Okay, so far in the book of Esther we’ve spent 180 days checking out the Persian king’s stuff. Then we had a party for seven days because, well, we like toys and noise. Now, as the party is winding down, King Ahasuerus is full of wine and has one more “stuff” to show off to his homeboys. “Hey, send in the queen all dressed to the nines so I can show her off. Men, wait till you get a look at my ‘trophy wife’. If you weren’t envious of any of my other stuff, you will be when you see this babe!” (1:11 totally paraphrased)
“But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command brought by his eunuchs; therefore the king was furious, and his anger burned within him.” (1:12) “Ah, King Ahasuerus, Queen Vashti said to tell you that she is your wife and the mother of your children and not an object for you and your drunken buddies to ogle.”
Oh boy, big trouble in Persia and Media. “For the queen’s behavior will become known to all women, so that they will despise their husbands in their eyes…” (1:17) This brought laws and decrees throughout the land that wives were to honor their husbands, and that each man was the master of his own house. (Wait here a minute, I need to go and inform my wife about this…I’m back already…she mumbled something about this is not Persia.)
Actually, our world is pretty much like Persia. We’re all about stuff and parties and disposable relationships, including marital unions. Every time I see the latest marriage between those in the entertainment industry, I figure, eh, maybe a year before they tire of their physical attractions and move on to – Next! Sadly, those types of problems are becoming rampant throughout all of our culture. And the laws of the Persians and Medes won’t fix anything. The only real solutions are found in God’s word.
The Bible tells husbands to love their wives and give their lives for them as Christ did for the church. So, for instance, if a pack of vicious dogs attack is the husband to jump in between them and his wife even if it means death? Yes, it does mean that. Unfortunately, a lot of men think that encompasses the giving of their lives. But it also means that the husband cares more about his wife than he does himself and puts her interests and needs before his own. It means selfless and sacrificial love for his wife. It means serving her. If husbands do this, wives will fulfill their God-given roles naturally. No fuss, no muss. And married couples following Ephesians 5:22-32 don’t need any laws and decrees to make it so.
The Bible speaks to all kinds of relationships with instructions and commandments in how we are to relate vertically to God and horizontally to our parents, children, friends, neighbors, employers, employees, widows and orphans, strangers and even our enemies, and so on. The word of God makes it quite plain – life is about relationships – which have eternal significance – not things and flings and toys and noise which are here today and gone tomorrow.
Once again, we are here on this earth, this stage, right here, right now for such a time as this – are we living for me, myself and I, or our we loving God and people with every fiber of our being? (See Luke 10:25-28)