But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come. (Est. 1:12)


AS A SHOW OF HIS POWER, the king had been giving a seven-day banquet for many nobles. Much food—and wine—had been consumed, and the king wanted to show off his beautiful wife to the men to make them jealous. Vashti faced a predicament: Go to the king and allow herself to become an object for men’s leering eyes, or say no and risk her very life.

My wife and I are raising three brilliant daughters. In my professional life, I pastor at a college with about six hundred female students. Vashti’s predicament is all too familiar for young women today. In a world where powerful men constantly objectify women, where many women bear the scars of powerful men behaving badly, I want the young women in my care to have Vashti’s spirit. I want them to refuse to participate in their own objectification.

And I want the men in their lives to do better. We are also raising two sons, and I pastor around three hundred and fifty young men. I want them to know that power is not drunken revelry, that manliness doesn’t mean treating women as objects. I want them to know that chastity is possible, that they are more than their base impulses.

I want them all to show by the way they live that they follow not King Xerxes, but King Jesus.


Pray that young people would honor God by honoring each other.


Michael Jordan is the dean of the chapel at Houghton College (New York), where he also serves as chair of the Department of Biblical Studies, Theology, and Philosophy.


© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.