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1 Peter 3:5

ESV For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands,
NIV For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands,
NASB For in this way the holy women of former times, who hoped in God, also used to adorn themselves, being subject to their own husbands,
CSB For in the past, the holy women who put their hope in God also adorned themselves in this way, submitting to their own husbands,
NLT This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They put their trust in God and accepted the authority of their husbands.
KJV For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

What does 1 Peter 3:5 mean?

This verse begins a thought which is completed in verse 6. This last statement concludes Peter's instructions to Christian wives, regarding being subject to their husbands. Even if these men are unsaved, they are to present a gentle and quiet spirit.

In the previous verses, Peter told women not to obsess on superficial beauties such as hair and jewelry. Rather, they should seek the ageless, God-pleasing beauty which comes from the inside, from a gentle and quiet spirit. Peter is writing specifically to Christian wives. These women should see themselves as set apart from the world and preparing to depart for their home in heaven. He is writing to women who have placed their hope in God.

Peter now asks these women to follow the example of other holy women, women who also hoped in God. Those women adorned themselves with beauty, in part, by submitting to their own husbands.

Again, it's key to see that Peter is not commanding all women to obey, or even submit, to all men. Nor that any wife should submit to other women's husbands, only to their own. Further, as discussed in verses 2 and 3, "submission" and "obedience" are two different things. This means a Christian wife might well disobey her husband's sinful instructions, but do so in a submissive way. Also, Peter is not suggesting that unbelieving women should be expected to live this way, necessarily; he is describing the lifestyle of the "holy" women who hope in God through faith in Christ.
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