“Wives . . . let your adorning adoring be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” (1 Peter 3:4).
After the sermon Sunday, several people were asking what exactly this “gentle and quiet spirit” looks like in reality.
For clarification, you can be outgoing and yet possess this spirit. You can also be shy/quiet and lack it. Peter isn’t describing a natural personality trait because this “gentleness” is a fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23).
The opposite if likely a “rash and fretful spirit.”
Matthew Henry wrote a short book on the gentle/meek and quiet/tranquil spirit. You can read a great short summary of it here. I found it very helpful personally.
One last thing.
The exact term Peter uses for “gentle” is occurs only three other times in the New Testament. See if they shed some light on its meaning.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5)
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29)
“Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.'” (Matthew 21:5)
Also, Peter’s term for “quiet” (or tranquil) is only used one other time.
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4)
Perhaps it’s a coincidence, but both times “quiet” (hēsychios) appears it seems to be in the context of ways Christians can try to win unbelieving authority figures to Christ.