Atmosphere of the Inner Self
I was a working mother years ago and then a stay-at-home mother for many years, and in both scenarios wondered how to be an individual. Seems that many wives and mothers struggle with wanting unique identities but know their identities lie wrapped up in the lives of their families.
For me, this struggle came through a focus on accomplishments rather than on who I was as a person. I failed to focus on the atmosphere that enfolded out of my inner self.
Scripture encourages me to be known for “the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Peter 3:4). It tells me this is “precious” to God.
Creating an atmosphere that comes out of this truth allows for a place of stability and consistency that busy families need. It provides a place of peace and quiet along with gentleness that contrasts so heavily with the noise, clutter and brashness of our culture.
Hidden and Imperishable
Some days, as hard as I tried, my spirit was anything but gentle and quiet. Instead, feelings of frustration and being overlooked consumed my thoughts. My family found a moody and downright grumpy atmosphere, and home became the least helpful place for them to relax and escape from outside pressures.
On these days, the deep cry of my heart became, “Oh Holy Spirit, I need you to transform my inner spirit, so that my home can exist as a place of refuge and strength for my family.”
A deeper look at 1 Peter 3:4 reveals two qualities that must also exist in order for a “gentle and quiet spirit” to have staying power and to be more than just an occasional good day.
- Hidden. Hiding something takes effort while reacting happens all too easily. Take the time to hide a “gentle and quiet spirit” deep within by developing a Discipline of Silence and by constantly returning to the Lord where “quietness and confidence” brings strength (Isaiah 30:15).
- Imperishable. Creating that which lasts also takes effort, while the perishable remains instantly available. Focus on increasing the fruits of the spirit grows the imperishable nature of that “gentle and quiet spirit” and provides a safe atmosphere of mercy and grace.
A life changing toward gentleness speaks loudly to growing kids who need stability and consistency as life screams at them to compete and stretch and grow. An atmosphere of quiet strength gives a stressed-out spouse space to live without expectations of productivity and attention.
A quiet and consistent faith not only provides a family with a safe atmosphere for processing life, but it also shows Christ in a way they probably can’t see while out in the world. That, truly, is a sight precious to God.