The Marriage Relationship
1And now let me speak to the wives. Be devoted to your own husbands, so that even if some of them do not obey the Word of God, your kind conduct may win them over without you saying a thing. 2For when they observe your pure, godly life before God, it will impact them deeply. 3-4Let your true beauty come from your inner personality, not a focus on the external. For lasting beauty comes from a gentle and peaceful spirit, which is precious in God’s sight and is much more important than the outward adornment of elaborate hair, jewelry, and fine clothes.
5Holy women of long ago who had set their hopes in God beautified themselves with lives lived in deference to their own husbands’ authority. 6For example, our “mother,” Sarah, devoted herself to her husband, Abraham, and even called him “master.” And you have become her daughters when you do what is right without fear and intimidation.
7Husbands, you in turn must treat your wives with tenderness, viewing them as feminine partners who deserve to be honored, for they are co-heirs with you of the “divine grace of life,” so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
Love One Another
8Now, this is the goal: to live in harmony with one another and demonstrate affectionate love, sympathy, and kindness toward other believers. Let humility describe who you are as you dearly love one another. 9Never retaliate when someone treats you wrongly, nor insult those who insult you, but instead, respond by speaking a blessing over them—because a blessing is what God promised to give you. 10For the Scriptures tell us:
Whoever wants to embrace true life
and find beauty in each day
11must stop speaking evil, hurtful words
and never deceive in what they say.
Always turn from what is wrong
and cultivate what is good;
eagerly pursue peace in every relationship,
making it your prize.
12For the eyes of the Lord Yahweh rest upon the godly,
and his heart responds to their prayers.
But he turns his back on those who practice evil.
Persecuted for Doing Good
13Why would anyone harm you if you’re passionate and devoted to pleasing God? 14But even if you happen to suffer for doing what is right, you will have the joyful experience of the blessing of God. And
Don’t be intimidated or terrified
by those who would terrify you.
15But give reverent honor in your hearts to the Anointed One and treat him as the holy Master of your lives. And if anyone asks about the hope living within you, always be ready to explain your faith 16with gentleness and respect. Maintain a clean conscience, so that those who slander you for living a pure life in Christ will have to lie about you and will be ashamed because of their slander. 17For it is better to suffer for doing good, if it is in God’s plan, than for doing evil.
18Christ suffered and died for sins once and for all—the innocent for the guilty—to bring you near to God by his body being put to death and by being raised to life by the Spirit. 19He went in the spiritual realm and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison 20because of their disobedience of long ago. For during the time of Noah God patiently waited while the ark was being prepared, but only a few were brought safely through the floodwaters: a total of eight souls. 21This was a prophetic picture of the immersion that now saves you—not a bathing of the physical body but rather the response of a good conscience before God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22who is now in heaven at the place of supreme authority next to God. The very powers of heaven, including every angel and authority, now yield in submission to him.