Monday, September 5, 2011

Woman Behave Thy Self

"For the queen’s conduct will become known to all the women
causing them to look with contempt on their husbands
by saying,
‘King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti
to be brought in to his presence,
but she did not come.’"
Esther 1:17

My girls and I are studying through the book of Esther. The verse above is the memory verse they are to learn from the study of the first chapter. When I saw this was the recommended memory verse my first response was, "Why on earth is this the memory verse?"  

I mean, really?

At a casual first reading of this first chapter in the book of Esther, my initial reaction to Vashti's response to the King, was "You go girl! You ain't his puppet on a string! You ain't just some thang for him and his buddies to gawk over! That's right honey, you just say no!" 

But that initial, first response is the reason why this is the memory verse.

"For a man ought not to have his head covered,
since he is the image and glory of God;
but the woman is the glory of man."
1 Corinthians 11:7 

When we dig a little deeper in this chapter of Esther we see that there are three banquets. The first lasts for 180 days and is for all the "big dogs" of the land. The second lasts for 7 days and is for all the kingdom from the greatest to the least. The third was Queen Vashti's party for the women.

The King calls his Queen after this second 7 day banquet. He called her to come not just before him, but before her people. He called her to display her beauty as a picture of the beauty of the kingdom and as a representation of his glory. This call was not a "common cat call". It wasn't simply to call all the boys together and give Vashti a slap on the booty and say "boys ain't she perty!"

This was Queen Vashti's call to come and represent the glory of her husband who was also her king. This was her time to come into the presence of the people with her back straight and her head held high, to come in honor and respect, while her husband, and yes the people of her kingdom, looked upon her with her pride and admiration.

"As for Titus,
he is my partner and fellow worker among you;
as for our brethren,
 they are messengers of the churches,
a glory to Christ. 
Therefore openly before the churches,
show them the proof of your love
and of our reason for boasting about you."
2 Corinthians 8:23-24  

Should our husbands not be able to say:
As for my wife, she is my partner and fellow worker in this life, she is a messenger of our family and a glory to me as a man, her husband who is the head of her home. So honey, come and show them the proof of your love for me and the reason why I speak so highly of you... I would love for you to meet my beautiful wife.

(I don't know about you, but I find absolutely nothing insulting about that.)

What Queen Vashti did, was spit in her king's face. She despised is place as head over their family and head over this kingdom. She did not show him any respect what-so-ever.

each individual among you
also is to love his own wife
even as himself,
and the wife
must see to it
that she respects her husband."
Ephesians 5:33

The thing is, I do believe that the King had fulfilled his end of this verse. He loved Vashti as himself, he equated her with his glory and the splendor of his majesty. He boasted of her beauty to everyone in the kingdom, even when the wine was talking, he was still talking about his beautiful wife...
but did Vashti respect her man?

Ummm no, I don't think so.

You see she had her own personal feminist movement taking place at banquet #3. She had all her "girls" around her and I imagine they were having a full blown "man bash" at this little get-to-together. I can hear them now... "Oh you think yours is sorry, let me tell you what mine did..." 

(Now please know this is not to say that we do not need to seek wise counsel as we learn this role "wife" in marriage, wise counsel is a must, issues will arise in marriage, but these issues are meant to be discussed with someone who can advise you as an impartial, someone who will speak truth into your life and not just encourage your own personal side of the situation ) 

 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior,
not malicious gossips
nor enslaved to much wine,
teaching what is good, 
so that they may encourage the young women
to love their husbands,
to love their children, 
to be sensible,
workers at home,
being subject to their own husbands,
so that the word of God will not be dishonored.  
Titus 2:3-5

Then the call comes for Vashti to come to her king...
Vashti could have used some wise counsel at this time, she needed some teaching, but instead I lean more to believe that what she got was more like this:

Can't you just here the girls...
"Oh no he didn't!" 
"Well, I'm just sayin if I was you I would tell him, 'I don't think so!'"  
"Oh girl, it's time for you to take a stand"
"Girl, don't worry, he'll be mad, but he'll come around when he wants some."  
"Yeh, Mr Euneuch boy, go tell the Kingy that his Queeny said she's busy."
"Girl, this is your time, you better tell him to step!"

Woman behave thy self!

Your King has called.
Your beloved has summoned you into his presence.
He's had you on his mind.
He's been talking about you for days... what else could you possibly want?
Why on earth would you spit in his face and insult his honor and disrespect his authority before his people by denying him such a simple request? 

Ladies, wives, let us be very careful how we represent and respect our husbands... have we not seen the fulfillment of the fear that these men had over Vashti's response to the King in our current day? Maybe we have so many "sorry men" simply because we have made it that way by our lack of respect toward them. We are not meant to cower before men in fear, but simply to respect and submit to our own husbands and honor them as men called to protect us, care for us, provide for us as the representation of Christ and His bride...

Yes I know that in this life, in our marriages, we can not demand, nor control their love for us, or the way they treat us, or honor us. Your husband may be cold, he may be indifferent, he may be borderline cruel, but we can still choose to be obedient to our Maker who is our eternal Husband (Isaiah 54:5).
We can show respect to our husbands (even if they seem not to deserve it) by our obedience to God's instructions to us as wives. Our husbands are responsible to God for their own actions, as we are for ours. Let us just be obedient to God and leave the consequences to Him.

**** Disclosure****
I do not mean abusive by "borderline cruel"... if your spouse physically or emotionally or mentally abuses you or your children seek help immediately. Talk to someone now. Don't put it off another day. There is hope for your marriage and for your future. 


  1. Thank you :-) It's a post I am still growing in, but loving the journey!