In this lesson I address 1 Peter 3:3-4 examining what it means to be an attractive wife with an inner beauty that never fades by introducing three biblical principles of godly seduction that every wife should develop and grow in her life.
Take your Bible and open to 1 Peter 3. I enjoy hearing kid’s response and thoughts about things. For example, when some children were asked, What is falling in love like? Roger (age 9) says, “Like an avalanche where you have to run for your life.”
Greg (age 8) says, “Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good too.”
When asked, When is it okay to kiss someone? Pam (age 7) says, “When they’re rich!”
Curt (ae 7) says, “The law says you have to be 18, so I wouldn’t mess with that.” Howard (age 8) says, “The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It’s the right thing to do.” Jean (age 10) says, “It’s never okay to kiss a boy. They always slobber all over you. That’s why I stopped doing it.”
We are in a series of messages on what the Bible says about marriage. The first lesson dealt with the five Biblical reasons for marriage. It answered the question, “Why did God create marriage? What is the purpose of marriage?” The next three lessons examined the role of the husband in marriage. We learned that the husband’s model for loving his wife is how Christ loved the church. Just as Jesus sacrificed for the church, suffered for the church, nourished the church, cherished the church, and sanctified the church… the husband is to do the same for his wife. Last week we began focusing on the wife’s role. We looked at what it means for the wife to show respect to her husband by following his leadership as the head of the home. Today we continue focusing on the wife by looking at what the Bible says about seducing your husband and true beauty.
Before we get started let me say a couple of things to the husbands.
- Husbands, it is your responsibility to make it as easy and enjoyable to follow your leadership. The more loving you are to your wife the easier she will find it to respectfully submit to your guidance and leadership as the head of the home.
- Husbands, your wife is about to hear some things that she may or may not agree with. Allow her the freedom to wrestle with it, struggle with it, and grow in it. Let the Holy Spirit encourage her, challenge her, and convict her where He wants, not where you want.
- A word to the ladies regarding me. I am a man. I am also a pastor. I’m going to do the best I can with what the Bible says about being a wife. I’m not going to do this perfectly. I’m asking you to listen to what ever God’s Word and God’s Spirit is saying to you through these next couple of lessons. I’m also asking you to give me some grace and mercy when I say things that may be offensive to you. My desire is simply for you to hear God’s Word and apply it to your life and there you will discover true contentment and satisfaction.
I’m using the concept of seduction in its very basic sense of what is attractive – and in this sense a wife’s attraction is both alluring to her husband and pleasing to the Lord. When I say seduction don’t think sleazy or only sexual, think beauty, attractive, splendor or the magnificence of a woman.
Let’s begin with 1 Peter 3:1, “In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. [We looked at submission last week and examined what it is and what it is not]. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives. [The section we are going to focus on today is verses 3-4 which says] “Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God” (NLT).
Some of the fancy department stores on Fifth Avenue in New York City are now using live models in their windows instead of mannequins. Some people will walk up to the window of the store and start making faces and knocking on the window, trying to get her to mess up. But the models usually hold their ground and stand motionless, because there was something more important to her than pleasing the people on the other side of the glass. She was pleasing her employer who was paying her to stand in that window.
Women who want to please the Lord in their marriage often must ignore the people on the other side of the glass. That’s because what God is telling them in His Word may go against what many of their friends are telling them and what social media is telling them. But none of us are here to please the onlookers.
I want to give you five Biblical principles of true beauty, authentic attractiveness, and holy seduction based on how God’s Word describes it.
Seduction is more than outward appearances
Number one, seduction is more than outward appearances. Verse 3 says, “Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes” (NLT). There is so much more to true beauty than what you see in the mirror. To have a right perspective on outward beauty let me give you four Biblical thoughts.
Number one, “outward beauty” is allowed. It is important. It is okay to look good. Women are very interested in how they look and men are very interested in how women look. God’s Word is not saying neglect how you look or ignore your appearance. The Bible does not condemn a woman for being physically attractive, but God tells Christian women not to let their attractiveness stop on the outside.
The bride in Song of Solomon was beautifully adorned with earrings, jewels around her neck, and beautiful sandals for her feet (1:10; 4:11; 7:1). The noble wife of Proverbs 31 “dresses in fine linen and purple gowns” (v.22, NLT). The issue is not outward appearances. The issue is not dressing nicely. The issue is letting your outward beauty become your primary focus.
Number two, “outward beauty” is to be modest in nature. 1 Timothy 2:9 says, “And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes. For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do” (NLT). Fixing yourself up is allowed. We see that in the Proverbs 31 woman and the bride in Song of Solomon. Modesty is making sure that your physical appearance doesn’t hide your inner beauty.
Number three, “outward beauty” should be combined with inward beauty. The NLT says, “Do not be concerned about the outward beauty…”, while the NASB translates this verse by saying, “Your adornment must not be merely external…” (v.3).
To be “concerned” about something is to be worried, anxious, troubled or afraid. Some women are overly concerned about their outward beauty and go to great lengths to try to keep it. It consumes them. God’s says don’t do that, don’t let your outward appearance consume you but let your inner beauty consume you.
The NASB uses the word “merely.” It’s a balancing word. It means that you are going to take care of what you look like on the outside (you are going to shower, wear clean clothes, exercise, eat right, fix your hair, etc.), but you will also focus on putting on love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, self-control, and gentleness.
Number four, “outward beauty” fades. In verse 4 we see a contrast between “outward beauty” and “unfading beauty.” Outward beauty leaves everyone. There is a reason why even models quit getting phone calls to pose in ads. However, there is an unfading beauty that you can and should have as a wife. No one can take this unfading beauty away from you. When the outward beauty fades you want to make sure you still have a smile, joyous attitude, gentle presence, and a quite spirit. Even as you get older you will still have that inner beauty that everyone loves.
When it comes to seduction, your divine beauty, you need to remember that outward beauty is allowed in the Bible, outward beauty is to be modest in nature, outward beauty should be combined with inward beauty and outward beauty eventually fades. This takes us to observation number two.
Seduction involves a gentle spirit
Number two, seduction involves a gentle spirit. No wife has ever nagged their husband to love Christ or to love her. God designed men to be attracted to a woman who is has a gentle spirit. I have seen many attractive women who suddenly become unattractive by being rude, obnoxious, cold, uncaring, and insensitive. This is why verse 4 tells wives, “You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” (NLT). This word “gentle” (praus) is a rich word. True gentleness always comes from the Spirit of God. Galatians 5:22 clearly says, “The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (NLT). As a wife, the only way you can show true gentleness toward your husband when he is being rude, selfish, and obnoxious is by the Spirit of God working in your life. You cannot do this in your own power. You will need the help of the Holy Spirit working in your life.
When you study the word “gentle” as it relates to the wife, you discover three things.
A gentle wife is humble. She is not overly impressed by her own importance. She does not need to belittle her husband for her to feel big. She is not prideful and arrogant towards him.
A gentle wife is considerate. This means a gentle wife is not rude, rough, and harsh with her husband.
A gentle wife is under control. Her temper is under control. She knows when to be angry and when not to be angry. She knows how to be angry and sin not.
Focus on having a gentle spirit that causes you to be humble, considerate, and under control.
Seduction involves a quiet spirit
Number three, seduction involves a quiet spirit. If you want to push your husband away be loud and complain about everything, be angry and bitter. Your husband is designed to be attracted to and admire a wife who has a quiet spirit. This is why God’s Word says to wives in verse 4, “You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” (NLT).
A quiet spirit is not loud verbally. As his wife you are not going to scream at your husband. You are not going to yell at him. A loud woman believes volume proves her point. A godly woman believes her point proves her point.
A quiet spirit is not loud physically. A physically loud wife may not say much, but she is loud in other ways. She slams doors. She may even throw things. She sighs loudly. She can even be physically loud with a silent treatment. A quiet spirited woman avoids that kind of behavior.
A quiet spirit means to be serene, calm, peaceful and controlled. A gentle and quiet wife knows that God is in control and that God is bigger than the situation and is bigger than her husband.
Seduction involves an audience of One
Number four, seduction involves an audience of One. You may be the perfect wife. You are an example of a wife who is gentle and quiet. You are submissive to your husband. You take care of yourself physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. You are an example of a Proverbs 31 woman. Even if you are doing everything you know to do to honor your husband and God you may find that your husband is unresponsive. He is not changing, he is not reacting as fast, and you don’t see God using you to impact and influence your husband the way you thought He would through you.
This is where you have to remember the ultimate reason for why you are doing what you are doing as a wife. Notice carefully verse 4 which says, “You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God” (NLT). Sometimes you are being the wife you need to be for God because you know that your efforts to be that woman of beauty that is made up of a gentle and quite spirit is “precious to God” and knowing that is precious to you. There may be a season where your husband doesn’t appreciate you and you don’t feel cherished or loved by him, but ultimately you are not being a godly wife because of him, but because of God. Being a godly wife is “precious to God” so it’s precious to you.
One of the reasons why your efforts to be a godly wife is precious to God is because it’s evidence that you love God even if your husband doesn’t love you or God. Stay strong. Stay faithful. With God’s help you can do this.
Seduction creates a winning environment in your home
Number five, seduction creates a winning environment in your home. Because you love God you are going to follow your husband’s leadership and focus on developing a gentle and quiet spirit toward him. God says that when you do this you create an atmosphere and an opportunity for your life and your love toward your husband to be used by God to soften your husband’s heart and to open your husband’s heart to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Verse 1 puts it this way, “They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives” (NLT).
Listen carefully, if your husband is an unbeliever… if he is not a follower of Jesus then you need to know that you are the greatest tool in the hands of God to reach your husband for Christ. You are in the greatest position to demonstrate to your husband that God’s Word is true and works. And you can do this without speaking a word.
Look at verses 1-2, “In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives” (NLT). That’s amazing. That’s having an impact on your husband. That is being used by God to change one man’s heart and life.
To the best of my ability, I have given you several things from God’s Word addressing godly seduction as a wife in marriage.
This may be new to you and you may need to do your own personal study of what God means when He says wives should have a gentle and quiet spirit. I want to encourage you to do that study. Dig deep in it to see for yourself what the creator of marriage has to say about your role as a wife.
This may not be new to you, but God’s Spirit spoke to you about some things you have been saying or doing that causes your husband to feel disrespected and devalued as the head of the home. Talk to your husband about it and if you need to, ask for his forgiveness.
Before we wrap this up I want to say a word to the husbands. Men, if your wife falls way short of what has been mentioned here today don’t criticize her or nag her about becoming better. If she was here today, she heard what was said and she saw what the Bible says. You pray for her, encourage her, and be her supportive and loving husband.
To become the women God wants you to be and to become the wife and mom God wants you to be you need to have Jesus Christ as the Lord of your life. He needs to be your Lord so He can be your leader. You need to have His Spirit inside you.