Showing Off Your Wife
In the Book of Esther [1:11-16], King Xerxes calls for his wife [Queen Vashti] to come and show off her beauty to the people and nobles. Queen Vashti refuses to come before the King and his guests to display her beautiful body. King Xerxes is frustrated by her unwillingness, so he consults his wise men who understood the customs and laws of the time. They decide to banish Queen Vashti and King Xerxes begins looking for a new queen. This creates the opportunity for Esther, who eventually wins over King Xerxes with her attractiveness. Esther uses her beauty and attractiveness on multiple occasions to attract the attention of King Xerxes and ultimately to accomplish God's will.
Showing off a beautiful wife is natural, traditional, & biblical
For thousands of years it has been acceptable for men to show off their beautiful wives. For thousands of years the beauty of a woman's body was something that was treasured, valuable, and worthy of displaying, much like a work of art. History tells us that many kings chose their queens using a type of beauty contest.
There are only two books in the Christian bible named after women, and Esther is one of those. Esther is viewed as a powerful and influential woman of the bible. Traditionally, she has been a role model for Christian women and the subject of many Christian books and study guides. Esther was not ashamed of her beauty or body. She was willing to display her beautiful body to the King and his people.
Modern Views of Women
Beauty contests are no longer politically correct, and rapidly declining in popularity. Our culture is changing to the point where it is no longer considered appropriate for a woman to show off her beauty. If a business woman dresses up too nice and shows off the beauty of her female form, she will likely face peer pressure or discipline from a human resource department. If a woman attempts to use her beauty and looks to get ahead, she is viewed negatively.
I wonder what damage we are doing to our young people with these new views that beauty is not something that a woman should use and show off. Ironically, as our society tries to hide the beauty of the woman form, we still face many issues with sexuality. Some people believe we are an over-sexed society and that our young women are dressing too sexy. Are the youth rebelling against the social pressure to hide beauty?
Desires to show off the wife
I have found many husbands with this strong desire to show off their wives. Men that have the same desires as King Xerxes. Men that are proud of their wife's beauty and attractiveness. Likewise, it seems that we have a culture of women who share the same attitude as Queen Vashti. Wives who do not want to display their beauty, and consequently frustrate their husbands.
Our modern culture and most churches make it difficult to value the beauty of a woman's body. It is sad that in the last couple of decades we have reduced the value of a woman's beauty and attractiveness. Perhaps some of the challenges and desires that we face in our society are in part related to the changing value of beauty.