My dear husband takes his turn speaking at our chapel, and he did a masterful job of I Peter 3. When I say masterful, I mean.. he didn't make the ladies feel squirmish about it, including me. That is talent, because I have a lot of insecurities in these areas.
Those ladies who are quiet naturally.. you know the type.. always seem godlier to me. So, when I was younger and more energetic about these things, I just wanted to force myself into quiet and gentle. That's right. By a sheer act of the will I was going to be quiet and gentle. darn it.
This social experiement had about as much success as trying to shake up a bottle of pop and then say to it, "now don't explode.. just hold it in.." Sooner or later, the bottle is gonna blow. And then when it does explode, look out! I used to fear for the targets of my bottled up extroversion...
So, I do not really know at what age that I learned to accept the fact that I was the way I was, and I'll never cut it as a godly woman. I felt there was only two choices: 1) continue forcing myself into sealed pop bottle or 2) be myself, much to the chagrin of everyone in my path.
So, for the past 10? years I've been forging ahead with option #2 with almost no real problem with it except for periodic bouts of guilt. And then I have huge guilt whenever anyone goes to I Peter 3. I even wondered at the audacity of my husband preaching on THIS passage with ME being the way I am.
But here is what happened. Rather than using the pulpit to "put me in my place", he used it as opportunity to affirm anything good he could find in me. He mentioned that the gentle and quiet was not about personality, but on spirit. In fact, I rarely think about this but those women who are so quiet may be having a turbulent inner spirit at times also. The struggles of introverts and extroverts may be different but the goal of a gentle and quiet spirit is the same.
I found this to be encouraging--not because I think I have it all together, but because there really is room in the body for different personalities and temperments. Thank you, Lord.