Master or Servant
Husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way (1 Peter 3:7).
Imagine hearing the news that Congress had passed a strange law, commanding every man to rule his home like a dictator. Those in the Persian Empire experienced this when King Ahasuerus “sent letters to all the royal provinces, to every province in its own script and to every people in its own language, that every man be master in his own household” (Esther 1:22).
If a husband were to fulfill this law by following King Ahasuerus’ example, he might have:
- Demanded that his wife come when called and stay away from him at all other times.
- Valued his wife’s beauty mainly for the status it gave him.
- Requested his wife to do something inappropriate and immodest.
- Refused to get input from her leading up to and after a conflict.
- Responded to conflict by divorcing her.
In contrast, Ephesians 5 says, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. Let each one of you love his wife as himself ” (Ephesians 5:25, 28, 33).
If King Ahasuerus were to follow these principles, he would have:
- Valued his wife’s input and respected her ideas.
- Protected his wife from being looked at inappropriately.
- Solved conflict by first listening and understanding.
- Remained committed to his marriage no matter what.
To be a leader in a household, a husband should avoid the example of a dictator like Ahasuerus and instead emulate Jesus.
Who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:6-8).