1 Peter 3:1
Wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to
the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives.
Not being a woman I want to tread lightly here but it seems Peter laid a pretty heavy charge on women in 1 Peter 3:1-6. He says if you have an unbelieving husband you are to win him by your actions – the purity and reverence in your lives – not by your words. He says your beauty should come from within – a gentle and quiet spirit – not from decorating the outside.
Maybe women find this easier than I do but my initial response would be, “Are you kidding? That is too hard and takes too long. Surely I could win my husband quicker by letting him regularly know how disappointed I am in him that he is not a Christian. Even with my regular prods and encouragement he hasn’t changed so how do you expect him to change if I just shut my mouth and … and … you are saying I should submit to him, too? But He isn’t even a Christian, at least not a mature one like me.
Plus, you tell me my beauty is to be inward. But I enjoy all the pedis and manis and new dresses and bling. That ‘gentle and quiet spirit‘ stuff is hard to pull off.”
Of course the Lord isn’t saying a woman should not make herself attractive on the outside. If the “barn” needs painting the Lord isn’t opposed to you painting it. Nor is He saying a wife should never discuss her faith with an unbelieving husband. He is saying what is going on in her heart is more important and more potent than how she white washes the sepulcher (to borrow an illustration from Jesus).
Seems all of Christianity is about this inward stuff. I may be able to restrain myself from punching a guy but Jesus says if hatred is in my heart I am a murderer. I may be able to stay out of bed with the wrong woman but if I’m lusting in my heart I am an adulterer. I prefer to focus on the outside. It is easier to make that look good. Paint it up, fix it up, cover it over. I don’ really have to change anything if I can just slap another coat of paint on and hide it. But I can only hide it from you. God is looking at my heart.
I want to be an outie-focused person but God says He is more interested in the innie part.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.