Monday, October 19, 2009

Thoughts On A Godly Wife

The most beautiful woman in the world is the one who focuses her efforts toward cultivating a godly life to the end that God is glorified in it. Nothing could better describe my beautiful wife. When I read the words of 1 Peter 3:1-4, I feel as though the Lord is sketching the contours of her face in my mind through the reading of each word.

"In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. And let not your adornment be merely external- braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God" (1 Peter 3:1-4, NASB 1977).

Recently, I had the opportunity to share these verses with the youth at ABC. I hope that the Lord will put in these young ladies the fervor to resolve and commit to cultivating such godly lives now through the power and grace of God. And for the men-to-be, I pray that they (when the time is upon them) will only consider marriage with a woman such as the one Peter describes here.

A few observations jump out at me from these verses.

1. Peter says that actions speak louder than words. Nothing new here. Nobody would say here that someone might be saved just by watching someone else. However, we overestimate the power of words when we think that they have some power apart from the way that we live. God says that a godly woman is capabable of winning their husbands "without a word."

2. Peter says that a godly woman will focus on the "hidden person of the heart." He gives three examples of outward adornment. They are those things that stand in contrast to what it is that is "precious in the sight of God." Those three examples are visible and stand directly in contrast to that which is hidden. She may wake up Sunday morning and do her hair and put on a dress, but throughout the entire week, she has given herself (using far more time and resources than she has for her hair and dresses) to the preparation and adornment of a godly life.

3. Peter says that this is an "imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit." You know what else is "imperishable?" 1 Peter 1:23 reads, "for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding word of God." God's word is imperishable. Its interesting that Peter uses this adjective to describe both the word of God and the quality of a godly woman. It should be of no surprise that a woman will never cultivate such an imperishable quality in her life apart from the living and enduring word of God. What else is "imperishable?" 1 Peter 1:4 reads, "to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you." The inheritance that awaits a Christian in heaven is imperishable. Everything in this world has a perishable quality about it. But to those who set their aim to glorify God through lives that are useful and pleasing to Him, they have now the capacity to possess something in this world that has a imperishable quality. The only things that should matter to us are those things that have eternal significance. The only things that can have eternal significance are those things which cannot perish. The souls of men cannot perish though their bodies certainly will. A life committed to the salvation of the souls of men and women and children has eternal significance. A lady who values and works at adorning her life in such a way that is pleasing to the Lord has a life of eternal significance.

4. Peter says that such a godly life is "precious in the sight of God." "Imperishable" dealt with the essence of a godly life. That this life would also be "precious" stresses its value. A life is wasted if its aim is to be precious or valuable to the world. What the world considers value is ridiculously vain compared to what God considers valuable. Jesus put it this way: "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?" (Mark 8:36). I cannot think of anything more vain for a young woman to do than to use all of her mind, heart, and soul in decorating her outward appearance for the pleasure of the world, when the same time could be used in preparing herself for Christ and being pleasing to Him. What else is "precious" even "precious in the sight of God?" 1 Peter 2:4 reads, "And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God." Jesus is precious in the sight of God. What else is precious? 1 Peter 1:7 reads, "so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ." Whatever God uses (but especially trials and tests of our faith) to give Himself praise, glory and honor has the utmost value to God and ought to have the utmost value in our own lives. If we want to be precious like Jesus, we have to value those things that Jesus valued-namely, exerting our energies in those things that most glorify God.

To my wife,
You are precious and beautiful. Perhaps only your mother, father, and sister have known what I have come to know about you. I am so thankful to our Lord who has saved you from your sins, made you alive together with Jesus, raised you up with Him, and seated you together with Him in the heavenly places. I am so thankful for the gentle and quiet spirit that God has developed in you. I am so thankful that you have such a powerful testimony before me that your life lived for the gospel speaks much louder than words. I hope that those things that are of eternal significance will always be more valuable to you than anything this world can tease us with. You are an amazing encouragement (so much like your mother who is a great witness for our Lord Jesus Christ). I love you so much. And I pray that there will not be one young man that I disciple now or in the future that will ever settle for a woman who does not have such an imperishable quality that is precious in God's sight.

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