Timely Talk: Queen Esther’s Secret

On Purim, we celebrate the salvation of the Jewish people from the wicked Hamas’s plot to annihilate them. This was a frightening time for the Jews, and Queen Esther knew it was up to her to try and save her people. There are so many great lessons we can learn from this story about unity and hope, but I want to focus on the lesson that Queen Esther teaches us, that there is a time for silence and a time to speak.

Timing Matters

Queen Esther, a central figure in the Purim story, faced a critical decision. She had to reveal her true identity as a Jew to King Achashverosh, a move that could have cost her life, all to save her people. But when should she speak? Esther understood that timing was crucial. She chose her moment wisely, inviting the king to two banquets before finally revealing her secret.

There are moments in our lives when silence is golden. We must discern when to hold back and when to express ourselves. Whether we’re sharing personal feelings, addressing conflicts, or discussing important matters, we must consider the context and choose the right time. Esther’s patience and strategic approach teach us that sometimes waiting is more powerful than immediate disclosure.

As Mark Twain so eloquently put it: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”

The Way to a Man’s Heart

Before revealing her identity, Esther hosted a lavish banquet for King Achashverosh. But why? She knew that if the king was hungry, he might be irritable or distracted. By ensuring his physical well-being, she set the stage for a receptive audience.

Knowing when to bring up an issue or a concern is crucial in relationships. If a person is tired, hungry, stressed, or unwell, that is not the time to tell them, “I tried to fix the leaky faucet myself… and now there is a water feature in the kitchen,” or “I thought I was being helpful by doing the laundry, but I might have accidentally turned all your white clothes pink. On the plus side, they’re now a lovely pastel shade!”

The Power of Secrets

Esther concealed her Jewish heritage, even from the king. Her silence protected her people and allowed her to work behind the scenes. She understood that some truths are best kept hidden until the right moment.

Not every secret is harmful. In marriage, we share our lives, dreams, and vulnerabilities. Certain matters—like the true extent of your snack stash (the exact location and contents of your emergency chocolate hideout) or the “secret” ingredient in the breaded chicken- mayonnaise (They hate mayonnaise with a passion!)- deserve discretion. No – you do not have to reveal every thought or little thing that happens to you with your spouse. Some things are best kept to yourself.

Time to Speak

Just like there is a time to stay quiet, there are times when it is important to speak up. Queen Esther knew the importance of this, and even though it was scary, she did not let it stop her.

Times that you may want to speak up include: if you are concerned about your spouse’s physical or mental health or any concerns about the children, you need to bring it up with them. Timing is everything, though.

Let us embrace the wisdom of Queen Esther: knowing when to speak, when to listen, and when to keep certain truths close.

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