An Aside

… Because this post didn’t display properly last week, here’s an updated version:

Question # 1; Is the rider in this picture male or female?

Question #2: Does it matter?

… Because I’ve heard so much of I Peter 3 bandied about in various venues lately.  For those who insist on a pedantic, anemic version of “quiet and gentle spirit” [I Peter 3:3] as a one-size-fits-all approach to biblical womanhood:

The text says, “quiet and gentle spirit,” but where is that equated with waffling, indecisive, mousey, hesitant, irresolute, faltering, dithering, shrinking violet or cowardly? Is the shrill, bellicose and belligerent version of “womanhood” outside the divine design? Yep. But is the lily-livered, noodle-backed, bubble-brained “I’ll have to ask my husband first because I can’t think for myself” version any closer?

One wag puts I Peter 3:3 this way, pointing out what the notorious “quiet and gentle spirit” ISN’T:

“It isn’t a certain personality type, or the tone of your voice (loud or quiet). You can have a quiet personality and not have a gentle and quiet spirit. Or, you can have an “effervescent” personality and still have a gentle and quiet spirit. Here’s the definition of a gentle and quiet spirit Carolyn Mahaney gives as meant in the Greek:

A gentle and quiet spirit is an inner disposition of humble contentment and quiet tranquility rooted in an unwavering trust in God and His purpose.

The simple definition? A gentle (or “meek”) and quiet spirit is “a steadfast peace based on a steadfast trust in a steadfast God.” Nothing about volume, tone, waffling indecisiveness, subservience or mealy-mouthed, spineless jellyfish-ness. “Meekness” is NOT synonymous with weakness. It’s more along the lines of strength under control – rather like guiding a powerful horse over a hurdle. It’s the opposite of self-centeredness, but is not vacillating nor supine in nature.

Examples? Some of the strongest, mightiest women in biblical as well as extra-biblical history are also those with the “unfading beauty” of a stalwart “hidden person of the heart” evinced in external sturdiness. For starters, check out Deborah, Ruth, Esther, Joanna, and Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as Corrie ten Boom, Gladys Aylward and Elisabeth Elliot.

The conclusion should be obvious. Contrary to some of the gender theory myths running rampant within certain quadrants of Christendom these days, female strength and valor (see prior posts) and a “quiet and gentle spirit” are NOT mutually exclusive.

For more, check out Soulation under the Links page and Jonalyn Grace Fincher under the Blogroll. Also “Ruby Slippers” on our sidebar vodpod.

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