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  • Jonathan Painter

An Ornament of Great Price



“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.” (I Peter 3:4)

In the home, everyone has a role to fill. The level of happiness in a home is directly correlated to how well each member of the household fills their roll. The husband is supposed to be a leader in his house. He is supposed to lead his family to honor the Lord in all they do. As a father, he is to be a teacher, instructing his children in the way of righteousness. The children are to obey their mother and father and learn from them by following their instruction. The wife is to be a helpmeet to her husband, ready to step up by his side and help him with his needs. As a mother, she should love her children by caring for them and teaching them.

The man of the house is responsible for the direction of his household. The children of the house are responsible for the peace of a household, but the lady of the house is responsible for the spirit of the household. Each role is as important as the other, but today we are going to focus on the spirit of the home.


You have probably heard the old expression, “If momma ain’t happy; ain’t nobody happy!” While we tend to laugh at the expression and use it as a joke, it is actually a somewhat true statement. The spirit of the wife and mother of a home has a direct impact on the spirit of the entire household.


Peter is writing here about the beauty of the woman. Her beauty is not found in her outward appearance, but rather the inward appearance of her heart. “Whose adorning 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.” (I Peter 3:3-4) There is something incredibly special about having a sweet spirit as a young lady. Every wise-hearted woman should desire to have a sweet spirit about her. Every wise-hearted man should pay attention that he marries a lady with a sweet spirit. This is the spirit that is of great value in God’s sight.


What is a sweet spirit? The description of a sweet spirit is laid out in this passage regarding the lady and her household. The first thing we see is that a sweet spirit is a submissive spirit. “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;” (I Peter 3:1) A submissive spirit is a powerful part of a sweet spirit. We see just how powerful a submissive spirit is here in this verse. God can use a sweet submissive spirit coupled with Christian living to work in the heart of an unbelieving husband. The young lady who desires to have a sweet spirit must be submissive. The word submission means to yield one's will to the will of another. This sweet spirit of submission should be demonstrated to a young lady’s parents, teachers, and other authorities in her life.

When I began dating my wife, one of the major things I noticed in her is that she was submissive to her authorities. I never heard her complain or speak ill of any of her authorities, but rather she displayed a submissive spirit toward her parents, pastor, and other authorities. I was sure that if she could demonstrate submission to them, that she would surely be a submissive wife. These past years have proved what I believed.

The second part of a sweet spirit is found in a young lady who is not gaudy in her outward appearance. A wise young lady keeps up her appearance with modesty. We often use the word modesty as a replacement for the word appropriate. When a lady’s skirt is an appropriate length we say it is a modest skirt. Though this is indeed an appropriate use of the word it is not limited to this context. The word modesty means not in excess. In this context, we must understand that modesty applies to more than just a young lady's dress, but to how she adorns herself overall. “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;” (I Timothy 2:9) Modesty for a lady applies to her apparel, her make-up, her behavior, her hairstyle, and her jewelry. I do not believe that it is wrong for a woman to adorn herself if she does it in moderation, this is modesty.

Modesty is a fundamental part of a sweet spirit. How a lady keeps herself outwardly says a lot about how she keeps herself inwardly. As modesty has begun to fade in our society, so has the sweet spirit of our young ladies.

The third part of a sweet spirit is found in meekness. The ability to be meek means to demonstrate softness in temper, mildness, gentleness. God desires that a lady have meekness in her spirit. “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.” (I Peter 3:4) If a lady wishes to have a sweet spirit, she should conduct herself with an air of gentleness. This is very valuable in God’s sight.

The final component of a sweet spirit is made up of quietness. Notice in the verse above it says, “…a meek and QUIET SPIRIT.” This is not to say that lady cannot be talkative or have a bubbly personality without forfeiting the sweetness of her spirit. The Scriptures illustrate what the absence of a quiet spirit is. “She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house:” (Proverbs 7:11) This woman’s feet did not abide in her house because she was discontent. When a lady is loud and stubborn, or unyielding, she is vocalizing her discontentment. This is not the attitude of a quiet spirit.

When a lady demonstrates a sweet spirit, in her submission, appearance, meekness, and quietness it is pleasing to the Lord. He calls this an ornament of great price in His sight. This is also so valuable to the family as a whole. The spirit of the family will follow the spirit of the wife and mother.

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