3 Wives, in a similar way, place yourselves under your husbands’ authority. Some husbands may not obey God’s word. Their wives could win these men for Christ by the way they live without saying anything. 2 Their husbands would see how pure and reverent their lives are.
3 Wives must not let their beauty be something external. Beauty doesn’t come from hairstyles, gold jewelry, or clothes. 4 Rather, beauty is something internal that can’t be destroyed. Beauty expresses itself in a gentle and quiet attitude which God considers precious. 5 After all, this is how holy women who had confidence in God expressed their beauty in the past. They placed themselves under their husbands’ authority 6 as Sarah did. Sarah obeyed Abraham and spoke to him respectfully. You became Sarah’s daughters by not letting anything make you afraid to do good.
7 Husbands, in a similar way, live with your wives with understanding since they are weaker than you are. Honor your wives as those who share God’s life-giving kindness[a] so that nothing will interfere with your prayers.
Dedicate Your Lives to Jesus
8 Finally, everyone must live in harmony, be sympathetic, love each other, have compassion, and be humble. 9 Don’t pay people back with evil for the evil they do to you, or ridicule those who ridicule you. Instead, bless them, because you were called to inherit a blessing.
10 “People who want to live a full life and enjoy good days must keep their tongues from saying evil things, and their lips from speaking deceitful things. 11 They must turn away from evil and do good. They must seek peace and pursue it. 12 The Lord’s eyes are on those who do what he approves. His ears hear their prayer. The Lord confronts those who do evil.”
13 Who will harm you if you are devoted to doing what is good? 14 But even if you suffer for doing what God approves, you are blessed. Don’t be afraid of those who want to harm you. Don’t get upset. 15 But dedicate your lives to Christ as Lord. Always be ready to defend your confidence in God when anyone asks you to explain it. However, make your defense with gentleness and respect. 16 Keep your conscience clear. Then those who treat the good Christian life you live with contempt will feel ashamed that they have ridiculed you. 17 After all, if it is God’s will, it’s better to suffer for doing good than for doing wrong.
18 This is true because Christ suffered for our sins once. He was an innocent person, but he suffered for guilty people so that he could bring you to God. His body was put to death, but he was brought to life through his spirit. 19 In it he also went to proclaim his victory to the spirits kept in prison. 20 They are like those who disobeyed long ago in the days of Noah when God waited patiently while Noah built the ship. In this ship a few people—eight in all—were saved by water. 21 Baptism, which is like that water, now saves you. Baptism doesn’t save by removing dirt from the body. Rather, baptism is a request to God for a clear conscience. It saves you through Jesus Christ, who came back from death to life. 22 Now Christ has gone to heaven where he holds the honored position—the one next to God the Father on the throne. Angels, rulers, and powers have been placed under his authority.
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