1Wives, accept your husbands’ authority in the same way, so that if some husbands refuse to accept the word, they may still be won over without words by the way you behave, 2recognizing your pure and reverent behavior. 3Don’t focus on outward attractiveness—hairstyles, gold jewelry, or fashionable clothes— 4instead let it come from within, the lasting attractiveness of a gentle and peaceful spirit on the inside. That’s what God values. 5This is how holy women of the past who put their confidence in God made themselves beautiful, yielding to their husbands, 6like Sarah who obeyed Abraham, and called him “lord.”#3:6. Or “master.” Today such formality in a marriage relationship would be unusual. You are her daughters if you do what’s right and are not intimidated.
7Husbands, in just the same way, be considerate to your wives as you live together with them. Though she may not be as strong as you are, you should honor her since she will inherit equally with you God’s gift of life. Make sure to do this so nothing will get in the way of your prayers.
8Finally, you should all have the same attitude. Be sympathetic and love each other. Be compassionate, and humble. 9Don’t pay back evil for evil, or retaliate when you’re abused, instead you should give a blessing—because that’s what you were called to do, so you could gain a blessing yourself. 10Remember: “Those who want to love life, and to see good days, must refrain from speaking evil, and not tell lies. 11Turn away from evil and do good; search for peace—run after it! 12For God sees those who do right, and he hears their prayers, but he opposes those who do evil.”#3:12. Psalm 34:12-16.
13Who will harm you if you’re keen to do good? 14For even if you suffer for doing what’s right, you’re still better off. Don’t be scared over what people threaten, don’t worry about it, 15just keep your mind focused on Christ as Lord. Always be ready to explain to anyone who asks you the reason for the hope that you have. Do this in a gentle and respectful way. 16Make sure your conscience is clear, so that if anyone makes accusations against you, they will be embarrassed for speaking badly about the good way you live your life in Christ. 17It’s certainly better to suffer for doing good, (if that’s what God wants), than to suffer for doing wrong! 18Jesus died because of sins, once and for all, the One completely true and right for those who are bad,#3:18. Literally, “the right for the unright.” so that he could bring you to God. He was put to death in the body, but he came to life in the spirit.
19He went to speak to those “imprisoned”#3:19. Or “imprisoned souls.” There has been much debate over this phrase. The same word used for “souls” should note the same word is used for the eight people in verse 20. Some understand those “imprisoned” as those people at the time of the Flood who were “held captive” by their sinfulness (see Gen. 6:5). 20that refused to believe, when God patiently waited in the time of Noah while the ark was being built. Only a few—in fact eight people—were saved “through water.” 21This water symbolizes baptism that now saves you, not by washing off dirt from your body, but as a positive response to God that comes from a clear conscience. It is the resurrection of Jesus Christ that makes your salvation possible. 22Having ascended to heaven, he stands at God’s right hand, with angels, authorities, and powers placed under his control.