There is the story of a woman who, early one morning, made a mad dash out of the house when she heard the garbage truck pulling away. She was still in her bathrobe. Her hair was wrapped in big curlers. Her face was covered with sticky cream. She was wearing a chin-strap and a beat-up old pair of slippers. In short, she was a frightful picture. When she reached the sidewalk, she called out, "Am I too late for the garbage?" And the reply came back, "No, hop right in."
In today’s message we want to speak about the glory of a woman. Many times when we think of the glory or the beauty of a woman, we only think of the outward picture. But as we will see today, the glory of a woman pertains to much more than just the outward looks. The Bible reveals to us what a beautiful woman really is and how her beauty is outwardly expressed to the husband and her family. God is looking for beautiful women today!
When we speak of the glory of a woman we are talking about her resplendent beauty and magnificence or excellence as a woman. We are speaking about the crowning honor and adoring praise of a woman’s life. The term “glory” (doxa) can refer to something that is full of splendor and radiant beauty even as the heavenly bodies shine in their glory or magnificent splendor and brilliance (1 Cor. 15:41). This term can point to the majestic beauty and excellency of something. As we will see, the true glory or beauty of a woman is manifested in her life, as she follows her design for womanhood or the way that God made her as a woman. Her splendor and beauty is displayed as she lives in the manner that God has intended her to live.
The glory or beauty of a woman involves three areas:
a. There is the beauty of a woman living to serve her husband
Genesis 2:18 says:
“And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”
It’s interesting to read that, up to this point, we hear God saying that everything which He had created and done was good (Genesis 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25). But when God looks down and sees Adam walking among the animals He realizes that this was not yet a good or complete set up for the male human being which He has created (“It is not good that the man should be alone”). Only after the woman was created for the man could God conclude that what He had done was good (see Genesis 1:26-31).
Genesis 2:20 reveals:
“And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.”
As Christian women today, you need to ask God to help you look at these verses with fresh eyes and a new interest so that you might rediscover the true beauty of a woman. You manifest your beauty or magnificent glory and splendor as a woman by following your creative design. We must understand that the true beauty of a woman revolves around her creative design by God. The Hebrew word for “meet” means to be a “counterpart” like man. All the animals were created male and female (Gen. 6:19) but man had no female counterpart or equal comparable to him. Adam looked at the giraffe and said, “This will never work!” He looked at a fish swimming in the water and said, “God, I can’t start a conversation with this dolphin.”
We must understand that the woman was created as a person or human being that would first of all be like or comparable to Adam. She would be his counterpart or equal representing his same human likeness so that the two could interact as human beings and have a relationship unlike Adam could have with the lower animals. So the thought connected to the meaning of this word “meet” deals with the creation of a similar kind of life that could interact with the man God first created. Eve would become man’s creative counterpart, which he could live with and have a relationship with on a human level. It would be a relationship much higher than the animal level. Eve would be someone who is equal to Adam or corresponding to him on a human level. She would be another human being who could communicate with Adam and who Adam could find companionship with.
“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof.”
The beloved Matthew Henry wrote:
“The woman was formed out of man-not out of his head to rule over him; not out of his feet to be trampled upon by him; but out of his side to be his equal, from beneath his arm to be protected, and from near his heart to be loved.”
The woman was created as an equal to man on the human level. She was to be like man, unlike the animal world, and she was created to have a human relationship with man. She was to become a human companion to him and for him on every level. What a wondrous design God created for Adam. Eve was created from Adam’s side to indicate that she was an equally created human being who would now serve by His side and become his constant human companion and helper in life. Eve’s creation from the side of Adam indicates equality on the human level of creation. It also indicates that the woman was created by God to become a companion for Adam. She was designed to stand by her man and become his helper or aid in life. I’m sure when Adam awoke from God’s divine anesthesia that the first thing he saw was Eve standing before him. And the Bible does not record it but I would like to think that Adam said, “Wow! God, thank you! I owe you one.” Well, this beautiful bride for Adam was created from his side in order to become a helper for him.
“And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.”
At this first wedding service we see how God was the best man and He brought the woman to the Adam. The biblical marriage custom of presenting the bride to the groom is derived from the practice of God presenting Eve to Adam. Men, when you see that beautiful bride walking down the isle at your wedding holding the arm of her father, you can be assured that there is another father, the heavenly Father, presenting a wife to you which is to become your constant companion and helper in life. This beautiful act of God presenting Eve to Adam expresses the truth that the woman was created for the man specifically. In essence, God was saying, “I’m bringing this woman to you, Adam, so that she can become your wife and companion. I’m bringing her to you so that you can enjoy her for a lifetime and so she can serve you all the days of her life as your own personal companion.”
The word “help” in Genesis 2:18 and 20 carries with it the idea of an “aid” and suggests that God created the woman and brought her to the man in order for the woman to become an aid or helper for the man. She was to be a corresponding human being (“meet”) who was designed to be a helper to meet the needs of Adam her husband (“help”). She was created literally as a “help fit” for man. Thus, when the Bible speaks of the combined words “help meet” it suggests the idea of a corresponding human helper creatively designed by God to meet the needs of her husband. She would be a helper fit for the man who would stand by his side and become his personal attendant or assistant in life! What a different message women’s lib is promoting today. This is why we must return to Genesis in these days of confusion and once again understand what God’s creative design and role was for the woman.
The woman was designed by God to be a helping companion for her man in every way. This is the beauty of a woman’s design. She was created by God to aid or assist the man in any way that might help him. In essence, man was created with a need and the woman was created by God to fulfil that need. This should be the all-consuming desire of a woman toward her man today. She should strive to follow her creative design and purpose for life instead of becoming sidetracked into other areas of life. The woman’s main focus in life is designed to revolve around her husband in every way. This should be her highest ambition in life and her most sought after goal.When a woman loses focus of her creative design she begins to lose focus of her real purpose in life and fails to manifest her glory or magnificent beauty and excellence as a woman created for a man.
Many women today become married and have various goals such as to maintain a job and keep their independence. They strive to fulfill their dreams and sadly forget about their number one creative purpose in life, which is to meet the needs of their husbands. A man needs a wife who is a help to him and not a hindrance to him in any way. She was designed to be a helper to the man in every area and phase of his life. She was designed to live for her husband, please him and follow him throughout life.
The glory of a woman is manifested when she becomes the kind of helper that her man needs in life. A man needs all kinds of help! That should give you ladies something to talk about after the service! A man does need help. He needs physical help (sexual fulfillment) and mental help (mental encouragement), domestic help (home needs) and even spiritual help, which can be demonstrated by a godly wife who is praying for her husband on a consistent basis and helping to raise the children in a spiritual manner. Men, lets face it. We need all kinds of help! That is why God gave us a helper! And the woman is God’s perfect design of beauty to help the man in every area in life where he struggles and has needs.
A woman will help a man by satisfying his natural physical desires and drives in life. This is something that no other animal could do for Adam.
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”
The Hebrew word “cleave” speaks of clinging to, joining to, staying close to or sticking with. It was used of the monogamous sexual or physical relationship between a man and wife. It suggests the man’s need to be fulfilled physically in life and the marriage relationship. One focus of the wife should be to richly satisfy her man in this area of sex.
“Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.”
The woman, as a wife, must through prayer and study of the Scripture, realize that God has designed her as a sexual being to communicate her love to her man by meeting his physical drives and needs. Christian women must not think of themselves as a sex object but as a suitable companion that God has brought to their husband to meet his physical needs.
I am sick and tired of how the world today has polluted the marital gift of sex. Sex has become a dirty word and it seems that we must think of physical expression in the marriage relationship as something that is dirty or worldly. Hollywood, the playboy philosophy and the corrupt Internet sites promoting pornography have glamorized sex outside of marriage and made it become something that is dirty and crude. But God’s Word tells us that He has created sex and we need to get the proper biblical perspective on this subject. The world certainly does not have the right perspective. They want to live together today and try marriage and the marriage physical relationship. God calls this “adultery” and it is still a sin of the worst sort. On the other hand, sex is a gift in the marriage relationship.
Hebrews 13:4 says:
“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”
God has instituted marriage and the bed of sexual ecstasy or fulfillment in the marriage relationship. Hollywood did not invent sex. God invented sex! Outside of marriage sex is sinful. But inside the marriage bond it becomes a beautiful gift whereby the woman, who fulfills her creative role, can express herself to her man in an open and wonderful way. Ladies, God has created you to be the man’s helper in this way. Your man needs help in this area of physical fulfillment. He needs a wife who is willing to become the kind of lover that God created her to be so that she can fulfill her man’s physical needs in life. And in such a sex-crazed world in which we live, when men are bombarded with sexual temptation on every side, it becomes the man’s joy and delight to find complete physical fulfillment in his wife. The glory of a woman is manifested, when as a creative lover, she gives herself to her man wholeheartedly and without reservation.
The Shulamite in the Song of Solomon was aware that God created her as a sexual or physical being and she found how wonderful it was to openly express herself to her husband within the marriage relationship.
“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.”
“Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.”
These are expressions of the physical relationship in the marriage. This woman realized her creative design to meet the physical needs of her husband and opened herself up to the sexual woman that God created her to be. She wanted to be the creative lover to her husband that God designed her to be.
“I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me. Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages. Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves.”
As a wife, you must give yourself the permission to be a sensuous woman in the marriage relationship. Like Eve, God has brought you to your man to fulfill this great physical need in his life. As a wife, when you choose to unconditionally love your husband in this way, you not only honor God but also make your husband’s life fulfilled and content in the physical realm. Ladies, being godly means to have a godly attitude toward the Scriptures and what God wants you to be and do in life. And part of your godly attitude and godly living involves giving your body to your husband. This is God’s creative design or role for your life. God wants you to focus on your husband and meet his physical needs. Your goal in life should be to minister to your husband.
Now some of you ladies might be accusing me of being a greedy male chauvinist. But this subtle feministic mindset and attitude which has crept into the church today actually takes the beauty out of God’s creative design for the woman. It also neglects the Word of God and replaces truth with the feministic ideas and conclusions of our modern society. Ladies, God has made you a “help meet” for your husband. And your husband needs a helper in life. He longs to have you meet his physical needs in life. Christian women, who believe what the Bible says, must constantly keep God’s perspective on this matter. You may need to reprogram your mind and once again rededicate yourself to God’s creative purpose for your life so that you can become all that God wants you to be for your husband.
As a “help meet” in life a woman will also aid her man by becoming what someone has called a domestic engineer. In other words, she will become a domestic housewife fulfilling those needed home duties that will help the man to function (Titus 2:5). Her home responsibilities become a revelation of her glory and beauty as she fulfills her creative role to be a helper for the man (1Timothy 5:14). The wife will also help the man to accomplish his goals in life instead of her own. She will want the man to excel in what he does and assist him in any way that she can. She will also help a man by encouraging him and praying for him when he struggles in life or when he becomes discouraged. She will help her man by becoming everything to her man that he needs to have in order to function, excel and find fulfillment in life.
“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.”
This “virtuous” or industrious woman is fulfilling her creative design when she stands by the side of her husband and meets his needs. She is seen meeting his domestic needs by supplying food on the table and providing the necessary home life that a husband needs to be able to function in life. This woman is seen to be there for her husband in every way and is willing to reach out in any way possible to make his life easier.
“She looketh well to the ways of her household (not his household), and eateth not the bread of idleness.”
When the woman performs her domestic duties effectively, this in return helps the husband to perform his own secular duties more effectively. He will be able to excel in his own job and work.
“Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.”
When the woman finds her God-given role within the home setting, it’s then that the man can become known as one who excels in his own job. This is actually a credit to the wife who is fulfilling her own creative role in the home. Her life should revolve around his life so that he might move forward and excel in whatever he does. This is a very beautiful picture of the woman who understands her creative design and wants to be the man’s helpful companion in life. And this woman is compared to rubies because she is beautiful and priceless to him!
In this Proverb picture of wisdom we see how God wants the glory or the beauty of a woman to be expressed as she meets the domestic needs of the man. God has created the woman for the man and this is clearly seen not only when she meets his physical needs but also his common domestic needs in life.
Some women work at changing a man, and when they have changed him, they don't like him. Many times the woman needs to simply meet the man where he is at in life and seek to fulfill his needs. This is the creative beauty of a woman. And unless a man is totally selfish he will respond favorably to any woman who reaches out to him in this way. He will reward her with praises and blessings in life because of her loving companionship.
1 Corinthians 11:9 reiterates the Genesis principle:
“Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”
Every woman must remember this. Paul goes back to Genesis or the beginning to remind the women in Corinth about God’s creative design. When they lose sight of God’s true purpose for their existence and God’s highest goal for their life, it’s then that fireworks begin to happen in a marriage relationship. Roles become distorted and chaos can easily abound. The woman was created for the benefit of the husband. She was designed by God to be an aid to him in every way possible. A woman should not lose sight of why God created her. If she does, then the marriage relationship will become strained and out of sync. This is true for the new marriage as well as the marriage of many years.
Over the years a woman may be tempted to lose her creative focus in life and begin to strive to live independent of her husband. But she must continually remember where the true beauty of a woman resides! As a woman she was created for the man’s benefit. Ladies, that may sound selfish to you but God said this is the reason why He created you. Never lose sight of this fact in light of the modern feminism of our day and the push for women to strive for independence and freedom from relationships and responsibilities in the home. This simply is not Biblical.
Genesis 2:22 once again reads:
“And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.”
Merril F. Unger wrote:
“What beauty and dignity are accorded woman in this account! No casual or hasty production of nature, she was finished result of the labor and skill of the divine Artificer.”
The lovely truth that says God “brought her unto the man” indicates that although she is equal in creation there was not to be an equal purpose in creative roles. She was brought unto the man to be his helper as God had said. The man was not specifically designed to be her helper. The woman was designed to be his helper. The woman was brought unto the man to live for the man. This is her creative design. And when a woman begins to move away from this design in the marriage relationship there is chaos, disorder and dissatisfaction.
Ladies, where is your heart these days? And in what ways have you been helping your husband? Has he been looking for your help in some specific area of life? Are you willing to give your life for his? In what ways can you fulfill your creative purpose in your present marriage? What does your husband need that you may not be giving to him? It might be more domestic help in the home. Do you wash his cloth for him and make sure that a good meal is on the table for him at the end of the day? You might need to give him some added encouragement since he may be discouraged about the way his job is going at the present time. Is there some specific help that your husband needs for his present journey in life? It might be greater physical fulfillment in the marriage relationship. Have you asked him about this matter of physical fulfillment? You may need to open up your heart and life to the sexual woman that God created you to be for your husband. Perhaps your husband needs the spiritual assistance of prayer as he seeks to God’s will. Ladies, do you really stand by your husband in prayer? Whatever it is ladies, God expects you to help your husband as his God-given companion in life. Help is the adjective that describes the woman’s existence!
Perhaps you need to start praying in a new way as a wife. Maybe you need to pray that you will be the kind of beautiful woman that God has designed you to be. You can pray that you will be open to God’s purpose for your life and that you will start opening yourself up to become the kind of woman God created you to be as a physically lover, domestic helper and constant companion or friend to your husband. Remind yourself that when your earthly father brought you down the isle to give you away to your man that there was also a heavenly Father walking you down the isle ready to give you away “unto the man” (Genesis 2:22). God brought you unto your man so that you might stand by his side as his constant helper and aid in life! That is beautiful! And the heavenly Father expects you to become the woman that He has created and designed you to be for the man of your dreams.
Ladies, stand by your man! Stand by him in the thick and thin of life. Stand by him in the ups and downs of life. Stand by him and be his helper and satisfy his deepest longings and those needs, which may seem small to you, but rather large to him. Don’t miss the real purpose for your existence! God wants you to be a constant aid to him and not become a hindrance to him. Your beauty is found in following God’s creative design and purpose for your life as a woman. Your glory, beauty or excellence as a woman is outwardly manifested when you follow God’s creative role for your life. However, because of the old nature, women within the marriage relationship will attempt to live independent of God’s design. There is a hint of this in what God said would take place following the curse.
“Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”
The wording “thy desire shall be to thy husband” has been interpreted various ways. But the clue for interpreting it properly lies in the Hebrew construction and the parallel usage in Genesis 4:7, where sin is personified as having the desire to rule over our lives. So here in Genesis 3:16, the woman’s desire will actually be against her husband and his leadership. As a result of the curse, she will not willingly submit to his rule. The third curse may actually be a promise in disguise; for God has said “he shall rule over thee.” In other words, in spite of the sin nature working against God’s creative design for the woman, God’s marriage roles can still be worked out.
We certainly live in a day and age when it is obvious that many women are expressing their desire to go against their husbands. But God has a different message then women’s lib. We must start listening to God’s voice today instead of the voice of a world that is spiritually deprived of God’s mind. In any event, because of the Edenic fall and the subsequent curse, the woman would possess the inherited fallen desire, created from the old nature, to turn away from the man’s leadership and her service toward him. The fallen desire, generated from the old nature, would push the woman to rule over her husband and result in the woman wanting the man to primarily serve her and meet her needs and goals in life. And this would mean a reversal of the roles and God’s divine design. Instead of following the man’s leadership and serving the man as a helper, the woman’s old nature would drive her to do as she pleases and ignore not only the leadership of the man but also his primary needs in life. She will, by the dictates of the old nature, seek to live for herself instead of the man. But God has clearly revealed His purpose and glory for her life. It is to live for the man completely and unreservedly. It is to open her heart and life to him and strive to be all that she can be for her man. When a woman struggles with this creative design it’s because she has becoming selfish and self-centered. Thus, she needs to once again become husband-centered in life in order to restore harmony and sweetness to the marriage relationship.
It’s rather obvious that women of today, who follow the warped standards of our society, can very easily seek satisfaction outside this creative purpose for their lives. They attempt to build a world around their own jobs in life and live for themselves and ignore their husbands needs and leadership. They begin striving for their own goals in life and forget about living for their man in life and becoming the kind of helper that he needs. And when a woman who wants to live godly does this, she will ultimately become twisted inside and feel empty in life because she is no longer striving to accomplish God’s number one purpose for her existence. In her search for satisfaction and significance outside the marriage role of being a true “help meet” for her husband, she paradoxically will discover a life of dissatisfaction and emptiness. This is because there is no satisfaction in forsaking God’s role and design for womanhood. Ladies, stand by your man! Give him the best that you have and honor God’s creative role for your life. God wants you to be a beautiful woman following His design for your life. There is something beautiful about the way God took Eve by the arm and brought her to Adam and said, “There she is Adam, she is all yours!”
“She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.”
The woman’s role as a “help meet” highlights the true glory or beauty of a woman. The beauty of a woman is manifested when she acts like a woman and gives her life to her man. A woman by creative design is the man’s helper and only when she practices this role can she manifest the true beauty of a woman.
In Miami, Florida, women’s liberation advocate Roxey Bolton asked National Hurricane Center Director Dr. Robert H. Simpson to stop the use of women’s names for designating hurricanes. Mrs. Bolton says names of United States senators should be used as they delight in having things named after them! For once I must agree with the women’s lib movement on this point. Ladies, it is not right that hurricanes were named after women. Do you know why? It’s because if women are depicted as a hurricane force toward their husbands, within the marriage relationship, then they will not become what God intended them to be in the marriage relationship – a “help meet.” They will neglect the creative design that God wants them to fulfill and fail to manifest their glory in the marriage relationship.
Ladies, God does not want you to be a hurricane of gale force winds blowing against your husband’s life. God does not want you to be a hurricane! He wants you to be a “help meet.” Men are not looking for hurricane wives. They are looking for their helper, which was brought down the isle by God the Father and placed in their arm, to signify that this woman was to stand by his side forever as his constant aid and helping companion in life. Instead of being a hurricane toward your husband, which brings disruption into his life, God wants you to become a gentle cool breeze blowing upon his life, a gentle breeze that will refresh and enhance his life. It’s only then that you will become a beautiful woman. God is looking for beautiful women.
The glory or beauty of a woman involves three areas:
a. There is the beauty of a woman living to serve her husband
b. There is the beauty of a woman living in submission to her husband (marital roles).
Someone has said:
“Women's lib is Adam's rib and Satan's fib."
There he stands, G.I. Joe, ultimate tough guy, dressed to kill in Army fatigues, with a machine gun and hand grenades at his side. And when he speaks he says: "Want to go shopping?" That's what happens when you switch the voice boxes on G.I. Joe and Barbie dolls, which the BLO--Barbie Liberation Organization did - in past years. The BLO claims that Barbie teaches passivity in girls (submission without resistance) and that G.I. Joe teaches boys to act violently. So they made some changes to make their point. The modified G.I. Joes said stuff like, "I like school. Don't you?" And the altered Barbies said, in Joe's macho voice, "Dead men tell no lies."
We live in a strange world today where God’s roles for the marriage and His creative designs for womanhood are being mocked and forsaken. As Christian women, I challenge you to take heart in God’s eternal truth for your life and mold your life to God’s Word and His will. Following God’s role for your life will produce eternal reward and blessing for you (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). Yielding our bodies to God’s purposes for our lives will result in great eternal dividends. The beautiful woman lives for the future as she fulfils her creative role in the marriage.
We must remember that submission in the marriage relationship does not destroy the equality of the sexes. Both Adam and Eve were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27) and both were on the same human level possessing intelligence far above the lower beasts. Both were created with the same capacity to worship God and commune with the Creator. There is equality in the sexes. The fundamental teaching of the Bible does not deny this. The problem with the feminist movement of today is that they want to ignore and obliterate the roles within the marriage relationship. Their aim is to restructure homes and society on the basis that men and women have equal roles in a marriage unit. We must understand that there is equality in human creation but there has never been equality in marital roles. There is a clear chain of authority given in the Bible for the family institution. And this chain exists not because men are superior to women in any way but simply because God instituted it for functional design within the home.
1 Peter 3:1-6
“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; While they behold your chaste conversationcoupled with fear. Whose adorning (beauty) 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: Even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.”
This passage portrays the beauty of a woman in connection with her inward submissive spirit toward her husband. The word “adorning” (Greek – “kosmos”) means her design of beauty or attractiveness which these husbands will see in their wives. The sense is, “Make sure your primary beauty is found in your heart and not merely in your clothes and jewelry.” These verses should not be twisted to condemn the use of cosmetics or jewelry. If this were the case, then Peter forbid women to wear apparel or clothing! Peter is obviously warning against excess outward adorning or what we might call overdoing a good thing – the excess braiding of hair, excess wearing of jewelry or extravagant clothing. Peter did not state that women should not wear jewelry and nice clothes, but that Christian wives should not think of outer attire as the source of genuine beauty.
Of course, this does not mean that a wife should neglect herself and not try to be up-to-date in her apparel. The industrious woman of Proverbs chapter thirty-one was aware of how she looked or presented herself before her husband.
“She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple (beautiful or attractive).”
Any husband is proud of a wife who is attractive and keeps herself outwardly beautiful for him to gaze upon. I have never known a man who wanted an ugly duckling for a wife! And as a woman seeks to serve the man and give herself fully to him she will find it her loving privilege to keep herself attractive for her man. She has this inbred trait or desire to keep herself beautiful for her man. This is something God has built into a woman. Nevertheless, Peter’s text simply means that a woman is not to major on being a fashion star just to keep up with the world or crowd. These verses merely emphasize that, as far as God is concerned, it is more important to have a meek and quiet spirit then possessing an elaborate outward display of beauty. They simply convey what is most important to God. The inward beauty of the heart is more important than the outward beauty of the body. Peter is saying that in order to become a beautiful woman you must learn to be beautiful on the inside. The glory of a woman is found on the inside of her heart – “the hidden man of the heart”.
This “hidden man of the heart” refers to the true inner self of a woman, which is her unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. This kind of adornment of the inner spirit is of great worth (“great price”) in God’s sight. While the world prizes costly clothing and gold jewelry, a woman with a gentle and quiet spirit is beautiful and charming to God. Peter is talking about cultivating a spiritual beauty of the inner life.
But what is a meek (“humble”) and quiet (“peaceful”) spirit? It is that inward heart attitude of the beautiful woman who places herself under her husband’s authority within the marriage relationship. It is an inward humble decision to peacefully submit to the leadership of the man and follow your role as a submissive wife. According to Peter, this is a thing of beauty. This is something that is truly beautiful and expresses the true glory of a woman. When a woman has God’s beauty – a meek and quiet spirit – she isn’t threatening to those around her. Here is beauty that never decays, even when the outward body does. And this beauty is precious or of “great price” not only to her husband, but also to God.
F. B. Meyer notes:
“Plenty are there whose outward body is richly decked, but whose inner being is clothed in rags; whilst others, whose garments are worn and threadbare, are all glorious within.”
Outward glamour is corruptible and decays or fades with time. But true beauty from the heart grows more wonderful as the years pass. A Christian woman who cultivates the beauty of the inner person will not have to depend on cheap externals. True beauty is not purchased in a store with a charge card. It’s found on the inside of a woman’s heart when her inner self humbly and peaceably follows God’s design for her life, which is submission. This tells us that godly submission begins on the inside before it will ever translate to the outside marital relationship.
Someone once said:
“A young beautiful woman on the outside is the act of nature but a beautiful old lady on the inside is a work of art.”
Sarah is a good Old Testament illustration of a submissive wife who was first submissive on the inside of her heart.
1 Peter 3:5
“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.”
This account takes us back to Genesis 18:12 where we read that Sarah said this “within herself.” She did not go around and make a loud profession of submission to Abraham by publicly calling him lord. Rather, in her inward life and heart, she recognized him as her head, and this recognition was displayed by her outward actions of submission. You see, submission begins on the inside before it can ever get to the outside!
Jill Briscoe said:
“In that moment as a new believer, I believe I stumbled on an important truth of what submission isn't. Submission isn't sitting down on the outside while you're standing up on the inside.”
Ladies, your true glory is not found in a bottle of perfume or your closet full of clothing. It is found on the inside of your heart when you can in humility and quietness submit to your husband’s spiritual leadership and decisions and become the woman of glory or beauty that God wants you to be. Ladies, God has promised to help you in this area of submission with the filling of the Holy Spirit. In fact, before Paul gives the command in Ephesians 5:22 for the wives to submit to their own husbands, he mentions about the filling or control of the Holy Spirit.
“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.”
Inward submission begins by the inward control of the Holy Spirit upon your life. And what a wonderful blessing it is to see marriages where the roles are not reversed and where godly women are humbly and peaceably submitting within their hearts to God’s role and design for the marriage relationship. This will translate into a marriage where God is honored and where the marriage is a thing of beauty to God.
Let us not forget what 1 Peter 3:4 says about the act of submission:
“… which is in the sight of God of great price.”
The charm and beauty (“adorning”) of a woman in her role of submission to her husband is a sight of beauty before the Lord. And God highly values this act of submission. God sees your submission as a woman as something of infinite value or worth. God is watching you live your life of submission toward your own husband. What does He see? Does He see you as a wife of radiant glory and beauty because you have committed yourself to His plan of submission? God is still looking for beautiful women! Are you a beautiful woman in God’s eyes and of immeasurable worth to Him because of your godly testimony as a submissive wife? Some women think jewels are precious but God considers precious the jewel of a gentle and quiet spirit of submission.
As a woman and wife you might ask yourself these basic questions. Have I been filled or controlled by the Spirit so that I can practice loving and humble submission? What areas of submission must I work on in my relationship with my husband? Am I going to be committed to being a submissive example to my husband even if he is unsaved (1 Peter 3:1-2)? What patterns must I change in my life in order to demonstrate this inward submissive attitude of humbleness and quietness before my husband? Must I stop trying to be the spiritual leader? Must I stop rebelling against what my husband suggests and thinks is important for the family? Must I begin to reprogram my mind about what is important and priceless to God? Must I recommit and rededicate myself to this wonderful plan and once again open my heart to my husband? Must I remember that God is watching me live the submissive life? What steps must I take to bring me back to this place where I need to be? How can I become a beautiful woman before my husband and the Lord?
A cartoon some time ago was created where a preacher had prepared the pulpit area like a fortress. He was peering through the crack of a machine gun nest. The caption read, "Today my text is 1 Peter 3:1, “Wives submit to your husbands.” Well, women of the Word and godly women who want to please God should not become all bent out of shape at God’s plan for submission. And preachers should not have to fear gunfire or reprisal coming from the women of the church who are interested in following God’s will for their lives. Beautiful women will not respond negatively to God’s plan for their lives. This is because beautiful women are submissive women.