek’? Do you choose to consider your husband by treating him gently and kindly? Are you willing to allow the Lord to develop the precious quality of a meek spirit in you?