Here are three awesome lessons Esther can teach us about waiting, dating, and marriage.
The story of Queen Esther, a Jew, is a story of God’s sovereignty over her and the rest of God’s people and timing is everything. King Ahasuerus ruled over an enormous empire, stretching from India to Ethiopia, and when he gave a banquet for the nobles and governors (Esther 1:4), the king requested the beautiful Queen Vashti, in order to show her off to his guests. She refused, so the king’s attendants suggested he see the most beautiful women in the kingdom to select a new queen for himself (Esther 2:4-5). The other women sent six months in preparing for this time (Esther 2:12-13), but it says of Esther, “she asked for nothing except what Hegai the king’s eunuch, who had charge of the women, advised. Now Esther was winning favor in the eyes of all who saw her” (Esther 2:15b). She left it up to the sovereignty of God. She waited until the perfect time, and when the king saw Esther, “the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she won grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti” (Esther 2:17).
Esther had waited her turn and didn’t try to push her way ahead of the others. Neither did she try to force anything. She must have known that God is sovereign and so she did what she was told. Such was this woman’s humble nature. When Esther finally passed before the king, the king was instantly attracted to Esther. Perhaps the king could see the humility in this woman. Her simple beauty seemed to far outshine the others, which is why Esther “was winning favor in the eyes of all who saw her” (Esther 2:15b). The other women had spent months in treatments, oils, and lotions, in trying to make themselves attractive to the king, but Esther’s godly beauty stood out. She was content, humble, and beautiful…and I believe King Ahasuerus saw that in her, and that made her even more beautiful.
If you’ve read the Book of Esther, you know that there was a plot to murder all of the Jews, but when Esther’s uncle Mordecai found out about it, he approached Esther and told her that she must approach the king about it, or all the Jews, including her, would be dead. Her courage is revealed when she tells Mordecai, “Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16). Esther did rescue her people, while risking her own, but the Jews were sparred, so there are times in a marriage when you must speak up to your spouse about something that troubles you. And yes, it may take courage. If it’s that serious, it’s worth bringing it up. Married couples must be open about everything. Esther went to the king and revealed a plot to kill the Jews. The king didn’t realize what was going on. She could have died by keeping silent, but Esther’s brave act saved the lives of thousands of Jews.
The Book of Ruth never mentions God, but you can clearly see God’s hand throughout the book, because they end up fasting, which surely means fasting and praying. Esther’s uncle Mordecai once said, “if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther replied to replied to Mordecai, “Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:15). Neither can we be silent when we see injustice.