In the previous chapters of First Peter, Peter has already applied Christian submission to the
government and to the work place. Now he speaks to wives and husbands. In the government
and work place, Peter wrote to the person who was under authority. Now he's writing to both
roles in the marriage relationship.
Here are VERSES 1-12 from the NIV translation of the Bible.
Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,
 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.
 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.
 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.
 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,
 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.
 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
 Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.
 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
 For, Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.
 He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it.
 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."
Verse 1 tells us this; “Wives, in the same way, be submissive.” Peter doesn't imply that wives are the same as servants. The words “same way” don't mean “exactly like" but “in a similar way.” The similarity is in the motive, servants and wives submit “for the Lord’s sake” (1 Peter 2:13).
Jesus was subject to Joseph and Mary (Luke 2:51) and the powers of the unseen spirit world are subject to Christ (Ephesians 1:22). Likewise, the wife's submission is a key to having a biblical marriage relationship. Like the citizens of a country and servants we read about in chapter 2, the wife’s role is never reversed in Scripture. Husbands are never told to be subject to their wives.
Submission doesn't imply inferiority as a person. Husband and wife are equal as people and in the sight of God, but in the roles they take in marriage God has made a distinction. The final responsibility for decisions affecting the family will be the husband’s responsibility. God’s order is beautiful when it is motivated by love. For a husband to expect subjection by his wife without affection is tyranny.
The purpose for the wife’s submission is for her husband’s spiritual blessing, to be won to Christ by her example. (1 Peter 3:1).
Unbelieving husbands may be disobedient to God’s moral standards and reject salvation, but in this situation the wife’s behavior may win him. Often the less she pleads with him to be saved and the more she demonstrates she is a Believer by her godly submission, the greater the impact it has on her husband.
I've seen where this led to the salvation of an un-believing husband right here in this town in the past few years.
Even though the husband may be hostile to her faith he'll respect her life style. He can’t miss it. This will be especially true if he tries to get her to do wrong and she refuses.
Verses 3-4. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.  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.
Peter even tells how wives should win husbands to the Lord. This raises the issue of making herself attractive to him. It wasn't her hair style, gold jewelry, or clothing that would win him to Christ. It was to be her true inner beauty as a loving, kind, and faithful wife.
Some Christians have used verse 3 to forbid the use of any jewelry or new style of clothing, but that misses the point. What it says is that these are not the things which will lead to her husband’s salvation.
Her source of beauty isn't primarily external. Her true beauty is in “that of your inner self," her inner personality.
This inner beauty may not be as obvious as clothing or jewelry, but it's revealed through her words and attitude. Her true inner beauty outshines her outward appearance. She has that “unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” (v.4).
The word “unfading” is used in the New Testament of things that are heavenly and that won't pass away. This describes the true beauty of a godly woman.
Unbelieving husbands may be attracted by this kind of beauty which is more than “skin deep,” and want to experience the peace of mind that goes with the faith the wife has. This inner beauty which is through faith is also “of great worth in God's sight” (v.4b).
Verses 5-6. 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,  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.
Sarah is used as the example of a submissive wife: “like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master” (v.6). This probably isn't a reference to any specific incident, but rather to the long term pattern of her life with Abraham.
For her to follow Abraham meant trusting God, sometimes in difficult and even dangerous circumstances. Sometimes Abraham even told half truths about her that threatened their marriage, but Sarah remained faithful to him.
Godly wives are described as “daughters” of Sarah (v.6). They're heirs of God’s promise because their trust is in God, just as Sarah's was.
Verse 7. Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
Now we come to another very important part of this chapter. It's the instructions to men.
Many men would like to just stop with the instructions to wives, but a true Christian man will want to obey God willingly and in detail when it comes to his wife and his relationship as the head of that union.
We have significant commands for Christian husbands on how to use their God-given authority. They are to "be considerate as you live with your wives." They are to “understand” the design of God for marriage. They should know the needs, desires, and even the frustrations of their wives.
True understanding will lead to a sympathetic response to her. If the wife is the "weaker partner" then that means the husband is also a weak partner.
Husbands are to understand that their wives are not weaker only because of their physical strength, but also because her marital vows to honor and obey put them in a weaker position in the marriage. The husband is not to take advantage of her in her role in the marriage and he should cherish her at all times.
Cherish means to love someone as much as you love yourself and then to treat them with the utmost regard, love and respect at all times, not just when we feel like it.
Treat your wife as a person of great value, protect her and give her praise for her good qualities. Honor her choices, agree with her ideas and actions as long as they don't usurp the leadership role. If she wants a green couch with purple trim in the living room, that's not a major thing. That's not taking over the headship. Let her decorate the home.
Peter says she complements the man as "being an heir with you of the gracious gift of life." Failure of God's order in the home will result in spiritual loss for the husband, and the husbands prayers will be “hindered."
The husbands duties are just as vital to their marital happiness as they are to the family's spiritual well being.
In his earlier chapters, Peter tells us that the Christian pilgrim is in a hostile world and has to
submit to authority in 3 important areas of life.
1. In relation to the civil authorities.
2. In relation to those over them in the work place;
3. In the relationship of wives to their husbands in marriage.
Peter has been telling us, as pilgrims, to keep our behavior above reproach among non-believers.
Our conduct is a powerful witness to them (1 Peter 2:12; 3:1). Part of that witness has been to submit to the structure of authority in the nation, in the work place, and in the home where, incidentally, he spoke to both wives and husbands.
Now in the next section he is going to speaks to “all” of us about the reality that some unbelievers won't be converted because of our Christian behavior, but will become hostile instead, and he tells us how we should respond to their hostility.
Verse 8. "Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble."
Godly responses begin with godly attitudes. Peter gives us 5 things that will help us live in peace when we're troubled by the enemies of God.
1. Living in harmony doesn't mean that Christians must all have the same opinion about every issue, but that they share the common purpose of glorifying God.With that idea in mind, differences will turn into harmony rather than discord. Jesus prayed that “they may be one” (John 17:21).
2. Being sympathetic for one another is sharing the feelings of others.
3. Love as brothers refers to mutual love for one another as God's children.
4. To be compassionate means to have a tender heart. It means to be genuinely sensitive to the needs of others.
5. The fifth attitude is be humble. Have regard for others. Being courteous reflects the mind of Christ who humbled Himself.
Verse 9. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
At the time of this writing, unbelievers were insulting the Christians and speaking evil of them. They still are today. [Just a year ago a school girl was shot for believing in God].
Paul said, in 1 Corinthians, “We are made as the filth of the world.” When someone says bad things about us, the natural impulse is to retaliate using the same weapons of words, but the Bible tells us to reject that impulse, "Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult."
Instead of snapping back with a sarcastic insult we should answer with a word of kindness. Jesus told his disciples to "bless those who curse you." It isn't an easy assignment, and sometimes the best way to respond is to bring their name, with love, before God in prayer. Again, Paul wrote, “being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure."
We know that opposition will come and we shouldn't be caught off guard when it does. In fact, in
God’s perfect plan, we're “called to this-to return blessing for evil" (v.9). We are also called
to patience in suffering in the previous chapter.
(1 Peter 2:20, 21).
The result of giving a blessing to those who insult us is that we “inherit a blessing” (v.9). The “blessing” we inherit is a different word from the “blessing” we give. We inherit the favor of God in this life. He gives His special care to His people when we do His commands.
Peter had already referred to the blessings that we obtain when a husband gets saved because of a wife’s godly submission (3:1, 2), or answered prayer for husbands living with consideration for their wives (3:7).
It's clear that these blessings are related to this life, and not to our future life in heaven.
Verses 10-12  "For, Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.  He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it.  For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer." Peter has been speaking of obtaining God’s special favor by responding to evil with a blessing.
Verse 9 is really his commentary on Psalm 34, which he quotes in vs.10-12; [Psalm 34:12-16]. This was David's formula for the good life.
There are several things that Peter wanted to bring to our attention from the Psalm.
There is the Christian zest for living-to “love life and see good days.” As believers, we should take joy in the privilege of living for God and to see God’s glory displayed in so many ways.
Life is worth living in spite of persecution when we know that God is in control, and, “we know that all things work together for good to them who love God” (Romans 8:28). Even the difficult days when you see God glorified are good days for the believer.
Having good days requires personal restraint from doing evil. "Keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech." (v.10). We are to refrain from saying any word which doesn't glorify God. We are not to say one thing and mean another. Control of our tongue has to be accompanied by action. [Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil.]
Also, we can have good days "by doing good and seeking peace" (v.11). It's usually difficult to have a peaceful relationship with those who are against us. This is true on the individual level as well as the group level and the national level. We need to approach those who don't like us or what we stand for with a humble attitude.
Retaliation only intensifies animosity. Meekness and patience will calm the situation and promote peace.
Nothing stops an argument quicker than allowing someone to state their case without retaliation. No one ever wins an actual argument by using words.
Another need for “good days” is to know God’s concern for persecuted people. Still quoting from Psalm 34 Peter says, “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are attentive to their prayer” (v.12).
Notice that the promise for answered prayer is only for “the righteous.” If you have trusted Christ for your salvation, God considers you righteous. If you have never repented and accepted the forgiveness from God for your sins you are not righteous in God's sight. There's a close connection between the righteousness of our lives and the answers to our prayers.
The final phrase of the quote from Psalm 34 says, “But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” The Lord's “face” indicates God's personal presence, whether for blessing or for judgment. Christ died for your sins, and God has asked you to believe that and be saved. If you haven't trusted Christ for your salvation, God still considers you one of those who do evil and you will spend eternity in hell. God's promise! Confess your sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.