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Every woman alive needs to read this post today. Whether married or not, this post is for you. If you can master and understand the Biblical principle contained in the lives of these two women, then you will have good success in your relationship(s) with the other gender.

In the book of Esther, we get to meet two Queens. Vashti & Esther. These two women are our focus today, and there is a lot to learn from their lives. There are a number of similarities that you can see when you closely study their lives. One, both Queens were very easy on the eyes 😍, in other words, beautiful. They both shared a husband, the pagan, Persian King, Ahasuerus. Also interestingly we discovered that both were very strong & independent women, they were their own persons. Other than these similarities, these two Queens’ stories ended very differently. Queen Vashti was banished as Queen for her refusal to appear at the king’s banquet to show her beauty as the king wished. Nothing is heard of her again. Queen Esther succeeds her and goes on to become a successful queen getting King Ahasuerus, who was then the most powerful King in the world to do what she wanted.

Queen Vashti’s Error

Growing up, I always believed that Vashti was banned because of her disobedience. When we studied the text in Esther 1 closely, we realized that Vashti’s error was very different from what I had believed. This is what the bible says

For the queen’s conduct will become known to all women, causing them to look on their husbands with contempt (DISRESPECT), since they will say, β€˜King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she did not come.’

Esther 1:17 (AMP)

According to the bible, Vashti was not banished from her throne because of disobedience, but because of Disrespecting her husband. Another version says will cause all the women to look DOWN on their husbands.

Nowhere in the bible are women commanded to ‘Obey’ their husbands. Wives are only commanded to respect their husbands and submit to them. This has nothing to do with blanket obedience. That is why a lot of women have an issue with Ephesians 5. The reason is that for so long this has been misunderstood that respect = obedience. When we study the life of Esther we will see, that she also disobeyed her husband just like Vashti did, but her behaviour is what set them apart.

So, Vashti’s error was DISRESPECT. Simply put, she looked down on her husband, or she made him look small in his & other people’s eyes. The context will help you understand why what she did cost her her queenship.

King Ahasuerus was throwing a party, he invited all the royals, nobles, and servants from his 127 provinces. On the 7th day of the banquet, he orders 7 eunuchs to go bring his wife, so that he may display her beauty to his guests. (Men do this so that to gain respect & admiration from their peers). Queen Vashti refused and this great ruler was ashamed before his guest. He got angry and that was the end of her.

Do you remember a certain story where during a ball, the big boss requested to dance with the wife of his deputy? The woman refused because of her faith. The deputy got ashamed before his boss (who he was trying to win favour with). After the ball was over, the man separated from his wife forever. This was a similar case to Vashti’s. A man’s deepest need is to be respected and when his wife disrespects him then that relationship is headed for the rocks. Worse so, if she does it in public and steps on his ego (Makes him look small) then that marriage is over.

Queen Esther’s Wisdom

Solomon in Proverbs advises the wives this

The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

Proverbs 14:1

As a wife, in order to have a successful marriage (house), Solomon advises you to have wisdom. What was different between these two Queens (Vashti & Esther) was wisdom. One had a successful marriage and the other lost hers. Wisdom is what I would implore all women to ask God for, more than anything else (beauty, riches, fame). For a home is not built on anything else but wisdom. One of my favourite verses in proverbs is this. Print this and frame it on your living room wall!

By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established;

Proverbs 24:3

Queen Esther, unlike Vashti, was a wise woman. She knew that in order to save her people she had to approach the King. And if she did approach the king without being summoned then she would be killed. Here is where she used a lot of wisdom. Even though Ahasuerus was her husband, she still held him in such high honor and esteem. He was still a King and she respected him as such. On the 3rd day after her fast, she did not even go to the king, she waited for him respectfully at the courtyard. He sees her and then extends his scepter of favor towards her.

The Amazing Effect of Respect

Queen Vashti has been lauded by some historians as the founder of the Feminism movement. They praise her for putting her foot down against a tyrant whose only wish was to display her like a piece of merchandise to a group of cheering drunk men. The same historians, condemn Esther’s behavior for being a doormat, not being assertive enough, and weak. For the women already married and those hoping to do so someday, I would want to draw your attention to the amazing effect this had on the King. As I began by mentioning, respect is a man’s deepest need, and submission is basically recognizing this and holding your husband in high regard/esteem. If you read the book of Esther you will be amazed at the effect Esther’s respectful behavior had on her husband, the mighty king.

King Ahasuerus, extends his scepter towards Esther and asks her what it is that she wants. What astonished me is that he told her that he would give her anything she wanted even half his kingdom. Ahasuerus was one of the most powerful kings then, his kingdom extended from India all the way to Ethiopia. So simply, Esther, by acting respectfully towards her husband, not only won her husband’s heart but also got what she wanted. The King, powerful & wicked as he was, was won over by Esther’s respectful behavior and became like a little child to her. Imagine, he asked Esther to tell him 3 times what was disturbing her. Even, at one time, he was unable to SLEEP! 😳😳😳😳😳😳😳

Hear what Peter says

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,

1st Peter 3:1

Wives, I implore you by the mercies of our Lord Jesus Christ, to learn and master this principle. Esther did not even have to say even one word, her pagan king husband was won over to her because of her RESPECTFUL BEHAVIOUR. Esther was not a WEAK woman, she was a WISE woman. Likewise, Vashti did not have to say her a word. She lost her husband due to her disrespectful behavior.

RESPECT & SUBMISSION

Submitting to your husband out of respect does not mean you are weak. It is the wise woman who does that, the one who builds her home, just like Esther did. Note that King Ahasuerus did not treat his wife like a doormat, instead he offered her half of the world! Just imagine that! So, women, do not fear that if you respect your husband, he will take advantage of you. Men are not built like that. The way to get your husband to love you and give you the world is just simply to respect him. All men (even the mighty) have a weakness for women like that. That is why Esther & Abraham’s Sarah had such a great influence on their husbands because they were wise women, who knew the way to their man’s hearts.

The principle is RESPECT, which is the secret to a long & happy marriage. I would ask that you go to the Lord today and ask him to show you ways in which you can respect & honor your husband…be the wise woman who builds her home with her own hands.

To God Be The Glory,

The Kiruthis


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Comments

  • Anonymous
    Reply

    Quite insightful post. God bless you for sharing this.

  • Anonymous
    Reply

    This is a great piece. I’m enlightened!!

  • Anonymous
    Reply

    Insightful message thank you. Be blessed for sharing this wisdom

  • Anonymous
    Reply

    Wow wow…I love it

  • Gathoni
    Reply

    Oh how awesome and enlightening this piece is,so well articulated for everyone to understand without misinterpretition.God bless your union and service,glory!

  • Anonymous
    Reply

    Interesting

  • Anonymous
    Reply

    Disclaimer
    I’m not a feminist, just a reader with a different perspective.
    The comparison between Queens Esther and Vashti has been done since time in memorial. Unfortunately, most of the writings never consider the reality that Vashti was protecting her honour. You’re a man, I’m not sure you understand what it means to be among drunk men who are likely to dishonour you because of their drunkenness. Scripture actually says the King was high, ( On the seventh day, when King Xerxes was in high spirits from wine,..
    Esther 1:10 NIV
    )
    so were his guests. Mans was partying with wine for weeks. That request was not coming from a sober mind. The whole party lasted roughly 3 months. I doubt it’s right to throw in a blanket statement and showcase her as unwise. It’ll be fair if the weaknesses of the characters is discussed, let’s go all the way.
    Scriptural context is key in deriving meaning and principles from.

    That being said, I’ve enjoyed reading your posts on marriage.

    • Njeri
      Reply

      I completely agree. I get the point of the post…respect…but ever since I first read about Vashti, my issue has always been “why would the King do that in the first place??” The King didn’t consider her. Didn’t think about her. Was exposing her. And the woman was looking out for herself. As far as disrespect goes, I feel that the king dished it out first. Vashti deserved respect too.

      • Meg
        Reply

        Actually we do not see the king putting Esther through the same humiliation! So much credit is given to Queen Esther but from my point of view after studying the book ,she never took any initiative in any matter. If it weren’t for her Uncle Modecai threatening that salvation for the Israelites would come from somewhere else if she did not agree to speak to the king and that her family would perish; she would have done nothing.
        She called for a fast and I guess that’s why she gained favour from the King.
        This is not to discredit your point because yes respect for husband is paramount in marriage.

  • Anonymous
    Reply

    This is really deep. I even took notes in my devotional book. God bless you Kiruthis.

  • Meg
    Reply

    Even though she was scared at first to go before the King, she heard Modecai and deemed it best to consult God. That was Wisdom. And even after praying, she took her time to assess her husband on when to tell him. I give her the props. On Vashti, yes it might have been disrespectful her being paraded but how did she handle the situation?… Why not do as he wants then later when he’s sober, speak to him? Sometimes its about the relationship and the approach to your husband equalling to respect.

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