Meek and Mild – Should Women Try to Fit That Definition?
Please note that this article may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. You can read more at the bottom of this page or read my full disclosure on my Affiliate Disclosure Page
Meek and mild? Me? Uh, no! Not even close! Oh but I try!! In fact I would try so hard it would leave me in tears. My success at being the ideal woman of faith always lasts about 2 minutes!
We hear the term throw around a lot in Christian circles but what exactly does it mean to be meek anyway? Should that be something we try to attain for ourselves like some prototype of what a woman should be? Well read on as we look deeper at being that meek and mild woman of God!
Meek and Mild Meaning
Many people hear the term “meek and mild” and immediately envision a woman who is like a church mouse, being very timid and quiet. But is that the true meaning the Bible is trying to convey?
Let’s start with meek and mild meaning and definition! What does meek and mild mean in terms of how we walk in our faith?
Let me define meek as I use it here and as it is used in scripture.
The definition of meek is “quiet, gentle, humble. Miriam Webster says:
“enduring injury with patience and without resentment”
Seems to indicate it is someone who is forgiving and long-suffering and someone not given to fits of rage or outbursts. She seems to be much like the Proverbs 31 woman we often talk about.
Some examples of meekness in the Bible:
Matthew 5:5 says:
1 Peter 3:4 says:
Galatians 5:22 says:
These all speak of meekness! It is a gentleness of spirit. It is NOT silence and it is NOT weakness or timidness!
But I didn’t see that for a LONG while.
I Desired a Gentle and Quiet Spirit
Every day was a struggle for me because I saw meek and mild as something I needed to attain in life, but I had the wrong thinking about what it meant.
It was a tug of war with who I am and who I want to be. Every day I got up and I decided that I would be different today. I WANTED to be different today.
It’s not my actions that I struggle with, it is my mouth. It is my attitude. And it is my demeanor.
You see, I am a genuinely nice, caring person. I am a funny person! I love making people laugh! My husband is hilarious! He should have been a comedian. He is loved by everyone who meets him!
Together, we laugh…A LOT! I love real belly laughs and I love making people laugh that way!
But on the flip side, I am a New Yorker who was raised around very loud, opinionated women. I come from a strong, Jewish grandmother, and there’s a saying, “Ask 2 Jews, get 3 opinions”!
I lived my life speaking my mind and never backing down from an argument. Ever! Like, ever!
I wanted a gentle and quiet spirit but it just didn’t seem to be in me!
Meek and Mild Like ALL Those Other Women
My desire, at the very core of my being, was to be that soft-spoken, meek and prayerful woman. I longed to be that woman who can see a divisive post on Facebook and, rather than get upset about it or desire to comment on it and SET THEM STRAIGHT, she just prays for them and scrolls past.
I desire to be that person that can watch the news and not get all worked up by what I see. Or to be that woman who does not watch at all. I just simply desire to be SWEET!
Why can’t I just be sweet??
It’s not that I feel I HAVE to be that way, I WANT to be that way!
I pray for this daily! I PLEAD for this daily.
Gentle and Quiet Spirit – Can I Do It?
Every morning I step out of bed and say today I WILL have a gentle and quiet spirit, I will be peaceful and only speak that which is uplifting and positive. I will walk around and just keep my mouth shut and smile.
Today I will be the person who, when I see someone on Facebook spreading fake news or spewing hateful things, just prays for them rather than get worked up inside.
And then it goes out the window about as fast as my feet hit the floor.
You see, when I got saved, my old woman was put to death, but it appears that every day, several times a day in fact, she has a resurrection and comes forth like Lazarus! And just like Lazarus must have stunk after 4 days in the tomb, sometimes my attitude stinks too!
It’s almost as if the more I desire to change, the more the old woman comes out!! It seems as though I can’t control it. I just didn’t know HOW to be meek no matter how hard I tried!And just like Lazarus must have stunk after 4 days in the tomb, sometimes my attitude stinks too! Click To Tweet
The Struggle To Be Meek and Mild
I know what Paul means when he said in Romans 7:14-15
Oh Paul, I feel such camaraderie with you when I read these verses. The struggle has been there for believers all along.
And yet, I still wonder why!
Why is it that no matter how much I pray to be the way I envision other Christian women are, I just fail almost as soon as I stop praying?
I want to not be affected by the opinions of those around me, I want to be the wife and mother who is loving and soft spoken and yes, submissive! Not the born debater I seem to be!
I desire to be that soft space for my husband to land at the end of the day when he has had to deal with stress all day. I want to be the wife that exudes the Lord in me!!
Learning How to Be Meek – Yet Still I Fail
And yet even as I am failing, even as I am doing it, it is in my head!
That voice (my own!) telling me to be soft spoken, don’t talk politics because politics is a hot topic and will get you going! My husband is a former politician so it is a hot topic in our house. And he will come home and I will tell him about something I saw on the news and next thing you know we are discussing politics for an hour.
I want our time spent together to be on higher things and not on worldly things. But I am a loud New Yorker. It is at the very core of my being.
How do you change something that is just WHO YOU ARE!!??
I again went to Him in prayer and told Him how I struggle. I told Him AGAIN what I want my personality to be like. I was specific after all!! I had a list!!
And yet He showed me something.
He showed me I was praying for Him to change me but I wasn’t leaving it up to Him HOW to change me.He showed me I was praying for Him to change me but I wasn’t leaving it up to Him HOW to change me. Click To Tweet
I was presenting Him with this shopping list of personal qualities I thought I wanted and was asking Him to make me like other people rather than make me what HE wanted me to be; more like Jesus!
He showed me that He knew what He was getting when He got me. I was no surprise to Him. It’s not like someone presented me to Him and He looked and was like…”Oh…Ooookay…what am I supposed to do with this??”
He knew my personality when He called me to my ministry. He also knew that my struggles and my fight would help others feel like they are not lost causes!!
You see, while having a gentle spirit is something we should strive for, we do not have to fit this mold of the Stepford Wife that just walks around without an opinion or a mind of her own.
We are to fit the definition but that definition is NOT weak and silent. It is patient, forgiving, loving. It is to reflect Jesus to others and be like He was.
The meek shall inherit the earth…He was not referring to weak, silent women.
I Was Not Supposed to be MY Idea of How to Be Meek and Mild – I Was Supposed to Use the Personality He Gave Me
I am still not what the Christian world might define as meek and mild. Shocker right?
He showed me that I am just a loud mouth like Peter!! My story shows people that Christians are REAL people with REAL struggles and REAL issues!!
Yeah, I HAVE ISSUES!! I have more issues than Better Homes and Gardens!!
So did Paul. So did David!
And God showed me that He is pleased with me because, like Paul and David, I have the WILL to do good. My heart is set on Him. My heart is set on doing HIS will and it is set on helping others learn more about Him.
I DESIRE to do what is right, even if I don’t always DO the things I think I should!
My spirit chooses what is right, but my flesh? It battles me day and night.
I have been relying on my own flesh to change. I have been trying and striving! And I was deciding HOW to change and WHAT to change into!
I was somehow believing that if I TRY hard enough I can BE different. But that was the issue. I was TRYING in my own strength to be who I thought people expected me to be as a believer, instead of letting God mold me IF He so chose.
No!! I am who I am! I am not a Cookie Cutter Believer, made to fit some mold!! I am an individual and God uses each and every one of us, not only because of our strengths but also because of our weaknesses!
I shouldn’t be TRYING to fit some image in my mind of what I think a woman of faith should look like or trying to be like some of my friends.
I should simply ask God to make me into the woman HE wants me to be, not the woman I think I should be based on this picture in my head of, as Joyce Meyer says, “Sister Super Christian!”I was asking Him to make me like other people rather than make me what HE wanted me to be. Click To Tweet
Praying to be Meek and Mild Was Praying All Wrong
I’ve been praying for Him to make me like other people rather than asking Him to make me more like Yeshua.
Righteousness in Yeshua is the goal, not the women in church or synagogue, not the other bloggers I am friends with! The Lord alone!
I had the right motive but the wrong goal and, therefore, I was praying the wrong prayer.
My desire should always be to be more like Yeshua, not more like other women.
So, my prayer has changed.
Instead of presenting God with a list of qualities I think I want, that perfectly meek and mild believer that, in reality just doesn’t exist, I will simply ask Him to mold me into the woman HE wants me to be and the wife HE wants me to be and to show people, in my home and out of it…
Yeshua IN me.
In what ways have you struggled with comparison and feeling like you just couldn’t live up to the picture of the perfect woman of faith?
ESV – “Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”
Thanks so much for your the insights you shared. All great points! I always admire women who are meek in the manner and speech. But God didn’t make me that way. And like you, my old self gets resurrected quite often. I appreciated your sense of humor with that quote. 🙂
You are absolutely right, Jesus told us to learn from Him, His ways are easy. And that might look different for each woman, but still reflect Jesus back.
Thank you so much Karen!!!
Yes! Let’s become more like Christ, not like others or our ideal version of ourselves. Thanks for the reminder. Blessings to you!
Thank you so much!! Blessings!!
I am so with you on the News and the facebook fake news. I have stopped watching news on television and now my husband has followed me. It leaves us without this depressing feeling we had been been getting regularly.
Yes it is a shame it has gotten that way!!
Worrying about being like other Christian women leads me to doubt my own abilities and gifts. When I study the Bible I’m struck again and again by the differing talents, flaws and personalities I see in the pages. It I encouraging to know God uses all sorts!
Amen!! It sure is!! Thank you!
I have longed for the opposite! Oh, to be clever and quick witted – to speak my peace and not hold it in so much! But you are so right. It’s about growing into what Jesus calls us toward. It’s seeking to be more like Him everyday. Sometimes, it’s about honoring the way in which He wired us, though. Finding the balance in growth and acceptance is tricky, though, right?
Loved my time here today, friend. It gave me much to think about! And thank you for sharing hope alongside me at #MomentsofHope this week!
Amen!! Thank you so much Lori!! Your comments are always such a blessing!!
I think when people see Christ in us, that is what they admire, so we don’t have to strive to be cookie cutter Christians, but to be like Him. He made us and nothing about me surprises Him. Like Paul I can say by the grace of God I am what I am – malleable in His hands.
Your neighbor at purposeful faith linkup
Amen! Thank you for stopping by neighbor!!
YES YES YES – I was sad halfway through this because I thought you were stuck in the wanting to fit a mold way of thinking but then rejoiced when you got to the part about not asking to be made like a mold we may have been told to fit but to be more like Christ. I was once told by a pastor to “fit the mold” – ugh…it was such a destructive thing to say to a young bride and baby Christian. But God…yes God in HIS faithfulness brought me through. I am not going to fit a mold and in fact, God has told me He is calling me to be a freedom warrior – to help other women be set free so they can be fully themselves for His glory!
Amen!!! Thank you for sharing your story!! It is so difficult when people make you feel you have to confirm to a standard God just didn’t set for us! He created us to be unique!!