Imperishable Beauty

Not a hint of meekness existed in my character as a young woman. Sadly, I took pride in my ability to challenge men verbally and delighted in defeating them in debate. I thought this was a sign of strength, but actually I was a weak woman. Early in our friendship, Nancy DeMoss recognized my neediness in this area and gave me the book The Quest for Meekness and Quietness of Spirit by Matthew Henry.

I had always confused the idea of meekness with weakness. I pictured a fragile-hearted, mouse-like woman when I heard this term—not appealing in the least! Then I came across 1 Peter 3:1-6 and its description of a woman with the imperishable beauty of a gentle (or meek) and quiet spirit . . . (the next words took my breath away) . . . "which is precious in the sight of God." Precious!

When I first read those words, I remember thinking, Oh Father, I want to be precious in your sight, but I could never be meek or quiet! However, the strong yearning to be precious in God's sight eventually led me to dig in and do an extensive study of this elusive trait. Here are a few things I learned:

The Greeks described meekness as "power under control." Hmmm . . . I'd never thought of meekness as a "powerful trait" before.

  • James 3:13-18—meekness is the opposite of arrogance and self-promotion. Gulp! So, when I'm not practicing meekness, does that mean I'm being arrogant and self-centered?
  • Colossians 3:12—meekness characterizes the mature believer, which means the lack of meekness indicates immaturity.
  • James 1:21—meekness equals "teachability."
  • Ephesians 4:2—meekness shows consideration of others.
  • Galatians 6:1—meekness is to be the defining attitude when confronting a brother in sin.
  • Philippians 2:1-8—meekness portrays the humility of Christ, who is our ultimate example of meekness.
  • 1 Peter 3:13-16—meekness displays constancy and a steady composure. Meekness stands in contrast to the fretful woman's roller coaster ride of emotions.
  • 1 Peter 3:8-9—meekness demonstrates gracious restraint. It responds to accusations or criticism with restraint rooted in humility by recognizing that without God's grace, I am capable of far worse than what I am being accused.


It is better by silence to yield to our brother, who is, or has been, or may be, our friend, than by angry speaking to yield to the devil, who has been, and is, and ever will be our sworn enemy.—Matthew Henry


Meekness does not mean I never speak, share an opinion, or disagree with my husband or others, but meekness acts under the grace and control of the Spirit of God.

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About the Author

Kimberly Wagner

Kimberly Wagner

Kimberly Wagner’s passion is Christ, and she desires to ignite women's pursuit of God's glory. She's the author of Fierce Women, and is a frequent guest on the Revive Our Hearts radio program, as well as a regular contributor to the True Woman blog. She enjoys sharing with women and hearing from them about what God is doing in their lives.