“Wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without a word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear” (I Peter 3:1,2).
These verses contain a special promise to wives with unsaved husbands. In view of the Biblical injunctions against a Christian marrying an unbeliever (e.g., I Corinthians 7:39; II Corinthians 6:14), this promise applies more directly to a wife who has become a Christian after marriage.
Since a woman is not to “teach” her husband (I Corinthians 14:35) unless he willingly asks her to do so, she must first witness to him “without a word,” letting her “chaste conversation” (that is, manner of living) coupled with “fear” (that is, due honor and respect for her husband) do her witnessing for her. The “ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price” (I Peter 3:4) can become a beautiful “adorning” (v.3), which will eventually convince a stubborn mind and win a hardened heart.
Note also the emphasis on “your own” husbands. A Christian wife, rebuffed in spiritual matters by an unconverted husband, may be unconsciously inclined to compare her husband unfavorably to her pastor or other Christian male acquaintances, taking their counsel rather than that of her husband. But this is not the will of God (except, of course, when her husband’s demands are clearly contrary to God’s revealed word), and is not the way to win her husband to Christ. This approach may be unpopular today, but it is still effective, because it is still true.
This is a conditional promise, but if the wife meets the conditions set forth, she can expect God to work. It may take time, for the wife’s behavior must be tested with time, but then the divine promise is (literally) “they shall without a word be won by the life and attitude of the wives.” HMM