Sometimes when we date someone or are married to someone, we want to please him to the point where the line between pleasing him and giving up our self-respect becomes blurred. Even I was in that situation where I wanted to do God’s will by being unconditionally submissive, not realizing that God’s will was also for me to be honored and respected, and not at the expense of pleasing someone else.
We can learn this in the Bible. My favorite story that illustrates self-respect is the story
of Queen Vashti in Esther 1 in the Holy Bible. In Esther 1, the king was throwing a party in which he and his friends got drunk. While drunk, he ordered that Queen Vashti, who was entertaining the women at the party, be brought to him wearing her crown. She was very beautiful and he wanted to show her off. Now the Bible doesn’t say this, but I know Queen Vashti knew that her husband the king was drunk and therefore knew how he could act crazy when he was drunk. No self-respecting queen would want to be a part of that!
So, Queen Vashti refused to come. The king got mad, and at the advice of his officials, she was deposed from her position as his queen because they believed other wives would also disobey their husbands because of her defiance. Queen Vashti left, but she left with her dignity and self-respect. She did not allow anyone, including her king, to dishonor her or disrespect her.
If a boyfriend or husband asks us to do something that is illegal, immoral, unethical, degrading, or disrespectful, we have a right to refuse—and IT’S OKAY. God does not place their spiritual, physical, emotional, financial, or mental well-being over ours. Our FIRST loyalty is to God and we serve Him. So whatever His will is for us is what we should do. For this reason it’s important to be with godly men; it’s much clearer when we should submit to husbands when they are truly men of God.
We are not to submit to craziness. We are ALWAYS to portray ourselves as virtuous women of God first, then submit to our godly husbands second. We must make sure that when we submit to our husbands that we are simultaneously submitting to God. We cannot decide not to submit out of pride, stubbornness, or rebellion. We can only decide not to submit if submitting does not also honor and serve God.
Did Queen Vashti do the right thing by not submitting to the request of her drunken husband to show her off? (I personally think that she could have possibly handled it differently while still yielding the same outcome, but…) Yes, I believe so. She lost being a queen, but she did not lose her value, her self-respect, and her ability to live with herself. And in the end, we all have to live with ourselves and in a way that pleases God.
In peace and love,
Like this post? Check out another post: Are You Useless?
For more on striving to live virtuously, check out what some had to say about my book: Grown & Virtuous: 28 Simple Lessons to Unveil the Spiritual Diva in You