“So he sent letters to all the king’s provinces, to each province according to its script and to every people according to their language, that every man should be the master in his own house and the one who speaks in the language of his own people” (Esth 1:22).

Had this law come with the death penalty, every leading male figure in the book, including the king himself, would have been shot… and hung. Queen Esther comes and goes before the king contrary to the law and whenever she pleases (Esth 4:11; 5:2; 8:4). The king and Haman make haste to obey the “word of Esther” (Esh 5:5). Haman “the great,” who is lord over all the princes at the gate of the city (Esth 3:1-2), follows every word of his wife Zeresh at home (Esth 5:14). Such is reality when we try to lord it over our spouses with laws, be they God’s laws or man’s. How easily we weaponize the word of God to make our “wives” submit to us (Eph 5:22), or to make our husbands “love us like Christ loved the church” (Eph 5:24). When believers throw the law in the face of their spouses, it is equally ridiculous and twice as sad.

God intended marriage to be a partnership, a team-venture, two very different people with different gifts and personalities, joined together for the purpose of bringing glory to God.

And the only way to make this work is not by constantly reminding our spouses of God’s law to them, but by constantly reminding ourselves of God’s love for us! Law may get us a “well-functioning” house, but only love can build us a home.

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Cor 13:1).

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