In my natural state, I am certainly not a woman of strength and dignity. I fret, I try to control, I am loud and can be abrasive, I whine, and I have a very limited vision – mostly seeing how things affect me. But that is not the woman the Lord has called me to be, and He is reminding me that life isn’t all about me. The Lord has definitely been hitting me over the head to learn what kind of woman and wife He wants me to be. I have resisted. Oh, I’ve had a lot of excuses, but they just don’t hold water. The Lord has been leading me to this instruction for months, and I’ve just finally opened the eyes of my heart to His instruction. I am so grateful the He has never stopped pointing me in this direction. He is so faithful!
In yesterday’s post, we ended with 1 Peter 3:1-4, which begins “Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands…”. “In the same way” implies there is an example in the prior passage. When I got home last night I read through all of 1 Peter. The passage before gives the example of Christ. “But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps. ‘He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth.’ When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly. ‘He Himself bore our sins’ in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by His wounds you have been healed.’ For ‘you were like sheep going astray,’ but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” (1 Peter 2:20b-25)
There’s a lot to unpack in those five verses.
- Do good: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galations 6:9)
- Endure suffering: “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:3-4)
- Commit no sin: “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.” (1 John 3:9)
- Do not deceive: “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies, and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” (Proverbs 6:16-19)
- Do not retaliate when someone hurts your feelings: “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19)
- Make no threats: “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.” (Proverbs 29:11)
- Entrust yourself to the Lord: “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.” (Proverbs 16:3)
And then Peter continues, “Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives…Your beauty… 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.” (1 Peter 3:1-4) We have the ability to have that unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit — certainly not in MY own power, but because we put our trust in the Lord, who is faithful.
In Proverbs 31:21 we see a woman of excellence and virtue that is not afraid. Now we see in verse 25 that “strength and dignity [or honor] are her clothing.” The most important pieces in your wardrobe do not hang in your closet. It’s the clothing of godly character and moral strength. She is a woman who is clothed in strength and dignity because her heart is fixed on the Lord. John Wesley said of this passage, “She lives in constant tranquility of mind from a just confidence in God’s gracious providence.” Here’s a woman who is able to bear up under pressure and adversity. She’s a woman who has mental, emotional, and spiritual fortitude. She’s strong within. She’s able to withstand opposition and to continue blessing and serving the Lord and others even in the midst of storms and crises.
And how can we be this strong and honorable woman who is able to withstand opposition and be able to submit ourselves to our husbands as we do to the Lord? By admitting our dependence on our faithful Father, who is our Shepherd and Overseer. “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:13)
- NIV Study Bible
- How to Show Strength and Dignity