"An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones."---Proverbs 12:4(NKJV)
Something that some of the people in my close spiritual space and I have been talking *a lot* about, especially as of late, is the fact that it's becoming unfortunate that it seems like less and less woman are seeking to become *truly beautiful*. And by that, we mean this:
"In like manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives, when they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence [for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him—to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband].
Let not yours be the [merely] external adorning with [elaborate] interweaving and knotting of the hair, the wearing of jewelry, or changes of clothes; but let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God.
For it was thus that the pious women of old who hoped in God were [accustomed] to beautify themselves and were submissive to their husbands [adapting themselves to them as themselves secondary and dependent upon them].
It was thus that Sarah obeyed Abraham [following his guidance and acknowledging his headship over her by] calling him lord (master, leader, authority). And you are now her true daughters if you do right and let nothing terrify you [not giving way to hysterical fears or letting anxieties unnerve you].
In the same way you married men should live considerately with [your wives], with an intelligent recognition [of the marriage relation], honoring the woman as [physically] the weaker, but [realizing that you] are joint heirs of the grace (God’s unmerited favor) of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered and cut off. [Otherwise you cannot pray effectively.]"---I Peter 3:1-7(AMP)
It's pretty loaded, right? And being that the Word *is* God (John 1:1)...
A GODLY wife is going to be submissive. (Period.-Colossians 3:18)
A GODLY wife is going to be able to influence her husband, not by nagging or manipulating, but simply through her *reverent conduct*.
A GODLY wife is going to respect, defer to, revere, honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, adore, admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy her husband.
A GODLY wife is going to not be so caught up in how she looks that she allows her character (Colossians 3:12-17) to "take a back seat".
A GODLY wife is going to have a gentle and, as the New King James Version puts it, quiet spirit. She is not going to be all anxious and pushy and unnerving. (Bookmark that.)
A GODLY wife is going to be like Sarah and allow her husband to be guide and head of her household. She is not going to challenge his *God-ordained* and *rightful* position.
A GODLY wife is not going to be fearful.
And being that Proverbs 18:22(NKJV) "He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord", being that the verse reads, at least to me, that when a woman is "found" (pursued *or* discovered *or* met by chance, etc. etc.) *she is already wife material*, then something that we as single women need to work on doing now is developing some of these characteristics.
Now, do I mean that we are to submit to a guy we like or are dating or even a boyfriend? No (NO!). That's actually why I'm not big on the whole the-guy-needs-to-hunt-the-girl-down approach. That is teaching a woman how to submit to someone who has not earned that right (yet). Until a woman is joined in marriage to her husband, she's not to submit to *a man*. She is supposed to submit *to the Spirit* (John 4:24). However, there are a lot of other things in I Peter 3 that should definitely (DEFINITELY) be put into practice:
1) Not being so busy on the "wrapping" (outer beauty) that the "gift" (inner being) is not adhered to.
2) Mastering how to *calm down* (Proverbs 17:27) and not be so anxious and fearful (Philippians 4:6-7).
3) Developing a gentle and quiet spirit.
Let's really focus on #3. One definition of spirit is "the principle of conscious life". I really appreciate knowing that because essentially what I Peter 3 is saying is that a good wife, a stable wife, a secure wife---*a godly wife* is a woman whose life embodies peace and tranquility (quiet) and also kindness, calmness and dignity.
It is this kind of woman who I discern King Solomon was talking about when he said that an excellent wife is the crown (the distinction that comes from a great achievement) of her husband. When a man has a wife who embodies peacefulness and calmness, kindness and tranquility---when she knows how to carry herself with dignity (nobility or elevation of character; worthiness), he truly does have a *good thing* in his life.
As I was taking all of this into my spirit this morning, a song that I saw on a movie entitled Lucky 7 (Patrick Dempsey, Kimberly Williams-Paisley) back in the day came to mind. To me, it totally embodies a gentle and quiet spirit:
Can you imagine what it would be like to walk into a home and feel what this melody and these words evoke? It reminds me a lot of something that the last boyfriend I will ever have in this lifetime (and that was nine years ago) once said to me:
"Shellie, a wife should be her husband's sanctuary."
He actually wrote a beautiful song about it once upon a time. And while I know that a lot of people pretty much only associate that word with being in a church setting, a sanctuary also means "a holy place" (which is how we are to honor our bodies-I Corinthians 6:12-20) and "a place of refuge". Oh and I *really dig* that:
Refuge: shelter or protection from danger, trouble, etc.; a place of shelter, protection, or safety; anything to which one has recourse for aid, relief, or escape
Unfortunately, there are *far too many* marriages that I know some of the inner-workings of where this is the *last* thing a husband would say his wife is for him. Cute? Sure. A good cook? If he's lucky (LOL). Great sex? Sometimes. But a place where he feels protected and safe? A place where he can get aid, *relief* and escape from so many things that the world brings his way? Uh-huh. Oftentimes, if anything, when he goes home, it's the anti-sanctuary.
And so, as you're praying to the Most High (Genesis 14:19) about developing you into the kind of woman who your future husband can proudly call his "wife", my hope (Romans 5:5) is that you will add this to your list. That "Lord, please make me a holy and safe place where my husband can escape from all that the Enemy would want to do to harm him" would be a priority.
Because a woman who is a sanctuary is a woman who is indeed the crown of her husband.