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Pastoral Exhortation - Series of 2010

A Chaste Wife (III )



An Exposition of 1 Peter 3:1-6

A chaste wife is one who is meek and of a quiet spirit. “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” (1 Peter 3:4). The study of this text will bless Christian women with a good understanding why they should be preoccupied with their spiritual beauty and not with their external beauty. It also teaches them how to adorn themselves with it.

To begin with, we need to know who is “the hidden man of the heart”. In the context, the Apostle Peter was referring to the regenerated soul of the Christian women, which has been purified and reconciled with God through the perfect sacrifice of Christ. Though this term was not used by the Apostle Paul, he taught the same doctrine using other terms like “the inner man” (Ephesians 3:16) and “the new man” (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10).

The Apostle Peter wanted every Christian woman to know that there is a greater need of beautifying their "inner man" than beautifying their external look. Every Christian needs to overcome the sinful tendencies within by constantly examining oneself and bringing the heart to full obedience to the Spirit and His truth.

This is the thrust of the Apostle Peter’s message. Christian wives must be excited to beautify their spiritual lives so that they manifest the character of Jesus Christ in their own life. This is not going to be easy for the ladies because the natural disposition of every person is to be self-seeking and selfpromoting. To be meek and of a quiet spirit, we have to engage in constant battle against our own passions. There can be no let up. It requires much discipline and watchfulness.

Let us consider some examples of the struggles of Christian wives. When their husbands become unloving or their incomes are insufficient to pay their bills, to send their children to school and to provide them with the little pleasures of life, they become restless and worried. For those who have children who do not do well in school or when they often fall ill, as mothers, they are affected. When their children become disobedient, the struggles become even worse. Those with aged parents have additional burdens.

Many a time Christian wives feel that they are struggling alone to cope with their burdens, which nobody, including their own husbands, seem to care about. So they try to solve their problems on their own, even without seeking the help of God. As a result, they become irritable, hot-tempered, illmannered and argumentative.

Worse still, there are Christian wives who misbehave due to a totally different kind of struggle. These women are disrespectful to their own husbands, envious of the prosperity of their contemporaries, materialistic and discontented with their Godgiven role at home.

Dear sister, if you behave in an ungodly way, no luxurious costume or jewellery that you put on will make you look good in God's eyes. You remain detestable in His sight. It is time that you take care of your spiritual beauty by being meek and of a quiet spirit.

Consider the blessings that God promises a meek person:

Firstly, the meek will be taught of God. The Bible says, “The meek will he [God] guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way” (Psalm 25:9). When the wife who is meek submits herself to God’s special guidance, she is able to walk circumspectly in life. Such a woman will not give in to her emotional ups and downs and be bitter towards her husband and others around her. As she follows her Lord, she discovers the way to overcome her ill feelings and be more refined and godly. Then she will be blessed with more of His beauty. “For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation” (Psalm 149:4).

Secondly, the meek enjoys God’s special provision. The Bible says, “The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever” (Psalm 22:26). Instead of worrying for her needs, she casts her burdens on the Lord in prayer. She pleads for her family’s needs that God will respond in her favour to satisfy her with His grace. She also learns to be contented with what she has and stops being anxious, covetous or envious of her well-off contemporaries.

Thirdly, the meek is joyful. The Bible says, “The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 29:19). God knows how to make the wife who is meek happy despite her troubles in life. Her burdens draw her closer to the presence of God in that she enjoys His presence, which increases her joy more and more.

Finally, a woman of a quiet spirit is a peaceable person. A Christian wife should not be quarrelsome. One area that she has to be careful is her tongue. The book of Proverbs repeatedly speaks of the curse of a house with a clamourous woman (Proverbs 9:13; 21:19). There are also women who withhold their words but throw tantrums. They have forgotten that their actions speak louder than their words of their ugly spiritual condition.

Dear sister, it is time to give up all kinds of sins. Be like Sarah who was a chaste wife, for she has proven herself to be submissive, modest, meek and of a quiet spirit. So she is honoured in the Holy Scriptures. “For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement” (1 Peter 3:5-6). You can be an honourable lady like her by being a chaste wife at home!

(Part I of the article)
(Part II of the article)

Pastoral Exhortation