What is precious in God’s sight? 1 Peter 3 includes a message addressed to wives. Peter writes, “… wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives – when they see your respectful and pure conduct” (verses 1,2).

Believing wives have a vital role in living for God and for Christ – and while the husband has an even more important role in the sight of God, wives have a responsibility to influence husbands who are failing to “obey the word” to influence them by their “respectful and pure conduct”.

There is a saying that ‘nobody ever wins an argument’, because each is intent on putting their own point of view – not in listening to the other. “Respectful and pure conduct” has great power when done with a heartfelt consciousness of God.

Peter warns wives against external adornments, instead “let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious” (verse 4). The phrase “in God’s sight” reminds us that God sees far more than the “outward adorning” and men need to realise this just as much as women.

In the western world nearly everything is done for outward show: houses – both inside and out, clothes, appliances, all have an emphasis on “outward adorning”. On the other hand, we must be careful of any inclination to go to the other extreme. If we try to make a point by doing that we will fail, humility is not “outward adorning” either.

In his fifth chapter Peter mentions another type of humility. We read, “clothe yourselves, all of you with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (verses 5-7). We recall the words in James, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (4:6).

Let us list the things which “in God’s sight” are “very precious” and make sure we all have that inward adorning, becoming ever more conscious that God sees everything.