A King and His Queen

NIGHT LIKE FOR COUPLES

“Those who honor me I will honor.” 1 Samuel 2:30

I can’t think of a better example of honor between husband and wife than the biblical account of Queen Esther and Xerxes, king of Persia, in the book of Esther. The young queen was faced with a terrible dilemma: Her people, the Jews, were to be killed as part of a ruthless plot concocted by one of the king’s most powerful nobles. Yet by law, no one, not even the queen, was allowed to approach the king without being summoned.

Esther relied on the principle of honor to protect her in this predicament. After fasting and, I’m sure, praying for three days, she went to the inner court of the palace. Rather than barging in, she waited patiently in the king’s hall. When the king saw Esther, he invited her in. She showed further respect for Xerxes by touching his scepter when she arrived. When the king asked her why she had come, Esther did not answer immediately. Instead, she invited the king to a banquet she had prepared, thus paying further tribute to her husband. At the banquet, she invited the king to yet another banquet the next day. Only then did she finally make her request known.

Every time Esther addressed her husband, she conveyed sincere respect. She used phrases such as “if it pleases the king”; “if [the king] regards me with favor and thinks it the right thing to do”; and “if I have found favor with you, O king.” Xerxes responded by honoring his wife—and granting her request! Through her courage and conduct, the Jews were spared a holocaust. In fact, King Xerxes went further: The evil noble was hanged, and the Jews were given new privileges and rights in the kingdom.

Our nature as humans is to criticize our spouse or complain about his or her shortcomings. Yet there is something attractive—and very compelling—about approaching each other as husband or wife with the deep respect and honor we would show royalty. I urge you to try approaching each other in just this way—even when you do not feel particularly close. Your reward will be a home environment that is more loving, positive, and enjoyable than you ever thought possible.

– Shirley M Dobson

From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved

Trust Him

NIGHT LIKE FOR PARENTS

Trust in the Lord with all your heart… and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5–6

When the decision was made years ago to move Focus on the Family from Arcadia, California, to Colorado Springs, I knew it was a positive change for the ministry—yet I did not welcome it with enthusiasm. I felt I needed the support system we had developed in California. Our friends there saw us not as ministry leaders, but as just “Jim and Shirley.” We’d been in one another’s weddings and had babies together. For years we’d had them over to celebrate the Fourth of July with barbecued hamburgers and games in our backyard. I grieved to leave this safe and loving circle of friends, and to say good-bye to my parents and both of our children.

In Colorado, I continued to wrestle with feeling sorry for myself and missing home, family, and friends. Yet I still prayed for the Lord’s direction. One day I was standing in the bathroom preparing for work when I felt His presence. “Shirley,” He seemed to say, “I’m not concerned about your happiness; I’m concerned that you are in My will, and My will is that you be in Colorado.”

From that point on a new peace filled my heart. The lingering feelings of discontent left me. Though I still miss my roots and friends, I now can see God’s hand in it all. I have stretched and grown in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Over the years my old friends have moved, too. Only a few of those couples still live in that area of California, and we see our family almost as often now as before.

When you are discouraged about your kids, your career, your lack of friends, or anything else, don’t let it stop you from speaking to God. He will encourage you as you seek Him: “I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation” (Psalm 13:5).

The Lord may not answer you as specifically as He did after my move to Colorado. He may not give you the answer you want at all. Yet He loves you and always responds with your best interests in mind. That’s encouragement you can count on.

-Shirley M Dobson

  • From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.