Empowerment comes with the idea of being confident in who you are no matter how much a person or a circumstance could persuade you to compromise you dignity, respect, or worth. The story of Esther in the Bible is all about women empowerment and rising above to change a generation, but for the sake of this article, there is one character I want to draw attention to: Vashti.
If you are at all familiar with the Biblical story of Esther, Vashti is the queen in the beginning of the story that lost her crown, because she refused to come down to the king’s banquet. Now it is unclear exactly her reasoning for defying the king’s command, but many believe she didn’t want to be paraded around in front of a whole room full of drunk men. There are so many things that can be called into questioning as far as how it all happened, but still considering, I would have to say that Vashti was a women of confidence, self-respect, and dignity. Even with the pressure of disobeying the king and fear of losing her crown, her position as queen, she was not going to sell out.
Just thinking about that aspect of the story, more of us women need to be like that. Too often we sell out and devalue ourselves for money, possessions, attention, love, sex, work, or a variety of other things. I just want to encourage you to stand your ground, your worth is so much more than superficial or counterfeit love, so much more than new shoes or you bills paid, so much more than a job in this not so good economy. God has created you to be treasured and treated like a queen, not misused, taken advantage of, or abused; so any person that treats you or makes you feel otherwise, no matter who they are to you, it’s time to get out of that situation.
Like Vashti, yeah, standing up for what you will and will not accept, for your worth, or your respect, it may cost you a job, a boyfriend, a relationship, or even money, but God will never leave you hanging and will set you up in His time and in His way, if you let Him, to be the greatest you that you can be, surrounded by people that value and appreciate you.
In the same breath, when you see all these reality television shows (i.e. Bad Girls Club, Real Housewives of…, Love & Hip Hop, Basketball Wives, etc), TV dramas (I Am Mary Jane; Scandal), and a lot of these videos spiraling across the web (i.e. Sharkesha, World Star Hip Hop), an empowered woman is so far from what they promote. Furthermore, these videos constantly show women fighting and battling one another and just being obscene and anything but lady like. We have dishonored our name and womanhood by this disunity that has corrupted our culture. It’s time to break away and break free from that curse of bad chick, loud, rude, fake everything, angry, needy, side chic stigma that we are up against and is shown so often. We have to show that we are better than that. We can work together; we are intelligent; we are strong; we are forgivers; we can let it go; we can smile; we can pray; we can make a difference; we do have something to offer this world; we are gifted and unique; we are confident in who we are even without the make-up, weaves, nails, heels, and hand bags; we truly live as if we fear the God we say we believe in; we know how to hold our tongue; we can be leaders; we can have a solid family; we are not afraid to go against the mold; we are awkward at times; we are individuals; you can show us off to your mother; we have morals and standards; we can be submissive; we are self-controlled; we can keep our legs closed; we can keep our hands to ourselves; we can work together; we can be positive; we can be happy and celebrate one another; we are world changers; we are powerful; we are resilient; we have dreams, visions, and ideas; we are fearless; we are teachable; we can make sound and wise decisions; we can be an example; we can be empowered women. We can. We are.