Tag Archives: Meek and Quiet Spirit

The Difficult Child – Part 1

“I just stopped school to come in here to write you. I don’t know what to do, and I am at this awful place with one of my children that a mom definitely doesn’t want to be. I have five boys ranging in age from nine months to nine years. Four of my children are sweet, obedient, in love with the Lord, wanting to sing praises to Him, and wanting to please my husband and me. Then there is my six year old. He is the most difficult child, and I don’t know what to do with him. I have had him memorize Scriptures on obedience. He has more Scriptures memorized than I do—he is really smart. But he is a huge handful. He has no control over his emotions and will strike out at anyone who crosses him.

“Recently he has started back talking me. I’ll tell him to do something, and that is followed by whines and reasons why he doesn’t want to obey. My other kids would NEVER do this. At first I was shocked and talked to him about his attitude and his need to obey me. Then I tried consequences and talked more. He isn’t responding. I love him so much and don’t want to be around him—all at the same time. Am I a terrible mom?”
In Christ,
A struggling mom

This mom’s problem is typical in many homes regarding at least one of their children. Regularly I read or hear a description of a child like this from someone. Immediately, I think of one of our children. When this child introduces himself at our music session, he says, “Hello, my name is John. I am nineteen, and I play the banjo. I wasn’t what you would call a model child growing up. As a matter of fact, because of how difficult I was, I think my mom was able to write that book, Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit. I expect if I had been put into a public school, they would have labeled me with a learning disability. However, the reality was that I was simply lazy.”

John has now graduated from our homeschool, and the message I want to share with this mom, and others like her, is a message of hope and encouragement. Today John isn’t what he was when he was a little boy. He is a winsome, young man whom every one seems to love. He invested his out-of-school time for two years building our house with his brother and dad— a project he and his brother volunteered to do. He learned to study as a result of his homeschooling years and has been tackling some difficult after-graduation study assignments of his own choosing as he prepares for a vocation in construction and also to obtain his commercial driver’s license.

I have graduated five children from homeschool, but John was the first to say to me, “Mom, for my graduation I want to take you out to eat at the nicest restaurant you can think of to go to.” He then spent the evening telling me of his gratitude for my investment in his homeschooling. John read and approved these articles because his heart is to help other families who might be facing some of the same issues that our family faced with John.

I am delighted that I can share such good news about this son with you. As John was growing up, every year we saw improvement in his attitudes and behavior. At nine, he wasn’t like he was at six. At twelve, he had made great progress from when he was nine. It got better for him day by day. “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). Perhaps what we did with John and where he is today will be an encouragement to you and give you some ideas for your situation.

John caused Steve and me to pray more. “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6). There is something about increased need that drives us to a greater frequency and fervency of prayer. We knew that we were dependent on the Lord’s working in this child’s life for his growth and maturity both emotional and spiritual.

Steve and I found that we had to encourage ourselves greatly about our difficult child. We knew the importance of loving and accepting him, but his behavior caused us to sometimes have negative feelings toward him. He could be unkind to his siblings, plus he regularly had bad attitudes toward us. As Steve and I talked about and prayed for John, we would remind each other of what this son needed and what the Lord would have us do. Seeing that we were both struggling helped us realize that our feelings were normal even though they weren’t ones we wanted to allow to fester. “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5).

We discovered we needed to deal with John very quietly and in a matter of fact manner. “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). Because of the ongoing nature of the problems, it was extremely easy to have an irritated tone in our voices almost before the first word was out. We knew that anger, impatience, and frustration were not the vehicles to loving our son and helping him. Therefore, his behavior was our training ground as well—a training ground for our own growth in self-control.

In families, it is common to have a child who struggles more with his behavior than the other children. Steve and I know how easy it is for parents to become discouraged over this child. However, we also have seen the Lord work through the years of our child’s life, achieving incredible changes that have been almost unbelievable considering his early childhood behavior. What we did with and for John were things that were valuable for all our children. Therefore, we know that our parenting improved because of John. May we encourage those of you with a difficult child to continue doing what you need to do. Love this child abundantly even when he is not loveable. Look for ways to help him grow and mature. Pray for this child, knowing that the Lord is as interested in him overcoming wrong behavior as you are. Next month we will continue with more of what we did in parenting John and what we learned.

When a Wife Disagrees with Her Husband – Part 3

In this Mom’s Corner series, we are considering the common problem a wife will face when she disagrees with her husband. Every wife will experience this difficulty in her marriage to some degree, but some will have great struggles because the disagreements are so frequent or of such mammoth proportions. The difference of heart may be as simple as how an evening of time is spent or as big as how the children are educated. No matter what proportion it is, a wife wants to look to Scripture to determine the path the Lord Jesus would have for her when these situations surface. I would encourage you to read Part 1 and Part 2 of this series for the background from which we are continuing on this topic. This series of articles is not written for wives who are in abusive marriages.

Let’s review our key verses: “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement” (1 Peter 3:1-6).

1 Peter 3 is written specifically to wives and gives detailed, clear instruction as to what they should do if they have husbands who don’t obey the word. Even though this husband isn’t following the Lord, the wife is still told to be in subjection to her husband so that her husband can be won without her saying anything, but rather by her meek and quiet spirit. The teaching is definitive. However, the daily living out of 1 Peter 3 becomes the challenge. It will be an ongoing battle with the flesh that wants to keep verbally pushing a husband for change and is fearful of the consequences of no change.

The example given to us of women who had meek and quiet spirits rather than words of disagreement are holy women of old, specifically Sarah. We are told that Sarah obeyed Abraham, even calling him lord. Yet, consider the husband she was obeying. In order to protect himself, Abraham told Sarah to say she was his sister—and she was his half-sister—if they were ever approached by the men of the countries through which they were traveling. This actually happened twice. Because of Sarah’s beauty and obedience to her husband, she was taken two times into another man’s harem. Sarah chose to be subject to her husband rather than give in to her fear. To save his own skin, Abraham let his wife down, but God didn’t. You can read these two accounts in Genesis 12:11-20 and Genesis 20.

1 Peter 3:6 tells us, “. . . whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.” I think Sarah would have had good reason to be fearful, but she is set up as an example to us. We are encouraged not to be fearful. Why does a wife speak up to her husband when she disagrees with him? Often her motivation is fear. What will happen to our finances if he makes these decisions? What will happen to our children if he makes these decisions? What will happen to me if he makes these decisions? What will happen to our future if he makes these decisions?

Verse 2 of 1 Peter 3 says that our pure behavior is to be aligned with fear, while verse 6 instructs us not to be afraid. The fear in verse two would have to do with our fear of God and the desire He has for a wife’s submission to God as her Lord and to her husband. Verse 6 is referring to not being afraid of the outcome of choosing to be in subjection to a husband, to win him without a word, and to have a meek and quiet spirit.

A wife’s hope and expectation has to be in her Lord Jesus Christ, not in what her husband does or does not do. It is a spiritual path of growing in faith for a wife. Whether or not a husband is walking in obedience to the Lord does not affect a wife’s obedience to Jesus’ instruction in 1 Peter 3, where she is admonished to win her husband without a word, by her meek and quiet spirit, and not to give in to fear.

Let me share with you a testimony from a wife who has been reading this series and writes about her personal experiences:

“Thank you so much for addressing the issue of disagreements between spouses. My husband has been backslidden from the Lord for a few years now. I often hear these 1 Peter 3 verses, but it can be hard to actually apply them to daily living. I know how hard it is to be quiet, when all you want to do is shake his eyes open to the Word of God! It becomes even harder to obey the Scripture as the years go by without becoming bitter and resentful if no change takes place.

“So I hope you will also encourage ladies who have been there a while not to let their obedience falter. God told Joshua to ‘. . . be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law. . .’ (Joshua 1:7). As we submit to our husbands, our behavior must still be that which is godly. We must be patient, and have faith that God’s way is the only way which will prove victorious. I consider Moses, Abraham, David, and others—how long they had to wait to receive God’s promises. ‘Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass’ (Psalms 37:5).

“My husband’s heart has not turned back to the Lord yet, but he does allow me to faithfully attend church, homeschool our two children, and use Scriptures to guide them. I know that God would not be able to bless in these areas if I took the situation into my own hands.” An Obedient Wife

As I read this testimony, I sensed the pain this wife feels over a husband who is not spiritually leading his family, her overwhelming desire to be obedient to her Lord Jesus Christ in her own life, and the choice she is making to dwell on the blessings she has rather than what she wishes were different. What a difference it will make in a woman’s life if she will practice “bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Practically speaking, that would mean doing what “An Obedient Wife” has done by being thankful for what she has and is able to do rather than being unhappy about what isn’t happening. “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20). “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Philippians 4:11). The Lord Jesus would have her be in subjection to her husband, despite his failures, rather than growing a critical spirit in her heart toward him.

May every wife study 1 Peter 3 and learn its application to her life. May we find the joy of obedience to the Lord Jesus in fulfilling our calling as wives—the easy aspects and the challenging ones as well. I still have more to share on this subject, so the series will continue.

A Meek and Quiet Spirit – Some Real-Life Examples and Failures

It seems that I can’t let a year go by without a Mom’s Corner dealing with a wife’s need for a meek and quiet spirit. 1 Peter 3:4 says, “But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”

I wonder how many of us were born with meek and quiet spirits. I know I was not! This is something that God began pointing out in my life several years ago. He did this in what I considered a most unusual way. He began to make me aware of my interactions with my husband, viewing them as an outsider would.

Here are some things I heard myself saying to my husband:

“Honey, who was that on the phone? What did they want? Well, what did you say?”

“Steven, did you see what Joseph just did? No matter how many times I tell him he still does it.”

“Have you made a decision yet? I asked you about this on Monday, and I am feeling like I should know what we are going to do.”

I needed to learn, and am still in training, to have a meek and quiet spirit. Often a meek and quiet spirit, for me, would translate into a quiet mouth. If my husband chooses to share a phone conversation with me, I am pleased to have my curiosity satisfied. If he does not, it is good for me to trust God to give me information that I am interested in or might need to know. Should Steve forget to tell me something important, it may become known at some point. Then if he feels badly about having forgotten to tell me, it is a lesson from the Lord, not a controlling wife!

When Steve was home, I wanted him to be the one to correct the children. However, I also felt it my duty to point out what the children were doing that needed his attention. How much better it is when I am quiet. It is quite presumptive of me to think I know best what the children are doing that would need correction. This has been clearly illustrated to me during our evening Bible time. I wanted to keep telling the little children to be quiet, sit still, or perhaps put down a toy. You know what? My speaking to the child was as disruptive to our Bible time as what the child was doing. I found that if I would just sit very quietly with my mouth tightly closed, Steve would take care of anything that was a distraction to him. It is a great relief to not have to be “in charge” but just to sit and let my husband do what God has called him to.

It is a relief, but it is not easy! Everything within me so often wants to push, control, and some would say, nag. Usually, if I will be quiet, all will work out just fine the way Steve does it. The times it might not, it is so much better to have that realization come from the Lord and not from me.

Another area that has been difficult for me is to learn not to correct my husband in front of others–even sweetly. What does it matter if we did this thing on Monday or Wednesday night, as I would be prone to point out if he said the wrong one? I have discovered that, even if it does matter, it is better to be quiet and maintain our testimony than to correct my husband in public. There is seldom anything that important. Truly, if misinformation was given, I believe it would be better for my husband to call the person later and correct it than for me to have spoken up publicly.

Despite knowing I do not want to do this, as recently as Saturday morning this happened. Steve was driving a group of moms and girls from our church to a baby shower because of bad road conditions. I stepped into his conversation to clarify something I thought the ladies might misunderstand. Almost as quickly as the words were out of my mouth they seemed to shout back at me in accusation. I am glad, because I do want to learn these lessons. In my pride, I do not like to continually fail in something that is pretty cut and dried–don’t correct your husband in public, including in front of the children!

Something amazing has happened over these past three years that God has had me in this training course, Meek and Quiet Spirit 101. Steve’s love for me has grown. It has been so exciting for me to see God use an area where He showed me I needed to become obedient. He has poured out His blessing in a way I did not foresee.

May I encourage each of you who are wives to honor, respect, and love your husband by asking the Lord to teach you to have a meek and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in His sight. May we treat our husbands as our leaders and not be controlling. May it never be said by an outsider watching our interactions with our husbands, “I know she wears the pants in that home.”