Wives and Husbands
1 In the same way, you wives should be willing to serve your husbands. Then, even those who have refused to accept God’s teaching will be persuaded to believe because of the way you live. You will not need to say anything.
2 Your husbands will see the pure lives that you live with 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 inside you—the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. That beauty will never disappear. 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 that same way. They were willing to serve their husbands.
6 I am talking about women like Sarah. She 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, since they are weaker than you. You should show them respect, because God gives them the same blessing he gives you—the grace of true life. Do this so that nothing will stop your prayers from being heard.
Suffering for Doing Right
8 So all of you should live together in peace. Try to understand each other. Love each other like brothers and sisters. Be kind and humble.
9 Don’t do wrong to anyone to pay them back for doing wrong to you. Or don’t insult anyone to pay them back for insulting you. But ask God to bless them. Do this because you yourselves were chosen to receive a blessing.
10 The Scriptures say,
“If you want to enjoy true life
and have only good days,
then avoid saying anything hurtful,
and never let a lie come out of your mouth.
11 Stop doing what is wrong, and do good.
Look for peace, and do all you can to help people live peacefully.
12 The Lord watches over those who do what is right,
and he listens to their prayers.
But he is against those who do evil.” Psalm 34:12-16
13 If you are always trying to do good, no one can really harm you.
14 But you may suffer for doing right. If that happens, you have God’s blessing. “Don’t be afraid of the people who make you suffer; don’t be worried.”
15 But keep the Lord Christ holy in your hearts. Always be ready to answer everyone who asks you to explain about the hope you have.
16 But answer them in a gentle way with respect. Keep your conscience clear. Then people will see the good way you live as followers of Christ, and those who say bad things about you will be ashamed of what they said.
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 suffered when he died for you,
and with that one death he paid for your sins.
He was not guilty,
but he died for people who are guilty.
He did this to bring all of you to God.
In his physical form he was killed,
but he was made alive by the Spirit.
19 And by the Spirit he went and preached to the spirits in prison.
20 Those were the spirits who refused to obey God long ago in the time of Noah. God was waiting patiently for people while Noah was building the big boat. And only a few—eight in all—were saved in the boat through the floodwater.
21 And that water is like baptism, which now saves you. Baptism is not the washing of dirt from the body. It is asking God for a clean conscience. It saves you because Jesus Christ was raised from death.
22 Now he has gone into heaven. He is at God’s right side and rules over angels, authorities, and powers.