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Wives and Husbands

3 1In the same way you wives should accept the authority of your husbands. Then, if some of your husbands have not obeyed [God's] teaching, they will be persuaded to believe. You will not need to say anything. They will be persuaded by the way their wives live. 2Your husbands will see the pure lives that you live with your respect [for God]. 3It is not fancy hair, gold jewelry, or fine clothes that should make you beautiful. 4No, 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. 5It was the same with the holy* women who lived long ago and followed God. They made themselves beautiful in that same way. They accepted the authority of 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. 7In the same way, you husbands should live with your wives in an understanding way. You should show respect to your wives. They are weaker than you. But God gives your wives the same blessing that he gives you--the grace (kindness) that gives true life. Do these things so that nothing will trouble your prayers.

Suffering for Doing Right

8So all of you should live together in peace. Try to understand each other. Love each other like brothers. Be kind and humble. 9Don't do wrong to a person to pay him back for doing wrong to you. Or don't say something bad to a person to pay him back for saying something bad to you. But [ask God to] bless that person. Do this, because you yourselves were called to receive a blessing. 10[The Scripture* says], "If a person wants to enjoy life and to have many good days, that person must stop speaking evil and stop telling lies. 11That person must stop doing evil and do good; that person should look for peace and try to get it. 12The Lord sees the good people, and the Lord listens to their prayers. But the Lord is against those people that do evil." Psalm 34:12-16

13If you are always trying to do good, then no person can really hurt you. 14But you may suffer for doing right. If that happens, then you are blessed (happy). "Don't be afraid of those people [that make you suffer]; don't be worried."* 15But you should keep the Lord Christ holy in your hearts. Always be ready to answer every person who asks you to explain about the hope you have. 16But answer those people in a gentle way with respect. Always be able to feel that you are doing right. When you do that, the people who say bad things about you will be made ashamed. They say these bad things about the good way you live in Christ. They will be made ashamed for the bad things they said about you. 17It is better to suffer for doing good than for doing wrong. Yes, it is better if that is what God wants. 18Christ himself died for you. And that one death paid for your sins. He was not guilty, but he died for people who are guilty. He did this to bring you all to God. His body was killed, but he was made alive in the spirit. 19And in the spirit he went and preached to the spirits in prison. 20Those 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 big boat. Only a few people--eight in all--were saved in that boat. Those people were saved by water. 21That water is like baptism* that now saves you. Baptism is not the washing of dirt from the body. Baptism is asking God for a pure heart. It saves you because Jesus Christ was raised from death. 22Now Jesus has gone into heaven. He is at God's right side. He rules over angels, authorities, and powers.

holy A holy person is pure and belongs only to God. Abraham The most respected ancestor of the Jews. Scripture Part of the Holy Writings--Old Testament. "Don't be afraid ... worried" Quote from Isa. 8:12. baptism A Greek word meaning to be immersed, dipped, or buried briefly under water.

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