1 Peter 3:1-7
Likewise, you wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word…
I. SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF THE GRACE.
1. Its leading characteristic is the beautiful. Not so much "the true," "the good," is in his mind as "the beautiful." First-rate Christian excellence assumes lovely forms. "Let the beauty of the Lord our God."
2. The grace is distinctively feminine. The apostle is speaking to women, commending to them their distinctive glory. Here we come on a mystery of nature. All things are set over against each other in pairs, complemental.
3. But may, ought, to be assumed by all. There is a modification of the principle just laid down as to complemental beings and to complemental excellences. The one side may and must appropriate some characteristics of the other, e.g., a pillar all strength would be ugly; all garlands of flowers must fall. So a man all power would be dreadful; a woman all amiability could not carry the structure of life.
4. It is a grace of the interior life. "A meek and quiet spirit."
II. THE GRACE ITSELF. The grace commended is that of quietness of soul; but on its two sides, not disturbing, not disturbed.
1. The soul-quietness that is not disturbed. The soul is like a ship on storm-beaten ocean — ever liable to tempest.
(1) Causes and occasions of disturbance. It may spring from conditions of body, mind, estate, in the church, in the world.
(2) Means of quietude. Quietude a decoration, but also a need. How?
(a) Some hints, along the common level of things.
(i) Live so as to have a cool brain and a clear mind.
(ii) Guard against one's special temperament.
(iii) Face facts, and be not content without evidence.
(iv) Guard against demoniac might of the imagination.
(v) Do not morbidly underrate the kindness of fellow men, or overrate their antagonism.
(b) But rise higher. We need —
(i) Strong and growing dependence on God.
(ii) To be filled with the Spirit, i.e., to be filled with such thoughts and feelings, that storm shall break in regions below the serenities in which we dwell.
(iii) Keep ever in view the quietude of Christ. "See if there be any sorrow," etc., if there be any patience like to His.
2. The soul quietness that is not disturbing. It is the restless that disturb the peace of others. Ourselves quiet, we shall not till others with wild alarm.
III. OTHER CHARACTERISTICS OF THE GRACE. Some characteristics were mentioned to prepare us to look upon the grace itself; these now are separately and finally pointed out to induce in us the cultivation of this grace also.
1. The soul-decoration is most valuable. One knows its worth. "In the sight of God" it is "of great price."
(Henry T. Robjohns, B. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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;