Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Esther Week 2 - How to lose a girl in 187 days - part 1


Esther 1:1-22
Xerxes is three years into his reign and gives a feast and not just any feast a feast that lasts for 180 days. Governors, officials, servants, two armies, nobles are all in attendance with the sole purpose of the feast to showcase the glory, splendor, pomp and riches of Xerxes’ glory.

At the end of the 180 day feast Xerxes throws another feast, a 7 day party to celebrate how great he is and to celebrate the fact that they just celebrated him for 180 days. The 7 day feast is filled with drinking and lots of it, Esther 1:8, and these guys party like it is 1999 B.C. Finally at the of the 187 days, after all the posturing and parading the king, Esther 1:10, merry with wine decides there is still something to prove, someone to impress and he calls upon his eunuchs to summons Queen Vashti to the feast so that he can show her off. Vashti is Xerxes’ queen, she’s hot, and he wants the guys to be impressed.
The queen wisely refuses and puts the king in a very awkward situation. For 187 days Xerxes has been showing the known world his possessions and his great glory and power and the refusal of his wife has him scrambling to save face. The king seeks the counsel of his advisors and they give him advice as follows: 1. banish the queen from your presence forever and 2. Make a law stating that women should obey their husbands (seems that Xerxes wasn’t the only man in the kingdom trying to get his wife to do what he wanted).

Now keep in mind that Xerxes is not just a king, but king of the most powerful empire in the world at this time. He rules most of the known world, 127 provinces, that stretches from Indian to Ethiopia, about 2400 miles. Xerxes was successful in battle, conquered lands, had thousands under his command, nobles and officials reported to him and he had servants that answered his call day and night. Yet in spite of his great power, many possessions, past successes, and present position King Xerxes’ home is destroyed, his marriage falls apart and while he might be a great leader of the Persian empire when it comes to leading his family he fails miserably and in 187 days he loses his girl.

How?

Many men struggle with similar situations today. You are successful, make great money, have a great career, are well respected by your peers, yet your home life is a wreck, your marriage is filled with tension, anger, and lack of intimacy.

Your wife may still be with you in body but has already checked out emotionally and mentally.

Here are 9 pitfalls to avoid keeping from losing your girl, we will cover 2 today.

#1. Xerxes was self-centered Esther 1:3-4

Notice that everything is about Xerxes, his glory, his wealth, his possessions, there is no mention of any supporting cast and no mention of his wife.
Today this might look like, my hobbies, my friends, my job, my money, my vacation, my time, my bank account, me, me, me.

Did you know that when you get married there is no more “me”?

Ephesians 5:31-32 states that God’s original plan for marriage was for one man and one woman to come together to form one, new life….two shall become one!

Ephesians 5:31 the scripture says that marriage is a picture of our salvation. The good news that we proclaim about Jesus, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, is that Jesus dies for our sins, was buried, and was raised on the third day. The very moment someone calls on the name of Jesus to save them, Romans 10:13, Jesus saves them from their sins. God forgives the sinner and imputes the sin onto Christ and takes the righteousness of Christ and imputes it onto the sinner. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says that those saved by Christ are new creations, that the old no longer exists and Galatians 2:20 says that the old was executed with Jesus! Dead! Alive no more.

Scripture, Ephesians 5:31-31, says that marriage is a picture of this reality. Two people, individuals with individual desires, goals, dreams, wishes, lives – come together and they become one new person instead of just two people living together.

Just as in Christ we are new creations in marriage our old lives of me, me, me die and we become one new person living a new life together with dreams together, goals together, living as one.

Marriage isn’t about me…it is about us.

Question? Have you been crucified with Christ? Have you received the gospel? Doe you marriage reflect salvation or does it reflect a life revolving around you? What areas of your old life do you need to crucify today?

#2 Xerxes was a control freak, Esther 1:5-6

Not only was Xerxes self-centered but he was a control freak who micromanaged his home…just look at the d├ęcor! Gold and silver couches? Notice there is no mention of potpourri, no throw pillows, no sea shells on the back of the toilet, just cold hard furniture. Men are notorious for seeing something they like and then buying everything the same. That is why when you open a man’s closet you see two pairs of jeans and seven hundred t-shirts…all the same style and color.

Have you even visited a single guy who has a job and his own house? Black leather furniture everywhere. Black sofa, black matching chairs, even black toilet seat covers. Men generally and especially single men do not have good taste. That is why in Genesis 2:18 God said…”It is not good for the man to be alone..” The garden was a place of beauty and He knew that if he left the man alone too long that man would jack it up.

Xerxes micromanaged his home, there was no sign of a woman’s touch anywhere. Esther 1:7 says that Xerxes didn’t even have matching cups! He gave his guys the Star Wars goblet to drink from, the NASCAR goblet to drink from, the goblet he stole from Pizza Hut.

Please let your wife take over! Please let her put her feminine touch on things.

“But every time I do that we end up painting the living room 212 times!”

That’s OK. Relinquish control of the decorating. Most women flourish when they can freely decorate their homes and in time you will see what was once a cold castle filled with black leather sofas become a warm, inviting home.

Ask yourself…”Why do I have or feel the need to micromanage everything”?

Our marriages should never be about us, us controlling everything. Being a self-centered, controlling jerk will kill our marriages.

Dying to self, being crucified with Christ, loving our wives with the love of Jesus is what we are called and commanded to do.

And we do this for God’s glory and our benefit.

Will you repent of your self-centeredness?
Will you give up trying to control every minute detail in your home?

Next week we will look at the other 7 pitfalls to avoid.

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