1 In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands, even those who refuse to accept the Good News. Your godly lives will speak to them better than any words. They will be won over
2 by watching your pure, godly behavior.
3 Don't be concerned about the outward beauty that depends on fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes.
4 You should be known for the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.
5 That is the way the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They trusted God and accepted the authority of their husbands.
6 For instance, Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, when she called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do.
7 In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat her with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God's gift of new life. If you don't treat her as you should, your prayers will not be heard.
8 Finally, all of you should be of one mind, full of sympathy toward each other, loving one another with tender hearts and humble minds.
9 Don't repay evil for evil. Don't retaliate when people say unkind things about you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God wants you to do, and he will bless you for it.
10 For the Scriptures say, "If you want a happy life and good days, keep your tongue from speaking evil, and keep your lips from telling lies.1
11 Turn away from evil and do good. Work hard at living in peace with others.2
12 The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil."*3
13 Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good?
14 But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don't be afraid and don't worry.
15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.
16 But you must do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak evil against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.
17 Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!
18 Christ also suffered when he died for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners that he might bring us safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.*4
19 So he went and preached to the spirits in prison--
20 those who disobeyed God long ago when God waited patiently while Noah was building his boat. Only eight people were saved from drowning in that terrible flood.*5
21 And this is a picture of baptism, which now saves you by the power of Jesus Christ's resurrection. Baptism is not a removal of dirt from your body; it is an appeal to God from* a clean conscience.6
22 Now Christ has gone to heaven. He is seated in the place of honor next to God, and all the angels and authorities and powers are bowing before him.
Read 1 Peter 4