Monday, July 29, 2013

A Prayer Inspired by Esther

Lord, this week we read, in the book of Esther, that Queen Vashti ignored the King’s command and refused to come to him. The King’s court was in shock. How dare she?

Well, my first inclination was to say, “You go, girl!”

Later in the chapter, the King declared throughout his kingdom that all women would give honor to their husbands, high and low alike.

Some repressed bit of feminism welled up inside me when I read that, and I was just a little bit peeved.

And then the king declared that every man should be master in his own house -- and I found myself grinding my teeth.

Why did those few lines bug me so much?

I am not a stranger to Your word. I know that Ephesians says that wives are to be subject to their husbands. And First Peter says that wives are to accept the authority of their husbands.

Why do those bits of scripture make me defensive and uncomfortable and anxious to assert my self worth?

Why do I feel like I want to reel off the things I do to keep our household operating… unlike somebody else I know. . .cook, clean, work, taxi, sew, decorate, buy gifts, write notes, plan parties, grocery shop, make appointments, check homework, trim fingernails, cut bangs. . . Oh forget it. You know what I do, Lord!

I’m not a women’s libber, God. I didn’t burn my bra. I never wanted people to change the words of scripture or hymns to make them politically correct.

It’s more that I just admire strong, intelligent, independent women -- women who have goals and make decisions and speak for themselves. And women who love and nurture their children, and, maybe more importantly, love and cherish their husbands. Yes, women who encourage their mates, inspire them, excite them, publicly praise them, and stand by them.

You see, Lord, I think that when you do those things, subjection and authority never really enter the equation. I know that firsthand.

Before I close, let me say thank You for making me a woman.

Let me thank You for allowing me to live in a society where women are respected as human beings and family partners, not mere possessions. And let me not forget my sisters around the globe who live in poverty, and marital slavery, and conditions beyond our comprehension.

And, finally, let me say thank You for my marriage and my dear husband. I know I’m one of the lucky ones.

As it says in the fourth chapter of James, verse seven, we are to submit ourselves to You. Men and women alike, we are to submit to You. If we did, the world would be a better place.

In Your Loving Name, I Pray, Amen

by Sue Busler

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