3 In the same way, you wives should accept the authority of your husbands. Then, if some husbands have not obeyed God’s teaching, they will be persuaded to believe. You will not need to say a word to them. They will be persuaded by the way their wives live. 2 Your husbands will see the pure lives that you live with your respect for God. 3 It is not fancy hair, gold jewelry, or fine clothes that should make you beautiful. 4 No, your beauty should come from within you—the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. This beauty will never disappear, and it is worth very much to God. 5 It was the same with the holy women who lived long ago and followed God. They made themselves beautiful in this way. They accepted the authority of their husbands. 6 Sarah obeyed Abraham, her husband, and called him her master. And you women are true children of Sarah if you always do what is right and are not afraid.
7 In the same way, you husbands should live with your wives in an understanding way. You should show respect to them. They are weaker than you. But God gives them the same blessing that he gives you—the grace that gives true life. Do this so that nothing will stop your prayers.
Suffering for Doing Right
8 Finally, all of you should live together in peace. Try to understand each other. Love each other as brothers. Be kind and humble. 9 Do not do wrong to a person to pay him back for doing wrong to you. Or do not insult someone to pay him back for insulting you. But ask God to bless that person. Do this, because you yourselves were called to receive a blessing. 10 The Scripture says,
“A person must do these things to enjoy life and have many, happy days. He must not say evil things. He must not tell lies. 11 He must stop doing evil and do good. He must look for peace and work for it. 12 The Lord sees the good people. He listens to their prayers. But the Lord is against those who do evil.” Psalm 34:12-16
13 If you are always trying to do good, no one can really hurt you. 14 But you may suffer for doing right. Even if that happens, you are blessed.
“Don’t be afraid of the things they fear. Do not dread those things. 15 But respect Christ as the holy Lord in your hearts.” Isaiah 8:12-13
Always be ready to answer everyone who asks you to explain about the hope you have. 16 But answer in a gentle way and with respect. Always feel that you are doing right. Then, those who speak evil of your good life in Christ will be made ashamed. 17 It is better to suffer for doing good than for doing wrong. Yes, it is better, if that is what God wants. 18 Christ himself died for you. And that one death paid for your sins. He was not guilty, but he died for those who are guilty. He did this to bring you all to God. His body was killed, but he was made alive in the spirit. 19 And in the spirit he went and preached to the spirits in prison. 20 These were the spirits who refused to obey God long ago in the time of Noah. God was waiting patiently for them while Noah was building the boat. Only a few people—eight in all—were saved by water. 21 That water is like baptism that now saves you—not the washing of dirt from the body, but the promise made to God from a good heart. And this is because Jesus Christ was raised from death. 22 Now Jesus has gone into heaven and is at God’s right side. He rules over angels, authorities, and powers.
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