“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as you do the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church, his body of which he is the Saviour’ – Ephesians 5:22-33
Who was Esther?
Esther was a Jew, without parents. She was raised by her uncle, Mordecai. Growing up, Mordecai had taught Esther to conceal her identity and nationality as a Jew because at that time, Jews were looked down upon in society. As a young lady, Esther was introduced to King Xerxex who was ruler at the time. The king decided to hold a banquet over a number of days for everyone who resided in his kingdom. It was at this extravagant banquet where he invited a number of young women to stay in his palace over months or years. It was God’s intervention that allowed Esther, a mere Jew to be introduced to the King who upon meeting her instantly took a special interest in her.
A woman of Courage, humility and obedience
Unlike Queen Vashti who was removed from her position by the same king for her disobedience, Esther was humble in nature, obedient and an incredibly courageous woman. She lived at a time where women were expected to be respectful and obedient of their male counterparts. Esther displayed remarkable characteristics which would draw the king’ attention towards her and set her apart from all the other young women. As I read the book of Esther over and over again, I begin to admire her characteristics rather than feel sorry for her as I first did when I started to read about her. I have become drawn to Esther’s characteristics in such a way that I have been asking God to help me become more like her.
Using Esther as an example within my marriage
God wants me to be more like Esther in my own marriage. I initially didn’t quite agree with the way in which women were treated in those days. I have to remember the times in which the people in the citadel of Susa were living in all those years ago. The way in which women are still treated today sometimes feels unfair. The Bible however says that King Xerxes treated all the women he had extended an invitation to with respect and dignity. He gave them special treatments and even assigned eunichs and servants to each woman. Of all the women in the palace Esther stood out the most to the king. He would walk up and down the halls close to her suite each day to ask about her wellbeing. This means if I become more like Esther, my husband’s soft heart towards me will begin to soften even more.
If I am humble, respectful and obedient towards my husband, God will honour my obedience towards Him and make me fruitful in everything I do. I grew up watching women be subservient towards their husbands and I never fully agreed with the way in which it was done. When I initially read about Esther it reminded me about the subservience culture I grew up with but God reminded me that He doesn’t expect me to be subservient in the same way I have been taught culturally. He wants me to have an attitude of servitude towards my husband. When I finally understood this, it shifted my attitude towards Esther. Her obedience and humility was certainly not a display of weakness on her part, instead it helped her to become fruitful and God honoured her. She worked alongside God by respecting, obeying and showing humility towards her husband and by doing so, God was able to accomplished his mission to save the Jews. She is now a is a well known female figure in the Bible.
I wonder how the story would have turned out if Esther has been stubborn, prideful and arrogant? In my own life, I know that when God wants us to change our ways, He is asking us to obey him for a greater purpose.
What lessons can I take from Esther?
I sometimes I struggle to show the same obedience and humility as Esther. Society often tells us that women should aim to become “better” than men. This sometimes means that we are less likely to serve our husbands. A good part of me wants it to be all about me but it is important to be an equal partner rather than a competitive one, or even one that makes comparisons which ultimately leads to competition rather than partnership. An attitude of servitude for me means helping my husband in any way that I can and taking the toll of any stresses he might have. I might not be able to make everything right but I can do the very small things that make his life a little easier. These ‘small things’ that could ultimately make a world of difference!
How can I honour my husband?
I can honour my husband by cooking his favourite meals every now and again, praying for him on a daily basis and asking God to help him fulfill all his potentials and being thankful that God has put us together on this earth. Each day we are together is a blessing and a gift that I should not take for granted. Indeed it brought Esther joy to serve the king and in the same way it should bring me joy to serve my husband.