Without the Word

“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;”  I Peter 3:1

Any time I read these verses in I Peter 3, I am reminded of a message we heard preached several years ago by Br. Johnny Pope on “Bringing the Spirit-Filled Life Home”.  Br. Pope brought out a very important truth concerning a wife’s responsibility toward a husband who is either not saved or is backslidden. His point was: A husband who is being disobedient to the Word of God (either unsaved or backslid), will NOT be won by a wife’s words. In fact, the continual pleading and (can I say it)…NAGGING…will only drive a husband further away from Truth. The book of Proverbs warns of the nagging wife –

“…the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.” Proverbs 19:13

“A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.” Proverbs 27:15

“A continual dropping”…drip, drip, drip…nag, nag, nag. THAT is what our continual “words of wisdom” and “mini sermons” and “whining” and “angry words”…etc…sound like to our husbands.

Are we “winning” our husbands to the Lord; are we drawing them to Truth when we handle situations in this manner? No. In fact, we are driving them further and further away. We also read in Proverbs –

“It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.” Proverbs 21:9

“It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.” Proverbs 21:19

The corner of the housetop and yes, even the wilderness sound much more inviting to a husband whose wife is constantly confronting him concerning his spiritual condition.

NEWS FLASH – Wives are not their husbands’ Holy Spirit.  

Think about that for a minute. If we have a husband that is not right with God, what would we rather take place in their life? Would we rather them comply with our wishes just to get us off their back or would we rather GOD speak to them? Would we rather GOD get hold of their heart and thus produce LASTING changes in their life?

So, what is a wife to do? The end of I Peter 3:1, as well as verses 2-5 tells us:

“…they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 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. 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:”  I Peter 3:1-5

The word “conversation” speaks of our behavior, NOT our words. How is a husband who is living in disobedience to God’s Word won to Truth?  Through the godly behavior of a wife who has adorned herself with a meek and quiet spirit (not a contentious spirit) while being in subjection to her husband and trusting GOD to do the work that needs to be done in his heart. Some may argue, “That is just not me…I am just naturally an outspoken person who tells it like it is.”  Well, the above verses tell all wives to “adorn” themselves with a meek and quiet spirit. This Godly characteristic may be more of a challenge for some than others, but, just as we would adorn ourselves with a necklace, or just as we would adorn a tree at Christmas time with ornaments, so should a Christian wife adorn or “put on” a meek and quiet spirit. Did you notice what God thinks of this quality in women? The above passage says, “…which is in the sight of God of great price.”

A good question for each of us wives to ask ourselves from time to time would be, “How valuable is my behavior in GOD’S sight? Would my daily conduct be considered one “of great price” to God?” May we allow these verses in I Peter to be a continual reminder to us, as wives, of the VALUE to God as well as EFFECTIVENESS in our home of a meek and quiet spirit.

“She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” Proverbs 31:26

~ Rachel ~

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