Blog Title: Vashti’s Voice
(The Book of Esther 1:1-22)
About Me: I’m newly divorced and surviving singlehood one day at a time. I was married to a complete and utter fool who kicked me to the curb the first time I told him ‘no’. I didn’t have a voice in my marriage; I’m trying to find it now.
Intended Audience: Divorcees will especially relate to this blog, but all women will find something of value.
A Woman’s Place
I know a good wife is subservient to her husband and does as she is told. But what happens when a good wife is married to a dope? Don’t get me wrong. My ex-husband was not always a complete dolt. In fact, he’s in a very powerful position, but he also overindulges when it comes to drinking and tends to make rash decisions.
Living with my ex meant living with a specific set of rules, which was fine. Every relationship has rules –reasonable rules. When my ex asked an unreasonable request, I refused and paid dearly for it.
It all started with a party. My ex is well-known for grand celebrations. The guests were all very important people and my husband happily basked in their praise and admiration. As for me, I was playing by the rules and entertaining the women away from the men.
During the ‘women’s party’, I received a summons from my husband. He wanted me to come to him wearing only my crown. At first, I was sure I had misunderstood. The request was outrageous! Unfortunately it was also legitimate.
My cheeks burned with embarrassment and fury. How dare my own husband ask me to parade around nude in front of a drunken crowd of men. There’s no telling what kind of chaos that would cause. Is that what my husband wanted or was he too darn drunk to think straight?
Regardless of his reasoning or lack thereof, I had to refuse. I would not obey such a despicable order no matter the consequences, which were quite harsh. My ex threw me out and refused to speak with me about the incident or anything else.
I won’t lie; I was hurt. I thought that once my ex had sobered up, he would have second thoughts, but obviously his pride and reputation were more important than I was.
The whole situation has raised many questions about my place in my marriage and in any future relationships. For example, should a wife obey her husband even if it puts her own life at risk? Should a wife obey her husband even if it means going against everything she believes in? Scripture makes it clear that the man is the authority in a marriage; punishment for Eve’s bite of the apple:
I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you (Genesis 3:16 NIV).
However, if a man is the leader, or ruler, in a marriage, doesn’t he have the responsibility of leading with intelligence and compassion? Doesn’t he have to concern himself with the well-being of his wife? And if he doesn’t, does the wife still have to follow him?
I’m not sorry I said no to my ex. I do sometimes miss the extravagant lifestyle, but not enough to justify sacrificing my principles, my dignity and making myself an object for men to lust after. There comes a point in a woman’s life when she has to decide whether to raise her voice or stay quiet. I’m choosing to raise my voice.
I’m considering this the prequel to Queen Esther’s Blog
Should I have referred to Xerxes by name in this entry?