This evening I'm thinking about Persia's King Ahasuerus, or Xerxes as we remember him in history. He had several bad characteristics, and one of the most glaring was his issue of controlling power--both as a ruler and as a husband. He ruled his queen as he did his kingdom. Or, rather, he tried to rule her as he did his kingdom.
We know that marriages in those days tended to be more political than personal, a way to keep the peace between nations. That it may do, but it won't keep the peace between marriage partners. Any relationship based on control is out of control.
Control doesn't rear its ugly head just with those who have political positions. There are too few among us who don't struggle to control or feel a need to do so. It's often a source of security to those who seek to control another person, yet a source of slavery to those who are.
Our security is not found in control. Control is borne out of fear, that if we do not control then we will lose something or someone, that we will be hurt by something or someone, that we will not gain something or someone, that we will fail without something or someone. We become dependent on our fear and eventually squeeze the very life out of what or whom we hold so tightly.
Security is found only in Jesus Christ and God's Word where we see "that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence" (2 Peter 1:3). There is no need to fear any loss.
King Xerxes wanted kingdom control. He lost much more than his queen. A few years later his own advisors murdered him in his bedchamber. He wasn't the one in control after all.
And neither are we.
Image ~ Lady Rachel Russell in a Green Dress
Sir Edwin Henry Landseer, 1802-1873
public domain, via pinterest