This is the second instalment of our women of the Bible “Who am I?” series. Guess the biblical woman and decide what we can learn from her.
I met my husband the day before we were married. Our marriage was arranged by our fathers. Mine is rich and wanted me to marry well, so he paid a bountiful dowry, much more than what was asked. At fourteen, I became X’s wife. Everyone said I was beautiful. Our lavish wedding was the event of the decade in Shushan. My husband was proud of me. He invited me to take his arm and parade at his side many social occasions.
I behaved with dignity. Within, I was delighted for landing such a catch as X. Even though my marriage was arranged, I gave myself credit for my beauty and took great pains to ensure that I always looked my best. I held my head high and enjoyed my status far above all other women.
But things didn’t always go well. I became acquainted with the vice of drink and the effect it had on my husband. When he drank too much wine, he became a different person. He had the tendency to forget his manners and become crude and loud. To be honest, it was embarrassing. I didn’t like him like that. It was ugly to watch.
I began to boycott certain events. I’d attend when my husband asked, of course, but when I knew the occasion called for much drinking and revelry, I only went if he specifically invited me. When I had to go, I tried to mask the disgust I felt. I smiled and charmed and lifted my chin.
Later, I went back to my bedchamber and cried. Only my closest maidens knew.
One evening, I didn’t go to the royal men’s feast, feigning a headache. All of a sudden, the door opened, and my servant girl Davke raced in, her face white with excitement.
“He wants you to appear. He wants you to show yourself to his guests. He demands it. Now.”
“I told him I don’t feel well.”
“You must go. He wants you to.”
“But Davke, I cannot do that. My body is not for public viewing.”
“He says to come. Hurry. You could wear something see-through. That would work. Here, how about this dress of fine linen?” She holds up a gauze creation as transparent as water.
I turn my face to the wall. “I can’t, Davke. I will not.”
“Please do it. We love you. Do you not understand? You could be killed for displeasing him.”
“Please. You know how he gets.”
“That’s precisely why I cannot. No.”
“Go Davke. Tell him I refuse.”
“Yes, Mistress.” She went away, sobbing into her arm, covering her face as she ran.
I never saw her again.
Neither did I ever see my husband again.
Who am I?
What can we learn from this woman of the Bible’s story? Do you admire her? Why or why not?Please feel free to share your thoughts.