Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Attaining a Quiet and Gentle Spirit


                           The Quiet Hour by Albert Chevalier Taylor, English 1862-1925

It is sometimes easy to misinterpret the phrase "quiet and gentle spirit." It does not mean total silence.  It does not mean a woman has to sit back and silently tolerate rudeness and immaturity, and it does not mean she should allow anyone to insult or verbally attack her. It does not mean no opinion or discussion.  

A quiet and gentle spirit is an aura of confidence attained by consistently practicing certain attributes. A lady can confidently instruct someone or inform someone and still have a quiet and gentle spirit. A lady can manage her home and insist on decency and order and still have a quiet and gentle spirit.

There is a false understanding that a quiet and gentle spirit means a woman can not interact with anyone in her family; that she cannot correct her children (even older children) and that she can never put her foot down about anything or insist that certain language not be spoken in her presence. People mistakenly believe that a quiet and gentle spirit means that a woman cannot make improvements.

Let us see the ways to develop a quiet and gentle spirit.

1. Refined speech.  I posted an explanation of this here  http://homeliving.blogspot.com/2014/07/untitled.html called Refined Speech for Christian Women. Ladies in the church need to be careful what they talk about concerning personal family information, or revealing things of a private nature, from family finances to personal failures.  Ladies also need to avoid talking about carnal things. It does not sound quiet or gentle.

 Compare ladies who talk about any and every sensitive and unpleasant subject known to the world. Which ones would you think of as having a quiet and gentle spirit? Maybe the free talkers are not loud, or maybe they just whisper all their delicious gossip, but that does not mean they are quiet. Quietness means more than not being loud.  It is being careful not to let out words that are passed around that others can use for harm.

2. Digninified clothing and appearance.  Although a woman can be as quiet as a mouse, a disheveled and unclean appearance with hair and clothing all askew is like noise and roughness.  There just isn't anything quiet and gentle in an unkempt appearance. The impression it gives is bad for the reputation of the home and the local church where such a woman attends.  Careful grooming and good taste in selection of clothing looks peaceful.  A woman in disarray does not give off the appearance of quietness and gentleness.   Instead, it makes her look in a hurry and worried.

3. Enjoying the home.  A woman who gives her housekeeping a pass and has a bad attitude about the state of the house, will present it in a bad light. A neglected house cannot serve anyone very well in its purpose. A woman may never speak a word and yet be thought of as nervous and noisy if her house is not looked after.  When you think of a woman you admire who has a house you love to visit, I am sure you think of quietness and peace. The house may not always be orderly but if a lady has a goal of getting it done and is working on it, it shows conscientiousness.

4. Daily quiet pastimes.  Reading and hand-work can make you more quiet and thoughtful. Test this out by getting in a comfortable place and writing a letter or card, mending, or doing a creative thing.  Notice how you can go from tenseness to relaxing. There is less or no talking required, and the mind engages in more thought. Bible study is paramount but make sure some of it is for your own personal improvement. There are many subjects covered in the Bible, and a quiet and gentle spirit is part of character.

I have listed four things that will greatly aid in developing a quiet and gentle spirit. This quality is a matter of character.  Character qualities to consider embracing are found in these scriptures:

2Pe 1:5    And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
2Pe 1:6    And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
2Pe 1:7    And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

Gal 5:22    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23    Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Rom 12:11    Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
Rom 12:12    Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
Rom 12:13    Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
Rom 12:14    Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
Rom 12:15    Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
Rom 12:16    Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
Rom 12:17    Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
Rom 12:18    If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

1Ti 6:6    But godliness with contentment is great gain.

These are just a few of the pertinent passages on character qualities, but there is enough there to fill up several notebooks of examples and thoughts on the subject. If you are wanting this kind of training, I would suggest working on one quality at a time by looking up the word-meaning and finding ways to apply it.


Marianne said...

Thank you for another lovely blog post. I have been reading your posts for 10 years and have learned so much and been very encouraged as a woman. I am 65 years old and still growing. thank you for continuing with your work for our LORD.

Lydia said...

Marianne your comments are welcome.it is hard to think of new things to write so that is why I keep a list of requested subjects and suggestions.

Christine said...

This is such a great post, either to
learn or just be refresh. You are so wonderful at this.

Christine said...

Lady Lydia,
This is a beautiful reminder of such important qualities. I believe all of us benefit from re-visiting these lessons on a regular basis, as it is so easy to slip into old, less desirable habits.
Thank you for "keeping us on our toes" as always.

SharonR said...

One verse I thought of also is one of my favorites: "Let your moderation be known to all men, the Lord is at hand." Philippians 4:5 (KJV) The NKJV expresses "moderation" as "gentleness". Other translations say, forbearance, kindness, modesty. And, the last phrase, "The Lord is at hand", means to me, that when we think no one is watching, God is there seeing all, which warns us to be gentle at home too.

Andrea R said...

Another helpful, wise and encouraging post!

God Bless, my sweet friend1

Rachel and Family said...

Thank you. I once heard a lady preacher screaming about how "this is as meek as I get". Kind of bothered me. I am really working on thinking before I speak. Quit explaining everything to everyone. I think it's a defensiveness really.

Rachel and Family said...

Thank you. I once heard a lady preacher screaming about how "this is as meek as I get". Kind of bothered me. I am really working on thinking before I speak. Quit explaining everything to everyone. I think it's a defensiveness really.

Mary said...

Thank you for those suggestions and verses! I will be taking your post to prayer in the morning.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post it was very encouraging. I am still fairly new in reading your posts and the Holy Ghost has truly use you to be a true blessing to me as a woman and a wife and keeper of my home! God bless you in Jesus name!