Relationships, Self Love, Self-Esteem, Self-Worth, She is Me Series, Soul Ties

She is Me: Queen Vashti

In honor of National Women’s History Month, EmpowerMoments is featuring a special series called ‘She is Me’.  Each writer will parallel her own life with that of a Biblical woman to enlighten and EMPOWER youCheers to being a WOMAN!

A Red Flag is a Red Flag!

“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” Matthew 16:26 ESV

I wanted to better myself by going to college, but he laughed and thought it was crazy to venture from home to go to school. He would often say, “All you do is go to school; you can’t learn common sense in school.” He didn’t support me. RED FLAG!

I decided I wanted to live for Christ. I increased my activities at church, strengthened my prayer life and decided to go to church on more weekends than to travel home to be with him. He joked about me going to church and mocked God. He said I was wasting my time. He didn’t respect my virtue. RED FLAG!

All of our time together caused me to come home closer to the next day, opposed to the end of the previous one. I disrespected my mother, my morals, and all that I knew because of him. He did not care that I was torn because I was going against what I knew was right. I felt like a concubine. He disregarded my family’s wishes. RED FLAG!

We went to his friend’s house one weekend and he wanted to display that his girlfriend could roll blunts and smoke them. I was embarrassed, devastated, degraded, and annoyed. He did not see my value. RED FLAG!

I sit back now and see all of the red flags that I ignored. So this is what he thought of me? That I could roll a blunt for his friends and smoke it with the best of them? He didn’t even care enough to respect my mother, my morals and what I stood for. But he had fat pockets, a nice car, a job, awesome rims, and a place that he owned. Would I be willing to give all of that up just to save my dignity? Just to save face? What if I never find a man to love me? What will happen if I stand up to him and actually leave him? What about all that I was in line for– his money, a ride in his fancy car, and a secure life?

I wonder if this is what Queen Vashti was thinking when she denied King Xerxes. See, Queen Vashti had it all. She had beauty, she was sociable, and quite frankly she and King Xerxes were a power couple. But one night, she had enough. Here’s the story: At that time King Xerxes reigned from his royal throne in the citadel of Susa, and in the third year of his reign he gave a banquet for all his nobles and officials. The military leaders of Persia and Media, the princes, and the nobles of the provinces were present.  For a full 180 days he displayed the vast wealth of his kingdom and the splendor and glory of his majesty. When these days were over, the king gave a banquet, lasting seven days, in the enclosed garden of the king’s palace, for all the people from the least to the greatest who were in the citadel of Susa. Queen Vashti also gave a banquet for the women in the royal palace of King Xerxes. On the seventh day, when King Xerxes was in high spirits from wine, he commanded the seven eunuchs who served him—Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Karkas— to bring before him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty to the people and nobles, for she was lovely to look at. But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Esther 1:2-5, 9-12 NIV

There is much speculation as to why Queen Vashti refused to come. But read the scripture; the King was drunk and he wanted to display her beauty in front of him and his friends. She must have felt degraded. She is not mentioned much more throughout this book, but her action showed great strength. She chose her dignity over the law and chose to preserve her self-worth over her husband’s ego. The King disposed her as Queen and chose to find a replacement.

What I find interesting is the King never realized that she was being degraded and instead of trying to preserve what he felt was beautiful, he swapped her for a replacement. And guess what, when I stood for what was right I was replaced too. I don’t know much about my replacement, but I do know that I left with grace, my pride, and my self worth.

Dear Daddy,

Sometimes we think we have it all and are scared to remove ourselves from what we think is abundance and choose to suffer our self-worth instead. Help us to always remember our worth, to see the red flags and to deal with them in the way we should. Help us to stand as Godly women, never giving up our dignity. Help us to walk as women of God instead of for a man that can’t see the jewel that we are. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to understand your self worth. A red flag is a red flag! The banquet was probably not Vashti’s first sign of a red flag. I encourage you not to wait until he’s your husband to start recognizing the red flags. My view is not to promote divorce, as I was actually not in a marriage. I was in a soul-tied relationship that did not promote the God in me, and because of that I had to go!

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As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is College Biology Instructor. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Higher Ed and Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV) She teaches Young Adult Bible Study and Sunday School and also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment.  Khalilah resides in Millbrook, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their energetic three-year old daughter. They attend St. Luke Christian ChurchCheck out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here.

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Blessings, Inspirational, Motivation, Obedience, Submission/Surrendering, Trusting God

When They Don’t Listen to the King…

Several days ago I received a phone call offering me a wonderful writing opportunity. The opportunity was available because the person who previously occupied the position refused to make some changes that those in charge had requested. Knowing all of the parties involved, I was a bit reluctant to accept the offer.  I didn’t want my predecessor to be mad with me. I didn’t want her to think that I had plotted and schemed to take her place. Never in a million years did I want to offend her in any way. Because I am such a sensitive person, I am always working to ensure that my words and actions are not those that will pierce anyone’s emotions. After struggling with the decision for a few days, God reminded me of the story of Esther. Remember Esther? She was the woman who was “chosen for such a time as this.” She went from being a no-name Jew to saving her entire people from complete annihilation. Let’s briefly revisit her story…

After a week-long celebration complete with fine linens, food and spirits, King Xerxes summoned his wife to come before him. Queen Vashti was so gorgeous that he wanted to display her beauty to all of the banquet guests. However, the Queen refused to obey his wishes: “But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Then the king became furious and burned with anger.” (Esther 1:12)  When I first read this, I was a bit baffled. If it was customary for the queen to adhere to the king’s request, why was she disobeying? Was she starting a women’s revolution in the B.C. era? Was she just interested in making a fool out of her husband? Did she refuse as a means of scolding him because he was too drunk?  While all of these seem like great theories, I am convinced that God had purposed her disobedience to push His plan into play. Similarly, when God hardened the heart of Pharaoh and made him refuse to release the Israelites from Egypt, it was all so that His divine will could be accomplished: For the Scriptures say that God told Pharaoh, “I have appointed you for the very purpose of displaying my power in you and to spread my fame throughout the earth.” (Romans 9:17 NLT)

After Queen Vashti refused the request, the king met with his boys and they suggested that Vashti be immediately relieved of her title. “So if it please the king, we suggest that you issue a written decree, a law of the Persians and Medes that cannot be revoked. It should order that Queen Vashti be forever banished from the presence of King Xerxes, and that the king should choose another queen more worthy than she.” (Esther 1:20 NLT)

The rest is history…Esther was chosen as the new queen which put her in a position to petition the king for mercy on her people. But, Esther was only chosen as queen AFTER someone else refused to obey…

So why did we just have that brief Bible study lesson? It’s simply to remind you (and me) that there are going to be times when opportunities arise simply because someone else chooses not to submit to the process. Does that mean that we are bad people if we choose to walk through the opened door? Absolutely not! When they don’t listen to the king, they put you in a position to do just the opposite. Just like Queen Esther’s story, God will use that situation to catapult and elevate you to a position where you have the favor, power and authority to change people’s lives and situations. Walk into your destiny because a lot of people are depending you.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You being King over my life.  Give me the will and desire to obey Your decrees at all times. I thank You for people who say no so that You can give me yes! Help me to walk boldly into places that You prepare for me. If it’s from You, I want it! If it’s not from You, help me to discern that as well so that I may reject it. I am excited about my future and where You are taking me! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Queens, I EMPOWER you to willingly accept the new position that God is giving you. If the opportunity is the result of another’s disobedience, allow your obedience to take you to another level in Him! Remember that your obedience is connected to so many other people’s destinies!

 Sending a very special “Happy Birthday” to MY king:

Mr. James Harris!

Mrs. Kristen Harris is a wife, mother, entrepreneur and dedicated servant.  She is extremely passionate about women’s spiritual advancement, hence the founding of EmpowerMoments.  As an avid reader, Kristen enjoys reading the Bible more than anything. Her driving inspiration is when God says to her: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  (Jeremiah 29:11) She currently resides outside of Chicago, Illinois with her wonderful husband and two lovely daughters where she is an active member of New Life Covenant Church.