1 In the same way [that Jesus was submissive], you wives should submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, even though they may not obey the [Gospel] message [they have heard] they may, without your talking [to them about it], 2 be won by observing your godly and respectful behavior. 3 Do not let your [adornment] be [the decorations] of the physical body, such as elaborate hair-dos, the wearing of golden [jewelry] and the wearing of [stunning] outfits. 4 But [the kind of adornment you should display is] that of the inner person, with its enduring qualities of a meek and calm spirit, which are extremely valuable in God's eyes. 5 For this is the way holy women in ancient times decorated themselves. Their hope was in God and they were known for being in subjection to their own husbands. 6 Sarah obeyed her husband Abraham, even referring to him [in respectful terms such] as "sir." You [wives] are her [spiritual] descendants if you also do what is right and are not fearful [that things in life will turn out badly].
7 [You] husbands, in the same way, should live with your wives in an understanding way, recognizing their feminine nature as being physically weaker than yours, and showing special honor to them because of it. [Realize] that sharing your lives together is a gracious gift [from God]. [If you have the right relationship with them] it will help avoid problems in your prayer lives.
8 Now to summarize: All of you should think alike. Be sympathetically understanding [toward one another]. Be loving toward [your] brothers [and sisters]. Be tender-hearted and humble-minded. 9 Do not repay a wrong action with [another] wrong action, nor abusive [language] with [additional] abuse, but rather be a blessing [to one another]. For the purpose of your being called [by God] was so that you could receive a blessing [from Him eventually].
10 For [Psalm 39:12 says], "The person who loves [his] life and wants to have happy days, should avoid saying anything bad or deceptive. 11 He should turn away from wrong living and do what is good. He should desire peace and do whatever it takes to maintain it. 12 For the Lord's eyes see what the righteous person does and He hears their [earnest] prayers, but the Lord looks with disapproval on the person who does wrong."
13 And who do you think would [try to] hurt you if you become enthusiastic for doing what is right? 14 But even if you have to suffer for doing what was right, you still have [God's] blessing. So, do not be afraid of the threats [of your persecutors], and do not let it worry you. 15 But instead, set aside a place in your hearts where Christ is [in full control as] Lord, and be prepared always to give a suitable reply to every person who asks you for a reason why you have an inner hope. But [be sure you do it] in a meek and respectful way, however. 16 May your conscience be able to so approve of your conduct that, even if you are ridiculed, those doing it will [eventually] have to be ashamed [of themselves] for criticizing your Christian behavior. 17 For, if it is God's will that you should suffer, it is better [for you] that it be on account of doing right than doing wrong.
18 For Christ suffered once for people's sins [to be forgiven]. [It was the case of] a righteous Man suffering for unrighteous people, so that He could bring you [or, "us"] to God [for salvation]. [Though] He [i.e., Jesus] was put to death physically, He was brought back to life by the Holy Spirit [Note: Some translations say "in spirit"].
19 It was by the Holy Spirit that He went to preach [See Eph. 2:17] to the [now departed] spirits [of pre-Flood people who are now] in prison [i.e., Hades]. 20 These people had disobeyed [Noah's preaching, See II Pet. 2:5] back when God's patience waited [for them to repent, See Gen. 6:3], during the days of Noah, when the ship was being constructed. It was by that means [i.e., the ship floating them to safety through the Flood waters] that a few persons, eight of them, were saved [from destruction] through water. 21 This water prefigured immersion [into Christ], which now also saves you, not by removing dirt from the [physical] body, but [by serving] as an appeal [or, "pledge"] to God for a clear conscience through the raising of Jesus Christ from the dead. 22 He has [now] gone to heaven, and is [seated] at the right side of God, where the angels and [other] authorities and powers have been subjected to Him.