3 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct. 3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. 5 For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.
Almost the very same exhortation is found in 1 Timothy 2:9-12: “...likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.
To be in subjection means to be under obedience and submit one’s self unto. While husbands are commanded later in 1 Peter 3 to honor their wives, when it comes down to it, they are to be the final authority. They are the protector and leader of the home because this has been God’s design since the time of Adam and Eve.
As we are told in 1 Timothy, women are not to assume authority over men by teaching. Peter makes this command less discouraging by pointing out the fact that a wife can be silent and still lead an unbelieving husband to the Lord. If they follow the teaching of Peter regarding a woman’s character, they may do so through the medium of their godly conduct.
This conduct involves purity and reverence. Focus is not to be centered on outward beauty, but on the heart which should be characterized by humility and peace. According to Peter Davids, “‘gentle’ means an amiable friendliness in contrast to roughness, bad temper, or brusqueness…. Quiet (also appearing in the NT in 1 Tim. 2:2) is the opposite of restless, rebellious, or insubordinate.” Instead of dressing in such a way as to show off one’s riches, Peter exhorts women to focus on presenting their beauty only to God, rather than men. The heart of character is beautiful and valuable in God’s eyes.
Sarah “demonstrated her hope in God by showing respect for her husband’s [Abraham’s] authority.” Don’t be afraid about anything. Though at times it may seem as if your husband is wrong and may even be making unsafe choices for your family, when you submit to him, you are ultimately submitting to God who is sovereign over all.