A Wife's Attitude - Quiet
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.”
We have looked at how “a meek …spirit” applies to a discussion between a husband and wife. (see the article “Differences of Opinion: A Wife’s Attitude – Meek”) Now in this article we will focus on the second quality that God values highly – “quiet.” At first glance, “quiet” seems to describe an action (or lack of action!), not an attitude. It seems to imply that God prefers a wife to never speak up. But if you look closer at the passage, you’ll notice that the verse suggests another idea. Everyone can see if you’re not talking, but God says that the description He’s giving deals with something that can’t be seen, ‘the hidden man of the heart.’ So the word ‘quiet’ here must have a different sense, and it does. “Quiet” in this use here is defined as ‘keeping one’s seat.’ It can cover two applications.
First, “quiet” refers to ‘keeping our seat’ in rank. Remember your God-designated ranking as support personnel. (suitable helper – Gen. 2:18) When God incorporated the home, He did not create a co-regency of two heads, two kings. He created a CEO and a perfectly-matched personal assistant to that CEO. (see the article “What is a Help Meet?”) Both are vital, but one is the final authority. Keep your seat – your position, and don’t break rank by grabbing for CEO. Realize that God has not given you the position to make decisions for the direction of the home. Unless a decision has already been delegated to you, check with your husband and abide by his wishes. When a difference of opinion occurs, realize this: as he makes the final decision, it is your husband, not you, who answers to God on Judgement Day for both the immediate decision and its resulting consequences. “My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.” (James 3:1) Every privilege comes with a responsibility. The privilege of leadership (“masters”) comes with the responsibility of answering to God for its exercise (“greater condemnation”). Be thankful that you don’t bear that responsibility, and don’t grasp for it.
What would have happened if Eve in the Garden had “quiet”ly deferred to her authority when confronted with temptation instead of making a quick and convenient decision based on personal preference? Saying “Let me check with Adam on that,” would have saved a world of grief. And you can save yourself a world of grief today by following God’s plan. Assist your husband in understanding your thoughts, viewpoints, and concerns, and then leave the final decision to him. As you do so, you are doing something of great worth. Be willing to acknowledge your perfect place in God’s perfect plan. Sit in your God-given spot as assistant, and by God’s grace stay in your seat.
Then, “quiet” deals with ‘keeping our seat’ in our emotions. Can you imagine how Sarah felt when Abraham asked the unthinkable of her in Genesis 12? What would your home sound like if your husband dared to suggest such a thing?! Perhaps you’re thinking even now of some decision your husband is considering that seems completely crazy. I have been there. You feel, ‘If he goes through with this, the world will come crashing down around our heads!’ And yet in the verse following our beginning passage, I Peter 3:6, God describes Sarah as an example to us of “obey(ing) Abraham, …not afraid with any amazement.” No amazement? No fear? Of course the only way she did that was by I Peter 3:5, “trust(ing) in God, …being in subjection unto their own husbands:” She could choose subjection to her husband because she trusted, not her husband, but rather the God Who was over her husband.
Don’t allow your insides to be cast into turmoil. When the two of you are at odds, choose to be “not afraid with …amazement” as you follow your husband’s leadership. Trust and rest in God’s faithfulness. The One Who ordered the home can also intervene for you as He did for Sarah. Sit down, and settle down. It’s easy to meekly and quietly allow him to take you to your favorite restaurant. “Okay, dear. If that is what you feel needs to be done!” But to choose meekness and quietness through God’s Spirit when everything in your flesh yells to ‘let him have it!’, that’s a rare gem indeed! Take your emotions, sit them firmly down, and keep in your seat.
So then, being ‘quiet’ does not mean a lack of voice in that you never can express your opinion. Rather it means that you are refusing to grasp for control of the situation while at the same time choosing to control your spirit as you express your point of view.