I have been spending a lot of time in the Bible studying the book of Esther because there are so many lessons that can be learned about being married to a man that has a lot of responsibilities. What fascinates me most is that when Queen Esther wants to spend time with her husband, she has to go through special procedures just to speak with him.
According to the story, King Xerxes loved Esther and chose her to become Queen and gave a banquet in her honor after they married. However even though she had favor with him she still could not just go in and talk with him or spend time with him unless she was summoned by him. There was no special concession for her as a wife as she was put in the same category as every other man and woman in the kingdom. To make matters even more challenging, asking to speak to her husband actually put her life at risk. If the king did not want to be bothered and did not extend his gold scepter to her, she could be put to death.
As the story unfolds, Esther had a major emergency and it was important that she speak with her husband. She was so concerned about requesting to speak with him that she asked her relatives, her townsfolk and her servants to declare a fast for three days along with her. On the third day, she was ready to do what she needed to do to save the lives of not only herself but also her people. We know the rest of the story, the king allowed her to approach on more than one occasion and the story has a wonderful ending.
Can you imagine having to go through special procedures to speak with or spend time with your husband? If I was Esther I would have felt alone, unworthy and maybe even unloved if I had to go through all those hoops to speak with the man I was to spend the rest of my life with. The riches and the extra perks wouldn’t have meant very much if I had to ask permission to see him or wait until he had the time to spend with me.
I’m sure the king had a busy schedule fulfilling his responsibilities as king, and Esther probably understood that better than anyone. But knowing he was responsible for so many others probably didn’t make it any easier on her when she found herself feeling like he was married to the kingdom instead of her.
The life of a king reminds me of the life of a pastor. My husband who has been pastoring for 28 years keeps a very demanding schedule serving our church and our community. He is on call 24/7 and there is always someone in the hospital, people die, families have issues, individuals get into legal trouble, people need prayer and then there are plenty of church activities going on several days a week. Add in his community activities and there is always a meeting to go to.
The busy lives of pastor’s make can make it extremely difficult for the pastor and his wife to spend some quality time together. Add my husband’s schedule to mine and it’s a miracle that we even see each other. It was supposed to be easier on our schedules when we became empty nesters, but our schedules are just as hectic.
In order for us to make our marriage a priority despite all of the responsibilities we have, we decided to come up with a plan. In addition to our regular prayer time together before leaving for work, we made Friday’s our date night and scheduled a walk around the lake on Sunday evenings, weather permitting. Now that are children are grown we actually get up in the morning and go to the gym together before I go to work, eat dinner together and try to go to bed at the same time.
Even with our scheduled time together I sometimes don’t feel like it is enough. In those situations, I came up with a solution to ask my husband, “Can I have an appointment?” What I am really saying is, “Husband I am feeling neglected, can we spend some time together? However asking for an appointment sounds so much better than demanding time, whining or saying the dreaded statement, “We need to talk.”
As I write this blog, we have had an incredibly busy week. During this month my husband is celebrating 28 years of pastoring and our church has an exciting day planned for us. I am excited because we have an opportunity to sit together while we enjoy the worship service. However, as soon as we leave the church after all of the festivities, I think I’m going to ask for an appointment!
Janice R Love, Author
First Lady, Mom, Stepmom and Divorce Ministry Coach