if you do what is right and do not give way to fear

She had a quiet, gentle spirit that was framed with purity and reverence. She never really worried about fancy make-up, jewelry or clothes, but rather worried about others more than herself. Her husband wasn’t really a strong man of faith, but she submitted to him from the day they wed and he was completely won over by her behavior. She was loyal and good and captivating. She lived a life unintimidated, unanxious, and unafraid. Yes, she possessed a holy beauty. No, I don’t really know her, but I know so many women like her. And, she inspires me to want to be all these things and more.

Have you ever read something in the Bible with fresh eyes? Just this morning I was reading through the last chapters of I Peter and there it was. Something I had never even noticed or maybe never read before. Maybe you haven’t either. So, here it goes. See what God puts on your heart after reading it. And, no, please don’t let the first word cause you to stop reading if you aren’t married. There is so much to treasure in this passage for all women.

“Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.” {I Peter 3:1-6 NIV}

When you read this, can’t you just apply this to any woman’s life?  That those who don’t have a husband to win over have a host of others whose lives they can touch?

Never before had I noticed the last several words. ‘If you do what is right and do not give way to fear.’ Maybe you have noticed and I am just behind, but this morning this really caught my attention as a woman, wife, and mother.

You see, I have struggled with fear for years now. I won’t go into a lot of detail about my fear in this post (it would take way too long!), but God has revealed to me time and again that I am not alone. That women in general tend to live in fear. This verse was just a reminder to me that He knows our struggles and knew even back then what one of our major hurdles would be as women and wives and daughters and mothers and friends. Fear.

I want to share The Message translation as well.  I love how it describes how our lives would be without fear and I love even more the phrase a ‘holy beauty.’

1-4 The same goes for you wives: Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty. What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition. 4-6 Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. The holy women of old were beautiful before God that way, and were good, loyal wives to their husbands. Sarah, for instance, taking care of Abraham, would address him as “my dear husband.” You’ll be true daughters of Sarah if you do the same, unanxious and unintimidated. {I Peter 3: 1-6, MSG}

Unanxious. Unintimidated. Yes, I long to be unanxious and unintimidated.

And, to have a ‘holy beauty’.

The entire passage really reminds us how we can be Godly women today even in what seems like an ungodly world.

I am a list girl so here it goes ~ Please note that items in parentheses are just reminders that this can apply to all women, not just wives.

  • Be good wives to your husbands. {Do good to everyone, even your enemies ~ Luke 6:35 and love your neighbor as yourself~ Luke 10:27. }
  • Be responsive to their needs. {Be ready to help and pay attention to the needs of others ~ Luke 10: 25-37.}
  • Captivate them not with your outward beauty but HOLY beauty. {The Word says be holy because He is holy ~ I Peter 1:16.}
  • Work on the unfading beauty inside – God delights in a gentle, quiet spirit. {We are to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Not with fancy outer garments, but holy inner garments that shine through your actions, words and attitudes ~ Colossians 3:12.}
  • Just submit to your husbands. {And, rulers and authorities and whatever God is calling you to submit to ~ Ephesians 5:21. Another great word to consider is SURRENDER. This is where a real life with God begins.}

I think these verses are really a testimony to the way God intends for all women to live. Not just wives, although He does address specifics for them here, I do believe He knows that we all can become too caught up in things that the world deems as perfect or beautiful or captivating. Or even swallowed up by fear. And, yes, He knows that He wants so much more for us.

My mind is racing with so many precious names and faces that possess just these things. Holy beauty. Yes, many of these precious women are just as beautiful on the outside, but that is not what pulls at my heart when I think of them. No, the pulling of my heart comes from knowing their inward beauty. From seeing their gentle, quiet spirit work through tragedy or defeat or fear with the grace and peace that only comes from the One who delights in them. Watching them submit to His way or His plan and respond to the needs of those around her. Just being good to others, especially their husbands. And, to see the way the Spirit weaves in and out of their lives into the lives of others.

Yes, Lord, may it be so for all of us as women.

May we be good. Responsive. Captivating. Holy. Beautiful. Unfading. Gentle. Quiet. Submissive. Not fear-filled, but rather Spirit-filled.

Trusting in the One who numbers the stars and knows us by name. Our, Abba Father.

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1 Comment

  • Reply KCC October 27, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    what a great entry and so comforting to read–“If you do what is right and do not give in to fear,” I will write this verse down and keep it with me.

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