1Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. 3Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4But 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. 5For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: 6Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. 7Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. 8Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: 9Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. 10For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: 11Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. 12For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
13And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? 14But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; 15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 16Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. 17For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. 18For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 21The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 22Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.
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. 2Let them see how pure you are. Let them see that your lives are full of respect for God. 3Fancy hairstyles don’t make you beautiful. Wearing gold jewelry or fine clothes doesn’t make you beautiful. 4Instead, 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. 5This 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. 6Sarah 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.
7Husbands, 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
8Finally, I want all of you to agree with one another. Be understanding. Love one another. Be kind and tender. Be humble. 9Don’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. 10Scripture 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.
11They must turn away from evil and do good.
They must look for peace and go after it.
12The 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)
13Who is going to hurt you if you really want to do good? 14But 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) 15But 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. 16Live 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. 17God may want you to suffer for doing good. That’s better than suffering for doing evil. 18Christ 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. 19After that, Christ went and made an announcement to the spirits in prison. 20Long 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. 21The 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. 22He has gone into heaven. He is at God’s right hand. Angels, authorities and powers are under his control.