3:1 Wives, in the same way [cf. 2:13] be submissive [subject yourselves; cf. Gal. 3:28; Eph. 5:24; Col. 3:18; 1 Pet. 3:5] to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over [to win over to a point of view; cf. 1 Cor. 9:19-22] without words [actions speak louder than words] by the behavior [behavior/actions demonstrate reality] of their wives,
Note: List advantages to being respectful.
3:2 when they see [observe] the purity [irreproachable conduct that is free from moral defilement] and reverence [Gr. “phobos” refers to healthy fear (cf. 2:18)] of your lives.
3:3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment [not a prohibition against being well groomed or nicely dressed but against making these a priority over inner beauty and godly character], such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.
3:4 Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
3:5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands,
3:6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.
3:7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate [respond accordingly to her needs, desires, gifts, abilities] as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker [refers to physical and not to moral, spiritual, or intellectual weakness] partner [implies a side-by-side relationship] and as heirs with [joint-heirs; signals equality] you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder [to cut in on] your [husband] prayers [our relationships with others matters (cf. Matt. 5:23-24) and impacts our prayers].
Note: How do you think being respectful would impact troubled marriages today?
3:8 Finally [the conclusion of his remarks on submission], all of you [believers represented variety of groups within society, including slaves, wives, husbands, etc.], live in harmony with one another [cf. Rom. 12:18]; be sympathetic [to feel what someone else feels; cf. Rom. 12:15], love as brothers [Gr. “philadephia”; to have family-like affections for others in the body of Christ], be compassionate [or kindhearted; feeling others’ needs and then acting to meet those needs (like the Good Samaritan in Lk. 10:25-37)] and humble [an attitude that keeps a person from being consumed by pride and selfish desires; Jesus set example of humility when He washed the disciples’ feet (cf. Jn. 13:1-15)].
3:9 [how to respond to persecution by non-Christians…] Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing [involves both good words and good actions toward those who persecute or torment us; blessing is the opposite of cursing], because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing [eternity with God].
10 For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.
3:11 He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it.
3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
3:13 Who [even the most irreligious people recognize what is good; cf. Prov. 3:3-4] is going to harm you if you are eager [passionate (translates the Gr. word “zealot”] to do good?
3:14 But even if [if perchance; the possibility of persecution was real] you should suffer [cf. Matt. 5:10] for what is right, you are blessed [highly privileged]. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened [disturbed; emotional turmoil; cf. Matt. 10:28].”
3:15 But [introduces the antidote to fear: focus on Christ] in your hearts [the place where fear would dwell] set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared [ready to speak out] to give an answer [a defense] to everyone who asks [whether in a court of law or an everyday informal inquiry] you to give the reason [a rational account of; a reasonable defense] for the hope [the “faith”] that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
3:16 keeping [maintaining] a clear conscience [personal integrity before God], so that those who speak [to speak evil against] maliciously [a reminder that we live in a hostile world] against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander [speaking evil about another in order to destroy good reputation].
Note: Do not supply people with the ammunition with which to speak maliciously against you or to slander you.
3:17 It is better, if it is God’s will [God may allow suffering to come into our lives for our growth and His glory], to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
3:18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.
3:19 After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits—
3:20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water,
3:21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
3:22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.