1 Peter 3:4, encourages women to beautify themselves with the imperishable beauty of a quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. “Quietness” stands in marked contrast to the “loudness” that characterizes an ungodly woman (Prov. 7:11). When we think of the word “quiet” the first thing we normally think of is audible sound. We equate “quiet” with “not talking.”
So does God expect us to shut our mouths and never say anything? Are we not allowed to express our opinions? Or discuss, deliberate, or disagree? Does godly womanhood mean we get out the duct tape and slap and “X” over our mouths? That we mutley nod our heads up and down like bobble head dolls?
Quietness is an Absence of Spiritual Noise
When the Bible talks about quietness, it’s not referring to an absence of verbal noise as much as it’s referring to an absence of spiritual noise. Although there’s a connection, quietness has more to do with the state of our hearts than the volume of our words.
Quiet describes a mindset of calmness, serenity and tranqulity. It’s being settled, steadfast, and peaceful. A quiet dispostion is like a still, peacefull pool of water, as opposed to a churning, agitated whirlpool. A quiet spirit is the opposite of an anxious, distressed, disorderly, and clamourous one.
I think Amy Carmichael got the idea right in her poem, “Give Me a Quiet Mind” in which she cries out to the Lord to give her this beautiful disposition:
GIVE ME A QUIET MIND
When winds are blowing, waves are rising, falling
And all the air is full of dust and spray;
When voices, like to sea birds’ plaintive calling,
Confuse my day;
Then, then I know Thee, Lord of highest heaven
In newborn need discover Thee, and find
Nought can discomfort him to whom is given
A quiet mind.
When hopes have failed, and heavy sadness crusheth,
And doubt and fear would weave their deadly spell,
Then thought of Thee my troubled spirit husheth;
And all is well.
In midnight hours when weariness ignoreth
Heaven’s starry host, and battle wounds are mine,
Then Thy right hand uplifteth and outpoureth
Love’s oil and wine.
O Blessed Lord, beyond the moment’s sorrow
I see above, beaneath, before, behind–
Eternal Love. Give me today, tomorrow,
A quiet mind.
(From the collected poems of Amy Carmichael)