Sunday, October 2, 2011

31 Days Of Femininity: A biblical example of strength and femininity

My husband and I have been reading through the book of Esther at bedtime. Some people might not think of Esther as a particularly feminine woman. As a Queen she was in a position of great power. But as we are reading through the story again, it has struck me how feminine she really was.

As a young woman she kept herself under the protection of Mordecai. In Esther 2:7 it says:

"And he brought up Hadas'sah, that is, Esther, his uncle's daughter; for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter."

So Esther no doubt looked upon Mordecai as a father and "honored" him as the Law of Moses required. Later, we read that he went and checked on her every day while she was at the palace being prepared to go before the King. Mordecai had given her instructions not to reveal the fact that she was a Jew, and it says in Esther 2:10 that she kept this information to herself. She trusted Mordecai and obeyed, even though she might not have understood why she was to remain silent. 

Once Esther was made Queen, she suddenly found herself in a position that, politically, made her far more powerful than Mordecai. Today we would look at Esther and say she had dirtied herself in politics, thus making her unfeminine.  Many people do not believe in women having any sort of role in politics, but the big difference here was that Esther was not the head of the kingdom. She was not the highest authority. She still had a man over her - her husband, King Ahasue'rus. She was in the role God had placed her, as a wife to a King thus allowing her to eventually save an entire race of people.  

Many ladies have the idea that femininity = weakness. Esther shows us otherwise. Under Mordecai's guidance (and please note, she continued to obey him as Queen) she placed herself in an extremely dangerous position of going before the King without being summoned (which could have ended her life). She organized dinner parties for the King and Haman (who I've always thought of as the King's Vice President). Finally, she petitioned the King for her life and the life of her people, putting herself at great risk. That does not strike me as a weak woman!

Yet she was feminine, because she stayed in her proper role. Esther did not decide how to go about all of this on her own - she listened to Mordecai and spent much time in prayer. She even asked all the Jews to fast and pray for three days, along with her handmaidens and herself (Esther 4:16). There is not the spirit of independence, of "I am woman, hear me roar" in her. No, she was humble, meek, and yet her great strength and courage shone through her submission to Mordecai's request and her humble petition before the King. There's no doubt, Esther possessed great power, even to exceed that of nearly every man in the kingdom; but in the end we find that hers was a power under submission. Oh that we had more of these sorts of women in the homes of our country today!

Ladies, we can be like her. We are in essence in the same role as Esther, just to a lesser degree. Are we not queens in our home? Do we not have a king to submit to (our husband), while at the same time we have a level of authority granted unto us, not only by our husbands but by our heavenly Head? Let us wield it wisely.

I would encourage you today to read through the book of Esther. It is short and would make a lovely sabbath day reading. Find all the wonderful truths contained in the book about femininity and how Esther remained in her God-given role as a helpmeet all throughout her life - to Mordecai, to her husband the King, and ultimately to her people, the Jews. She is a righteous example to us all.

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At October 2, 2011 at 11:57 AM , Blogger Don and Shelly said...

Caroline, we wholeheartedly agree that Esther was a true Biblical hero. Her sacrifice, humility and virtue should be an example to all women. She was also brave and showed great wisdom in her acceptance of counsel and appealing to the heart of her king. Thanks for the great post.


At October 2, 2011 at 4:47 PM , Blogger Paula Wethington said...

One of the details that strikes me about her story is that Esther must have been a very beautiful woman to be invited to "audition" for the role of queen, so to speak.

But she was a smart and wise woman as well.

There are occasions, even today, when beautiful women are dismissed as not having something worthy to say or that they can accomplish something wonderful.

I am very ordinary looking myself. But I do not assume that the gift of beauty means lack of intelligence, talent or other interesting attributes.

At October 2, 2011 at 9:53 PM , Blogger Lisa said...

Thank you for this post. I have not read the book of Esther in a long time. I will try to read some of it before bed tonight. What a good example she is to all of us!

Many blessings,

At October 3, 2011 at 1:34 AM , Anonymous Tiffany said...

I love much so that our daughter is named Hadassah. :) She is definitely a great picture of femininity and using it for good. God has definitely put is in places to be a powerful influence in this world. If through nothing other than the little babies whose butts we diaper. LOL

At October 3, 2011 at 11:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is submitting to men and not holding positions of great political power not deemed feminine? Other than "This is the role God has set out for women".

At October 4, 2011 at 7:48 AM , Blogger Caroline @ The Modest Mom said...

@ Anonymous, if you read the post after this it should answer more of your questions. Basically I don't see much precedence in scripture of where women were to hold positions of great political power by themselves. The precedence in scripture is that woman are keepers of the home. (Titus 2) Now if they are married to a political leader, it is only right that they support him in that role, however that looks.


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