First Peter 3:4 encourages women to beautify themselves with the imperishable beauty of a quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. “Quietness” stands in marked contrast to the “loudness” that characterizes an ungodly woman (Prov. 7:11). When we think of the word “quiet,” the first thing we normally think of is audible sound. We equate “quiet” with “not talking.”
So does God expect us to shut our mouths and never say anything? Are we not allowed to express our opinions? Or discuss, deliberate, or disagree? Does godly womanhood mean we get out the duct tape and slap an “X” over our mouths? That we mutely nod our heads up and down like bobble head dolls?
When the Bible talks about quietness, it’s not referring to an absence of verbal noise as much as it’s referring to an absence of spiritual noise. Although there’s a connection, quietness has more to do with the state of our hearts than the quantity and volume of our words.
Quiet describes a mindset of calmness, serenity, and tranquility. It’s being settled, steadfast, and peaceful. A quiet disposition is like a still, peaceful pool of water, as opposed to a churning, agitated whirlpool. A quiet spirit is the opposite of an anxious, distressed, disorderly, and clamourous one.
I think Amy Carmichael got the idea right in her poem, “Give Me a Quiet Mind” in which she cries out to the Lord to give her this beautiful disposition:
GIVE ME A QUIET MIND
(From the collected poems of Amy Carmichael)