1 Peter 2:9; 1 Kings 10:1-13; Esther 1:9-19
Royalty has always intrigued me from a tender age, as I’m sure it has almost every girl, of every social standing to whom the concept has been exposed, There is an age when everyone wants to dress up as a Princess and feel special all the time. As a child, I had a conversation with my mum in which she told me that my dad belonged to a long line of Chiefs ( which she explained to me was almost like a king of some sort) and that her Tanzanian ancestors had been royalty, which made her a Princess by descent. I remember the information made me so excited I asked, “ If you’re a princess that married a chief-to-be does that make me a double princess?” The young me didn’t realize that royalty s royalty be it by one parent or both lol. What I didn’t realize in that moment was that their “royal” blood didn’t carry much weight in the world today. In my mind I was a princess by birth and so I set certain standards for myself that I believed princesses must follow, many of them measured against our beloved Disney Princesses:)
Today though I have come to realize that I am part of a great Royal Family, THE Royal Family, with you, him, her, Anyone who is Christ really. Men, women and children alike, doesn’t matter what you look like, where you are from, what you look like, what you have or lack. We are all one big ROYAL FAMILY, co-heirs to the throne. My question today is: WHAT IS IT THAT SETS A WOMAN’S ROYALTY FROM THAT OF A MAN???? I will explore this from a worldly perspective first before I look at what the Word has to say about this.
I was intrigued when I learnt that if a woman marries into a certain station, she receives the corresponding title. She may be a commoner without much to her her name but once she marries him she is seen to be of his matching rank. If he is a Prince she becomes a Princess. If he was a King she becomes his Queen. This however does not apply if the situation is reversed, after marriage the man will receive a title but one that is below her. If a man who is not a king marries a queen he becomes a Prince! (A station below that of his wife). So woman’s character and ability to capture the heart of a man of a certain station is enough to raise her up to that same level. I wondered why this was and at first I did not like what it implied- that a woman is defined by who she marries. Then it dawned on me! A woman bears the next generation of this family and God forbid that a future king, or queen, would one day be ridiculed because everyone called their mother as a lowly commoner. No one would dare to speak ill of the Queen who has brought forth the crown-heir. People tend to afford a family as much respect as the “mother of the house” warrants, Think about chess, yes Chess! What is the most powerful piece on the board? It is the queen, in fact the king is virtually useless in the game. The fact that this game came about to reflect a near real-life representation of the hierarchy and importance during war situations says a lot. Simply put it means that without a queen a kingdom is in big trouble.
The Bible mentions its fair share of queens but I want to focus on the most popular 4- the Queen of Sheba, Queen Vashti, Queen Esther and Jezebel.
While many kings sent dignitaries and diplomats to hear of Solomon’s wisdom (1 Kings 4:34) the Queen of Sheba made the trip herself to verify Solomon’s ‘so-called’ wisdom. She was not content to just to hear and take other people’s word for it, she wanted to not only see it for herself but she took it a step further and decided to CHECK! She is the only visiting royalty that is recorded to have challenged Solomon with her “difficult” questions. Solomon was and still is the richest man to ever live yet the Queen of Sheba arrived on her visit with such pomp and fair, approaching this vastly wealthy king with the best she had to offer as if they were equals. She refused to be intimidated by Solomon’s wealth and wisdom. She not only gave a record amount of gifts, she dared to ask him questions that were worth recording as ‘hard’. This woman knew a secret I wish more women out there knew- just by being a woman, a queen she was his equal and would treat him as such. No amount of money, or wisdom, can trump being a queen. Sadly today too many of us are being intimidated by men and their statuses- be it money, academic achievements or whatever, forgetting that none of that can ever dull the shine of being a woman, a queen. Many ladies today have resorted to aiming lower so the guys don’t find us intimidating or, worse still, going to the other extreme and trying to become “men unto ourselves”. Both these approaches are wrong! Look up, dress up, show up and challenge the men, not t prove that you can be a man, but to show that you are more- you are woman and that is what sets you with him or above him. Let him know that it’s neither his money nor his social status (or his backward thinking) that will make you lose sight of who you are. Be the Queen of Sheba that rises up to the occasion, knows her worth, and will not allow anything, or anyone, to make you lose sight of your throne.
The issue of thrones brings me to beautiful Queen Vashti- a woman who knew that her dignity was more important than some measly throne. The drunk king had thought it appropriate to call her out and ‘display’ how beautiful she was. What he didn’t count on was that he was dealing with a queen that knew her worth. Vashti knew that as queen she could not allow herself to be ogled and ridiculed by those below her rank. She knew that she was only for the viewing pleasure of her king. Yet many of us today are the opposite- we want to be looked at and ‘admired’ by eyes that we know have no respect for us at all. We have lost the “Queen’s Dignity” and are happily carrying ourselves more like the king’s concubines instead. How you portray yourself is how the men will treat you, if you carry yourself as a sex-bomb then that is how you will be viewed, if you carry yourself as unattractive then the same follows. We would all like to believe that it is what’s on the inside that matters but more often that not what’s on the inside s reflected on the outside. How can I respect you if you do not respect yourself? No throne here on earth is worth discarding the royal status you deserve.
Jezebel was one such woman, who was all about the status to the point that it lost her her title, her life. She may not have been booted off the throne like Queen Vashti but her behaviour was so deplorable that she was, in writing (and I bet you in the hearts of her people as well) stripped of the title “Queen”. Not once do you hear people call her Queen Jezebel ( she was the daughter of a king yet even then she isn’t even called princess Jezebel, 1 Kings 16:31) , she is referred to as Jezebel, like a simple commoner. This just show that you cannot be considered a Queen, or Princess, by simple birthright or marriage ( consider the number of evil kings and prices that we still call by their titles). No the title is sealed by certain character traits. A queen, a princess, is a mother, a sister, a friend, a source of pride and dignity: basically she is the heart of the people and an example of what to be for all other women within her realm of influence.
Consider Esther, a lowly unknown orphan girl in some inconspicuous corner rose to become Queen Esther- she was born a commoner but she blossomed, grew and matured until her behavior won her the love and of the King, and eventually the freedom of her people. She wasn’t raised with a silver spoon in her mouth but she carried herself in a way that those around her saw the good in her, the royal qualities she possessed. So strong were these qualities that the day she was presented before him, he knew he had found his queen and immediately ended the search (what favour!). Se was probably not the most attractive of the bunch but she was the one who possessed that”it” factor the king was searching for.
Imagine that the battle of royal branding falls between a simple orphan girl and a “true” blue blood. Each has a page in history and yet the story each one weaved is so different from the other. One lost the title “queen” and another earned hers, both outcomes based on the decision each woman made at every stage of her life, based strictly on behaviour. Just in case this principle was somehow conceived in the minds of those that rode the bible because they were Jewish and one woman was a Jew but another wasn’t, or that it was some sort of biblical mishap or something along those lines. Let me quickly remind you of Marie- Antoinette and Princess Diana- a commoner and a blue blood, yet one lost the heart of her people, her title, her throne and eventually her life and the other won over a people that were not too keen on their Crown Prince marrying a “nobody” ( she is now arguably one of the most loved members of the royal family to date). All this just goes to show that royalty is a state of the heart and about how you carry yourself. To be a king/prince may be to be a leader, a boss but to be queen/princess is to be a servant-leader, a beacon of hope.
So what is the state of your heart? How do you carry yourself? Do you inspire, bring life and hope? Are you a good example for all those around you ( can the men in your life say they hope their daughter/wives/sisters reflect your personality traits)? Or are you always the example of what not to do/say? Are you like Wreck It Ralph that constantly wrecks havoc (especially with our tongues ladies). Remember you cannot carry yourself and behave like a commoner (like everyone else) then expect to be seen and viewed as a queen ( the chosen few). Be principled but stay humble- remember on the day of crowning the Queen still had to lower her head to get crowned. Yet that is only the final step before she rises above even he that has crowned her.