“You look glamorous!” Aunty Sarah observed as niece’s seamstress helped put finishing touches to her wedding dress as she stood before the mirror in a fitting.
Amanda replied with a smile, “Thank you, Aunty.” She was so happy that her aunt had flown in from the USA to Port-Harcourt earlier that morning to grace her wedding. She and her younger sister, Binaebi, had grown to love the Bible teachings she’d often given them whenever they spent their long vacations from high school with her family whilst they were still in Nigeria. She had a glorious way of making every Bible passage come alive.
Shortly after, she changed into a pink bridal shower gown and they joined her sister and five friends who were awaiting her in the sitting room on the ground floor.
After the usual fun and games that come with a typical bridal shower, Aunty Sarah cleared her voice and said with a tone of seriousness, “Now let’s have final checks on everything a bride would need for her wedding day and marriage. Ring box?”
“Check!” Amanda and Binaebi chorused.
“Check!” her friends joined in.
“Comfortable shoes, no heels?”
Amanda chuckled. “Check.”
“Ornament of great price?”
“Ornament of what?” asked Amanda.
“What’s that, Aunty?” queried Binaebi.
Aunty Sarah sat up. “The most important ornament every Christian lady must have on, not only on her wedding day but every blessed day of her life. Pay close attention, my dear daughters.”
The sisters exchanged knowing looks and smiled as they sat up. It was Bible lesson time. “You’re going to enjoy this, I promise,” Amanda whispered to her friends.
“It is very good to be concerned about your outward appearance. After all, appearance is the seed for acceptance and perception, right?” They all nodded in unison. “However, so many Christian ladies lay more emphasis on outward beauty than on inner beauty. They spend a lot of money and time on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and so on, checking out the latest celebrities’ outfits, trying to copy the fashions of this world, even if it would cost them more than half of their salaries. But how much money and time do they spend in buying this ornament of great price? Not much, I’m afraid.”
“Aunty Sarah, please what’s this ornament of great price you’re talking about?” asked Subomi, one of Amanda’s friends.
“Do you all have a Bible app in your phones?”
“Yes, ma!” they replied as they pulled out their phones.
“Let someone read from the book of 1st Peter chapter three, verses three and four.”
Amanda read out loud. “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”
“Awesome! Can anyone read from any other translation?” asked Aunty Sarah.
Subomi offered to read this time. “NLT says, ‘Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful.’”
“A gentle and quiet spirit. A meek and quiet spirit,” Aunty Sarah said meditatively. She turned to the bride. “If you were given an option to choose between two boxes of accessories, and you were told that your husband preferred you to have the golden Box A, but God would rather that you had the wooden Box B, which would be your pick?”
“Definitely, Box B,” Amanda replied.
“Even if Box A contained the silver headpiece which I promised to bring you from obodo oyibo?” her aunt teased.
Everyone laughed. “Sure, Aunty! My heart’s desire is to please God first before any man.”
“I love that,” her aunt commended. “Now do you realize that God’s priority for all His daughters is that they have a meek and quiet spirit? Their personal and spiritual development supersedes every other thing that may seem important to them. If every one of you can take as much time as you spend on beautifying your faces and bodies, to cultivate this ornament, you will remain a beautiful bride before the eyes of God forever.”
“So how can we cultivate this meek and quiet spirit, ma?” Binaebi asked. “Isn’t it a sign of weakness to be meek or quiet as a woman?”
“Yes ma. Many guys could just take a lady for a ride because she’s quiet,” agreed Lyona.
“No, my dear daughters. Being meek does not imply timidity or weakness. It refers to an attitude of friendliness, warmth, patience and kindness. It’s the opposite of anger or being temperamental. When you’re meek, you have the power to control your temperament even when you face the opportunity to get angry or upset.”
“To cultivate such a spirit, you must stay prayerful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. Be filled and stay in tune with the Holy Spirit. Take out time every day to read good books and listen to audio messages that will build your spirit. Any lady who takes her time to build her spirit to such a level of maturity would be greatly valued in the sight of God, and the Lord will honor her.”
“Being meek and quiet also involves keeping your calm amid conflicts or false accusations, just like Jesus did on the night of His trial. This is a sign of strength and such a woman would not find it difficult building her home. God’s grace is enough for us all.”
“Amen!” chorused all the ladies. On Aunty Sarah’s invitation, they all stood up and held hands, encircling the bride who knelt in their midst and praying together in one accord for grace to spend more of their time and resources in building a meek and quiet spirit.