June 15, 2015

Temptation to Build Figurative Gallows

Then Haman said, "...Yet all this is worth nothing to me, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate." Then his wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, "Let a gallows fifty cubits high be made, and in the morning tell the king to have Mordecai hanged upon it. Then go joyfully with the king to the feast." This idea pleased Haman, and he had the gallows made. (Esther 5:13,14)

In this passage, Haman, a blood-thirsty, arrogant man, does not resemble my husband in any way. However, Zeresh, the unhelpful wife, prompts me to examine myself. Do I quickly condemn others to achieve happiness for all? If my husband is being sinful, do I add to the problem? Am I motivated to see my husband elevated because my self worth and position depend entirely on his?

As a pastor's wife, I love my husband and wish the very best for him. I pray for his sanctification. I hope he receives the recognition and respect that I think he deserves. I don't want members of the church to make my husband's life difficult. These seem to be healthy desires.

Then, I think of specific situations when I had a less than Christ-like attitude. Although I am not an especially ambitious woman, I have been disappointed when my husband didn't get a raise, others strongly disagreed with his ideas or my husband was passed over for a denominational committee position. 

And, let's face it, if the pastor is upset with something in his public life, those in his private life usually sense it. We don't like experiencing reflected pain. In these cases, I am tempted to condemn the distressing people to figurative gallows. This is not a good idea for several reasons.

1) I think the root problem in my disappointment is my lack of trust in God's good and perfect plan for me and my husband. God is in control of all my happy and sad circumstances. If I would only seek him, He would lovingly give me the faith I need. 

2) Christ, not a human, is the source of my identity and worth.

3) In addition, one part of God's sovereignty is His ability to put people in my life whom I need to love even when I don't want to. I cannot orchestrate personal happiness by wishing that my husband and I will never see them again. Even if these people move to a new church, I know that God has the power to replace them with others who expose my sin nature, too.

I want to give wise counsel to my husband, trust in the goodness of God, have my identity in Christ and love others. I pray that I can avoid Zeresh's style of support, which was very wrong and ended in destruction for her family. (Esther 9:25)

1 comment:

  1. I guess I'm one of those people that don't think it's right to seek recognition and respect-they aren't 'healthy desires'. If a pastor is seeking recognition and respect then he's not following the Savior well. It's great if recognition and respect come-but holding out for it, believing you (or your husband deserves it) is a good way to worship an idol. Jesus was a suffering Savior-he came not to be served but to serve. When I read the Gospels I don't see much respect and recognition (except for the negative kind). Christians should walk the way of our Savior-none of us- not even a pastor- is greater than our Master.


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