When thinking on Scriptures about womanhood, one particular line has always stood out in my mind – when God describes how a woman can be precious in His sight.
“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 3:3-4
There’s tenderness to these verses. It’s a sweet note that reveals how we as women can please our Heavenly Father—through our character.
Inside this little definition of godly womanhood there are no commandments for action or requirements for what activities to do, but rather a proper attitude of reverence.
In context, Peter is directing this Word to wives, but all of us can glean wisdom from such a delightful description. God loves women with inner beauty. It’s about the heart hidden inside – the spirit that is imperishable.
God’s picture of womanhood – while lovely – is not always easy for me. My natural tendencies go against what He desires, like when I doubt my husband or panic at the slightest change in plans. Thank the Lord that His mercy renews each morning.
If we keep pursuing to walk with the Spirit, confessing our sin and cherishing the grace offered at His throne, He is faithful to shape us into Christlike women.
“He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24
Come take a closer look at what this inner beauty is. Pray over what God seeks for us as we seek to be His daughters in Christ. As you’ll see, all the qualities are interconnected through faith.
The Greek word for “gentle” in this passage means mildness of disposition, or meekness. This is not to be confused with passivity, but to be understood as a humility of spirit that comes from trust in God’s goodness. This is the same word Jesus used when He said “blessed are those who are meek, for they will inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5).
A woman of gentleness recognizes that every element of life can be used by the Spirit to grow her in Christ, and so refuses to be hardened by hardship. She responds to others in deference, kindness, and love, knowing Christ has shown her the same grace. Her heart is softened toward others, looking to extend compassion.
Nearly synonymous with gentleness, this word denotes being “peaceable.” It suggests inner tranquility. When we are serene in God’s salvation, we exhibit gracious behavior. Rather than stirring up strife or calling for attention, the “quiet” woman is secure in God’s love. She serves Him and her home without grumbling. Having confidence in the Lord, she reacts to life thoughtfully and with self-control.
Moving past verse 4, more qualities appear in 5 and 6.
“For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.” 1 Peter 3:5-6
We can have a gentle and quiet heart because we hope in Jesus, knowing He will soon return. Even if others fail, the godly woman knows her God does not. She entrusts herself to Him, and takes Him at His Word. Christ and His promises are the foundation of her heart and home. The hope of heaven is so real to her, giving her a warmth and strength that inspires her family and neighbors.
Following the footsteps of the biblical matriarchs, this hope leads us to respect and submit to the authorities God has placed in our lives – whether it be our parents, husband, or spiritual mentors. Through this obedience we take steps closer to what He has promised.
This is perhaps the most difficult – we are instructed to “do good.” It seems so simple, and yet such a calling involves the daily grind of self-denial and selflessness for our homes and ministries.
Faithfulness must define our character—not daydreams, secret sins, or selfish ambition. These are the easy temptations in our world of instant gratification and feminism. Instead, let us put on good works – ones that may not have fireworks but bring joy to our servant-hearted Savior. From diaper-changing to praying for our husband to crying with a friend, we can be holy women who bring God’s Word to life.
Finally, we can be courageous in the Lord, in all things. The world equates being fearless with being a risk-taker, but the Bible provides a definition of greater substance and significance.
Because Christ has freed us from sin and shame, we can walk confidently before God the Father. As His redeemed daughters, we can always find refuge in Him and like the Proverbs 31 woman are without fear of the future, because He is steadfast and is on our side. There’s no fear of failure or misfortune, because we know He can carry us through any trial. He, and He alone, is enough.
All of these behaviors bless our husbands and our homes, our churches and friends, but most of all our Lord. May we be precious in His sight as we live in His grace!
You can also learn more about being a 1 Peter 3 Woman in my newest study – Biblical Womanhood Defined!
Biblical Womanhood Defined: A Scripture-Led Study of God’s Design$9.00