…but let [your adornment] be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. —1 Pet. 3:4
I have never been good at being a “certain” kind of woman. Which kind doesn’t really matter. If there’s an expectation, odds are I won’t line up with it.
That’s because people are individuals, and expectations are a form of averaging. Nonetheless, “average” sometimes comes around to make a woman question the unique way God created her. And this can mean unnecessary insecurity not only about herself, but about her marriage relationship and how she fits into it.
Trust me on this.
Dave and I sat down and talked about the different kinds of peer pressure we’ve encountered over our 15 years of marriage. I’d like to invite you to inventory with us, and maybe think about your own circumstances. Because they’re going to be unique, just as you are.
Pressure to be a certain kind of woman
Do you go to a stylist to get your hair done? Are your nails painted? Where do you shop? How do you decorate your house? All these and more can be points of unspoken competition in female socialization. Someone wears too much makeup, or not enough. Someone should keep better track of how she spends her husband’s money.
Someone ends up having trouble even finding the hidden person of her heart, because it’s gone into deep hiding to escape the expectations. Let alone letting that hidden person be the jewelry which decorates her presence in the lives of others. Did you ever think of that? The hidden person is our adornment. Come out of there, dear heart.
We might face pressure to be more independent (don’t you want a career?) or less independent. In some circles, women face pressure to give the appearance of being controlled. Over time, I’ve struggled to get used to the fact that my personality does not blend into the crowd. My husband has received the implication, more than once, that he needs to get his wife under control for appearance’s sake. This was used to make both of us feel guilty about who we each are.
Pressure to serve your spouse a certain way
Women face pressure about homemaking. This goes double for when we’re holding down a job as well. Is the place clean enough? Is it fixed up enough? Is it the “right” kind of house? Does it fit the “average” for one’s peer group?
Early in our marriage, we bought an older house. A wealthy acquaintance asked us how we could put our kids in such a place. We don’t know how our kids will feel about us when they leave home, but we know that several of his don’t talk to him due to his controlling nature. It was a life lesson for us: There is more to a home than the house which contains it.
Women face pressure to have a “nice” life. Do we keep our husbands dressed decently? Have we taught them to act the way they should around company? Peer pressure can subtly lead us to non-acceptance of our spouses in the name of “serving” them.
And then there’s sex. We’ll talk about that next time.
A gentle and quiet spirit is different than a quiet personality. Whoever you are, it’s how God made you. If your spirit feels ungentle, ragged around the edges, unquiet, perhaps it’s time to forget the averages and be true to the hidden person. It’s God’s jewelry. Go sparkle.Copyright © by Cathi-Lyn Dyck | 0 comments