I still have more lessons to share from my stay here in Lagos so I’ll be interchanging between relationship and marriage lessons I’ve learnt from the Bible and my experiences and lessons I learnt during my mini vacation in Lagos.
In this post, I’ll be sharing with you some lessons I’ve learnt from one of my favourite female characters in the Bible- Esther. I’m not going to narrate the story from the Book of Esther because if I do so, I’ll probably end up turning this post into a book. I’m actually writing a book, “A Study on the Book of Esther” so I’ll leave the details for my book. But for the purpose of this post, I’ll be highlighting the lessons I learnt from Esther.
For the ladies:
Lesson 1: Be submissive to your husband
Submission means to willingly obey a superior authority; to accept to be under their control. Submission begins when you’re single. If you are not submissive as a single lady, don’t expect that you’ll be submissive to your husband. Start now to learn how to be submissive to your husband by being submissive to God, to your parents and to constituted authority.
Esther’s was submissive first as a single lady. She was submissive to Mordecia, her cousin, who had adopted her and brought her up as his own daughter at the death of her parents. In Esther 2:10, Mordecia advised Esther to keep it a secret that she was Jewish. She willingly obeyed him and kept this fact a secret until later in her marriage when the time was right to reveal the secret.
Esther 2:20 says, “As for Esther, she had still not let it be known that she was Jewish. Mordecia had told her not to tell anyone, and she obeyed him in this, just as she had obeyed him when she was a little girl under his care.” (GNB)
N/B: The underlined words are for emphasis.
You can see that Esther was submissive as a little girl and she imbibed this quality even as a grown lady.
While in the royal palace in the care of Hegai, while the king was still looking for a new queen in place of Vashti, each young woman in the harem could wear whatever she wanted when she was going from the harem to the palace to meet the king. When Esther’s turn came to go to the king, she wore just what Hegai, the eunuch in charge of the harem advised her to wear. She didn’t insist on having her own way but was submissive.
When the king saw her, he liked her more than any of the other women and she won his favour and affection and hence became the queen.
Even as a queen, Esther continued to be submissive. She was submissive to her husband.
From my study, I’ve learnt that when it comes to submission, it doesn’t mean that the subject doesn’t have a say or the right to give an opinion. No! Rather, it means that the subject can give his/her opinion, suggestions, ask questions, make requests contrary to the superior’s command but it MUST be done in a polite way /manner.
This implies that a wife who is submissive to her husband still has the right to give opinions and suggestions to her husband, ask him questions about his instructions and make requests but these must be done in a polite manner.
Your words, tone of voice, manner of approach, body language and gestures all matter. That’s what differentiates your attitude between submission and rebellion.
When the King gave an order which wasn’t in favour of Esther, she expressed her suggestions yet still displayed submission. How? By her manner of approach.
In Esther 7:3-4; 8:3, 5-6; you will see how Esther approached her husband to make a request contrary to his initial decree. Normally, a proclamation issued in the king’s name and stamped with the royal seal cannot be revoked. However, the king was moved to give Esther and Mordecia authority to use his name and royal seal to write a decree that would help her and her people defend themselves against the king’s initial decree that as meant to destroy them. I believe one of the reasons the king did this was because of her submission to him and her manner of approach.
As a wife, one of the ways to get to your husband’s heart is to be submissive
Whenever you have a contrary opinion, rather than rebel against their command, you can politely express your contrary opinion or make your request politely.
This doesn’t mean that you should express a contrary opinion always. Just because you have the right to express your opinion doesn’t give you the right to disagree with him always. You should be able to apply wisdom to know when to obey without further questioning or when to express your contrary opinion.
Lesson 2: Be wise.
Esther wasn’t just a beautiful woman, she was also wise. She knew the right time to tell her husband that she was Jewish. She knew the right steps to take to save her people from being destroyed by Haman, their enemy. She knew how to approach her husband when she had a need. She knew when to speak and what to say whenever she spoke. She knew how to get to her husband’s heart.
In order to get to your husband’s heart, you must be wise. You should know when and how to approach him. You should know when to speak and when to keep quiet. You should know the right words to say when you speak.
Lesson 3: Be prayerful.
Esther was prayerful. When she and her people were in danger, she called for a fast among her people. She also joined in the fast with her young women (Esther 4:15-16).
There was a law that anyone who goes into the inner courtyard without being summoned by the king must die. The only way to get round this law was if the king holds out his gold sceptre to the person, then that person will be spared. Esther who had not been summoned by the king for about one month was ready to take a risk to go and see the king. But before she did so, she fasted and prayed.
As a wife, there are certain times you must pray first before approaching your husband to make a request or suggestion.
Be a prayerful woman whether you’re single or married.
Lesson 4: Be humble.
Esther was humble. Even when she became a queen, she still respected Mordecia and listened to his advice. She didn’t feel that she was superior to him and her people. When her people were in danger, she didn’t abandon them but used her position to save them.
(TO BE CONTINUED IN MY NEXT POST)