I don't know about you but when I read those verses as a young woman about having a meek and quiet spirit, it didn't sound like much fun. I could picture in my mind one of those old puritan paintings with the gray haired woman, hair in a tight bun, with the smile distinctly absent from her face.
1 Peter 3
1In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives,
2as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.
3Your adornment must not be merely external--braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses;
4but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.
5For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands;
I by nature am a passionate, excitable person. Sometimes that is good, and sometimes it is not. I have been know to be loud, excitable and sometimes even boisterous. Over the years I've learned self control in these area and am able to be appropriate, but I still struggled with the concept of being "meek and quiet" or "gentle and quiet" as this version states.
Sometime in the past few years I came to a more clear understanding about what this actually means.
Gentle and quiet of spirit is the condition of the heart as it matures in the Lord. It is less about personality and more about trusting fully in the Lord for everything. It is about not being aggravated by situations and people. Responding gently when in crisis.
Let me give you an example:
If my husbands job is at risk because of the economy and I know that layoffs are eminent I can respond one of two ways. I can fret and worry, talk the issue to death, wonder about all the "what if's" and constantly watch the bills and the finances.
I can stop and pray that the Lord will meet our needs and provide for my family. Then I can go on through my day resting and trusting in the Lord to do what he has promised to do for those that follow him.
That is a meek and quiet spirit. It is a heart that rests on the Lord, come what may. It is a heart that isn't easily irritated with situations and people. It is a heart that sees that God has a plan greater than my own. I can keep my happy, joyful, outgoing personality and know that with self control I will be fine. I can still be bubbly and excitable. It is a heart condition of trust in God and a desire to reflect my trust in Him through every moment.