This post was written by contributor Katie Orr.
Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. (1 Peter 3:1-5 ESV)
I have been stuck all week as to where to go with this post.
I could take a deeper look at the command to “be subject” to our husbands, and (for those of you who just got your feathers ruffled with the mention of submission) I might take note of the “likewise” here in this passage, in order to see the greater context of which this command is given, and the beauty of God’s plan for the marriage relationship.
For those of you who are married to an unbelieving husband, we could look at the great promise that God can use your respectful actions to bring your beloved husband to Christ.
There is always much to be learned from pulling out some Greek from the passage. Like, how “quiet” here is the Greek word hesucheos which literally means “peaceable” and “to keeps one’s seat.” (Or, as I like to put it, the ability to sit down and shut up.) The Greek word for “adorning” is also pretty interesting, but I have already written a post on all of that, looking at some of the key words in 1 Peter 3, so you can just read it for yourself there.
Every truth, promise, and command in these verses is begging for its own post. But this is not what is on my heart for us today.
How we mis-use the Bible
My heart is heavy to implore us all to be careful not to read the Bible through the filter of what we want to hear.
It is so easy to make the Bible our own “spiritual Google”. When we are interested in a topic, we will go to the Word as our Wikipedia to learn a bit more. Or, we might be feeling “sick” spiritually, so we will look up a fix to our ailment, making the Bible our own spiritual WebMD.
The danger of using the Bible this way is that it is too easy to skip over the more difficult passages—like this one. If we’re not in the mood to get our toes stepped on, we can avoid the more command-laden passages. Convenient, huh?
I doubt that many of us are “google-ing” how to be a more submissive wife, posts on a humble spirit, or “how to sit down and shut up.” We’ve probably all spent more time and energy this week on the “adorning of the external” than the hidden person of the heart without even realizing it. Yet, our journey through 1 Peter has brought us here.
God has us in this passage, this week, for a reason.
So, whether you’ve been in this passage with us throughout the week, or are reading it for the first time, I ask that you would approach God’s Word to you as exactly that—His true, good, and perfect words to us.
His promises are not cute, little feel-good sayings to frame and put on our walls.
The commands of scripture are not given to be used as a self-improvement book.
The truths we see in the Bible are not to pick and choose from.
It is not up to us to decide what we take away from the Bible.
My prayer for us today is that we will be open to hear what God has for us, in each and every verse of His perfect Word to us.
My hope for you and I—this generation of Christian women—is to stop looking at the Bible as our own little road map for life, which we pull out of our glove-compartments when we are feeling the need for direction.
Instead let us treasure the Word as it is, our sustenance for living, source of daily direction and wisdom, and the strong foundation of our faith!
What are your thoughts on the role of God’s Word in your life? Are you guilty of picking and choosing what you want to hear from the Word? What is God speaking to you about, from these life-giving words in 1 Peter? Let us know in the comments.
Jesus-lover. Pastor’s wife. Mommy of three. Grace-clinger. Truth-speaker. Auburn fan. Longs to equip others to walk with the Lord for a lifetime. Co-author of Savoring Living Water: How to have an effective quiet time and author of Focused15 Bible studies. Creator of Do Not Depart where you can receive encouragement and tools to abide in God’s Word.