New International Version

1 Peter 3

1Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

Suffering for Doing Good

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For,

“Whoever would love life
    and see good days
must keep their tongue from evil
    and their lips from deceitful speech.
11 They must turn from evil and do good;
    they must seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
    and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”[a]

13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats[b]; do not be frightened.”[c] 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 19 After being made alive,[d] he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— 20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God.[e] It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

  1. 1 Peter 3:12 Psalm 34:12-16
  2. 1 Peter 3:14 Or fear what they fear
  3. 1 Peter 3:14 Isaiah 8:12
  4. 1 Peter 3:19 Or but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which also
  5. 1 Peter 3:21 Or but an appeal to God for a clear conscience

New International Reader's Version

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1 Peter 3

1Wives, follow the lead of your own husbands. Suppose some of them don’t believe God’s word. Then let them be won to Christ without words by seeing how their wives behave. Let them see how pure you are. Let them see that your lives are full of respect for God. Fancy hairstyles don’t make you beautiful. Wearing gold jewelry or fine clothes doesn’t make you beautiful. Instead, your beauty comes from inside you. It is the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. Beauty like this doesn’t fade away. God places great value on it. This is how the holy women of the past used to make themselves beautiful. They put their hope in God. And they followed the lead of their own husbands. Sarah was like that. She obeyed Abraham. She called him her master. Do you want to be like her? Then do what is right. And don’t give in to fear.

Husbands, consider the needs of your wives. They are weaker than you. So treat them with respect. Honor them as those who will share with you the gracious gift of life. Then nothing will stand in the way of your prayers.

Suffering for Doing Good

Finally, I want all of you to agree with one another. Be understanding. Love one another. Be kind and tender. Be humble. Don’t pay back evil with evil. Don’t pay back unkind words with unkind words. Instead, pay back evil with kind words. This is what you have been chosen to do. You will receive a blessing by doing this. 10 Scripture says,

“Suppose someone wants to love life
    and see good days.
Then they must keep their tongues from speaking evil.
    They must keep their lips from telling lies.
11 They must turn away from evil and do good.
    They must look for peace and go after it.
12 The Lord’s eyes look on godly people, and he blesses them.
    His ears are open to their prayers.
But the Lord doesn’t bless those who do evil.” (Psalm 34:12–16)

13 Who is going to hurt you if you really want to do good? 14 But suppose you do suffer for doing what is right. Even then you will be blessed. Scripture says, “Don’t fear what others say they will do to hurt you. Don’t be afraid.” (Isaiah 8:12) 15 But make sure that in your hearts you honor Christ as Lord. Always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks you about the hope you have. Be ready to give the reason for it. But do it gently and with respect. 16 Live so that you don’t have to feel you’ve done anything wrong. Some people may say evil things about your good conduct as believers in Christ. If they do, they will be put to shame for speaking like this about you. 17 God may want you to suffer for doing good. That’s better than suffering for doing evil. 18 Christ also suffered once for sins. The one who did what is right suffered for those who don’t do right. He suffered to bring you to God. His body was put to death. But the Holy Spirit brought him back to life. 19 After that, Christ went and made an announcement to the spirits in prison. 20 Long ago these spirits did not obey. That was when God was patient while Noah was building the ark. And only a few people went into the ark. In fact, there were only eight. Those eight people were saved through water. 21 The water of the flood is a picture. It is a picture of the baptism that now saves you too. This baptism has nothing to do with removing dirt from your body. Instead, it promises God that you will keep a clear sense of right and wrong. This baptism saves you by the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead. 22 He has gone into heaven. He is at God’s right hand. Angels, authorities and powers are under his control.