The Hidden Man of the Heart
Whose adorning, let it not be that outward adorning
Plaiting the hair, wearing of gold, or putting on of apparel
But, let it be the hidden man of the heart
Even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit
Which is in the sight of God, of great price. Adapted
"What do I do with my husband? He is unconverted or so unconcerned about spiritual things. I am at my wits end with my frustrations in our home. Brother Denny, do you have any advice for sisters who find themselves in these desperate straits?" I read these type of words in many letters that come to the tape ministry. I have received many pleas for teaching on how to relate to these difficult circumstances. This article is an attempt to give some clear direction to a widespread problem in our land. We men are the products of two generations of absentee fathers. We have some real blind spots because of this. What is a sister to do with a husband like this? If she leads out, he will hide in the shadows for another generation. If she gets bold and aggressive, he will fear to take his place.
There is a power, an influence, a secret weapon that God has given to a Christian woman. There are not many women who avail themselves of this hidden force; nevertheless, it is still available to any that would seek for answers to some of her greatest dilemmas. As always, God has provided the tools that are needed to build up even the most difficult homes. This wisdom, this mysterious ability, is beautifully placed in the scriptures right after some verses about our Lord Jesus Christ. It would be helpful to you if you would read the verses in I Peter, 2:20b-3:6 before you go any further in this article. We will draw the wisdom we need out of these verses.
There is a phrase in the first verse of chapter three that clearly describes what many Christian women are facing today. "If any obey not the word…" You say, "That is it precisely. My husband doesn’t want to get involved. He is very happy living on a superficial level, going to church, living his own life and putting in his two cents to Christianity." The Lord has defined the who that these verses pertain to. The Spirit of God is addressing wives who have husbands that obey not the word. Your first thoughts might have been toward that guy who "won’t get his act together." Think again. Let me remind you that these verses are to you--not him. God is telling you how you can win your husband.
There is another phrase in the first verse that is the most powerful part of the whole text we have read, They may, without the word, be won. Think about what God is saying to us here. Your husband can be won without the word. That goes against all of our natural thinking. We think he must be given the word, or he will not be changed. God has a secret weapon that is more powerful, even though the word is full of power according to Hebrews 4:12. When you have a man who will not obey the word, there is an influence that is more effective than the word. It is a life that is living the word before him. You may think, "I need to convince my husband to listen to the Godly Home tapes, then he will change" He may, but it may make him mad. He may feel threatened by them. He may wonder why that guy is hollering so much.
God wants to use your holy life to speak to him in ways that words will not reach. The word behold in verse two is packed with meaning. It means to gaze upon and study. As your husband watches your godly life, he will be convicted, challenged and drawn to the Lord. Remember the little children’s poem, "I would rather see a sermon, than hear one any day"? This is especially true with your husband. When you preach to him about what he ought to be doing, it only drives him further away. He reacts to your nagging by tuning you out completely. It goes in one ear and out the other. God has a better way. It is a spiritual way. It will require a deep and consistent walk with Him. This better way will expose your own lack of commitment. God will use the exercise to mold you and make you into the godly woman that you want to be.
Let us consider the testimony of a godly life a little deeper. In verse four we find the phrase that I used for the title of this article, the hidden man of the heart. There is a whole book of powerful wisdom in this one statement. With this weapon, God can deal with your husband man to man. The hidden man of the heart is God living inside of you. It is the character of Jesus Christ shining out of you. It is the life of Jesus being manifested in your mortal flesh. (II Cor. 4:11) This is an awesome revelation of how God influences your husband. The Bible refers to this hidden man as a beautifying adornment. This holy adornment far surpasses pretty hair and make-up. It will get your husband’s attention way more than a pretty girl would. Do you believe it? Oh, dear sisters, "put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."(Eph.4:24)
Let us go a little deeper yet. This hidden man of the heart is seen on the face. We carefully tried to show this on the cover of the last Remnant. Hours were spent drawing and redrawing the faces of the two holy women. We often hear the saying, "Your clothes say it for you." This is a right statement; I believe in modest and moderate attire for the Christian. However, your face says far more about who you are than your clothes do. What is your husband going to do if every time the two of you have any kind of interaction, he sees the life and character of Jesus shining out at him? Let us consider a few applications so we can get a better idea of how this works in everyday life.
A Quiet spirit: Our text uses this phrase. What is a quiet spirit? It is more than a woman who does not talk. It is much deeper than that, though sometimes this is a proper definition. A woman who has a quiet spirit is quiet on the inside. She is at peace: at peace with God, at peace with herself and at peace with those around her. She has a quietness within that emanates out of her, creating a peaceful atmosphere. There is no threat in a quiet spirit. You can relax, you can be real; there are no expectations coming from the one who is at peace.
A Meek spirit: Our text uses this word also. Meekness is one of the most influential aspects of the Christian life. Someone who is meek has given up. They have an attitude of submission. They are yielded to God and man. They have given up their rights for the sake of another’s benefit. Their life is not their own; it is for someone else. When a wife obeys her husband this has a positive effect on him. When a wife has a spirit of subjection, which is much deeper, what can he do but respect her? He knows what the real world is like.
A Loving spirit: It is a powerful thing when a wife does acts of love toward her husband. This is part of what unconditional love is all about. Sometime we love the unlovely. It will get their attention because they live in a world of selfish people. When you put a loving spirit alongside of those acts of love, you have a combination that cannot be resisted very long. What do I mean by this? Love that flows from God out of the heart is felt in the heart and seen on the face. There is no more powerful emotion than love. Imagine if every time you interact with your husband, he sees love shining out at him from your face. What is he going to do? He will not be able to resist this, I promise you.
A Reverent spirit: Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. I see a very high level of admiration and respect in this action. Imagine if the President were to come to your house for lunch. When he knocked on the door and you let him in, what would he read on your face. Some would say fear, I know how you feel, but if he really did come you would respect him highly. This is what the word reverent means. What is your husband going to do if every time you meet him at the door or greet him in the morning, he sees this admiration glowing up out of your heart and onto your face? I tell you, he will wonder what has gotten into you. He will like it, and he will have to respond to it.
A Trusting spirit: When a Christian woman trusts God and her husband, you can see it on her face. There is a hidden confidence that can be seen and heard in the tone of her voice and the smile on her face. The order must be right, for a sister cannot trust her husband if she does not trust her Lord -- especially when her husband is one of those unconcerned ones. When your husband is wrestling with choices he needs to make, he looks over at you to see how you are responding. It is a powerful thing when he sees a face that flows from a heart that says, "I trust you, honey. I am for you." The opposite is also true. If he sees a face that is filled with worry and fear, this also has an affect on him.
There are many more examples that we could give to illustrate the power of the hidden man of the heart, but I think you have enough of them to understand how this principle works in the real world of your own dysfunctional home. In simplicity, the hidden man of the heart is Jesus Christ in you. It is Christ being formed in you to the degree that your husband is seeing Him in you day by day as your life unfolds together. This changes our perspective on all of life. Now we can see every situation at home as an opportunity to be Christ in my home to my husband. I want to quickly say that this is no easy task. You cannot make this one up. This is not a "ten steps to change your husband program." You will now have to become spiritual. You must get right with God yourself, and then begin to walk in the Spirit every day.
As I close this article, I want to broaden the scope of this teaching out to all sisters in Christ. God will have all of you respond to your husbands this way. What we have been considering is far reaching. It is more than a way for Christian women to save their lost husbands. It is the way to live with the godliest husband. It is your contribution to the power and influence of your godly home. Is Jesus looking out of you today? Have you put on your heavenly ornaments? Let us leave behind the beggarly elements of the women of the world and put on the Lord Jesus Christ.
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