Keeping the Marriage Together

Esther 1:12
But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Then the king became furious and burned with anger.

Let’s say you’re a wealthy and generous king who has spent a lot of time sharing the wealth of the kingdom with the people of your city. On the last night of the banquet, you want to show off not only the beautiful things of the kingdom, but also the beautiful people of the kingdom. The first person who comes to mind is your wife, the queen. You send someone to get her so you can brag about how beautiful the queen is.

However, she rejects your invitation to appear at your banquet. She’s having a little banquet of her own and won’t leave her party to join yours.

First, it’s bad form to disobey the king. Second, it wasn’t like you were asking the queen to come clean up all the empty beer bottles. You simply wanted to impress your friends with the rich treasure of beauty found in the kingdom. You were asking her to be adored by her fans. And third, you were concerned about the possibility of her banquet turning into a man-bashing party after she refused to leave her friends.

You knew something had to be done to prevent the spread of the disease called disrespect, so you asked a friend for advice. He said to replace her with someone more deserving.

Today, that’s called divorce.

Sometimes we don’t see that coming. We don’t see the little hints that we’re headed in the wrong direction in the marriage. Both spouses feel they deserve better, but each one isn’t willing to accept that change must begin with himself or herself.

The best way to keep the marriage together is romance.

I don’t mean buying gifts for each other. I mean the humility of romance. Having consideration for the other person must be at the forefront of the relationship. Each must honor the other. Romance always begins with one person being kind and thoughtful. When one is energetically and enthusiastically helpful to the other, having listened to the needs before jumping into action, the other one usually reciprocates.

Romance is always give and take. You are patient with their faults, and they’re patient with yours. You celebrate their strengths, and they celebrate yours. When each one shines the spotlight on the other, selflessness takes a bow. When you shine your spotlight on yourself, selfishness starts a storm of greed and self-destruction.

In the first chapter of the book of Esther, Queen Vashti was shining the spotlight on herself. With that bright light on herself, she couldn’t see well. The bright light in her own eyes blinded her to what could’ve been a marriage-affirming moment. Instead, she let her lack of humility steal not only her position as queen in a prosperous kingdom, but also her position as wife of a generous man.

Queen Vashti was a beautiful woman. However, if the beauty is only skin deep, it’s forgettable.

Marriage requires both spouses to think of the other person’s needs. You can keep your marriage as your happy place if you stay in the humility of romance.

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