Esther 2: 2-3,8: As I am reading this, I think to myself wow! People sent their daughters off to live in the King’s harem. Then I thought about how today we raise our daughters. Then I thought about all the young single women who raise their children on their own. Young girls who become pregnant at a very young age without any family or husband to support them. Maybe sending them off to live with the king was better. They were protected from being sold into marriage to an older man who saw them only as “Eye Candy”.
The big question is do we take care of our families? Do we reach out and stay connected? Do we raise our sons and daughters or do we allow others to raise them for us? Or are they raising themselves? Unfortunately many are raising themselves without any guidance, no church, no neighbors. As latchkeys, my sisters and I were fortunate, sure as the oldest, much fell on my shoulders. But I had people to call. Neighbors, an Aunt, the church taught me how to behave- no drugs, alcohol, but most of all no boys. The neighborhood store would extend credit to me if I need to get something for us. But today’s children are not so fortunate. They steal to eat, sometimes sleep in cars or abandon buildings. If they remember, they go to school where maybe they will get a hot meal, if someone filled out the right forms.
I know that many families sent their daughters to King Xerxes’ care. Here is the question are we choosy about who raises our children?
Latchkey was a word invented to describe a child who got home from school before their parents did. A child who ran around unsupervised all summer.
My sisters and I were latchkey children. But back then the neighborhood watched out for us. See our mom was a single parent back when it was not cool to be a single parent.
Today it is different the streets are full of latchkey kids.
We don’t have kings or orphanages to keep our children when we are unable to care for them. And we turn our backs on our children when they mess up. We ignore the problem thinking it will go away.
Which is the problem. We need to take care of our children. Esther was an orphan who was sent to the king because of her beauty. It might not have been the best idea. It wasn’t the best Idea when Joseph’s brothers sold him to slavers. But God uses Bad situations to help us be better people. The stories of both Joseph and Esther are stories of people in bad situations. They both saved their people.
Today, I use growing up with a single mom as an example of how important it is to find ways to personally care for my children. It is not easy raising children on one full-time income and one part-time income, but we did. When they made mistakes and they did, we are right there saying it is okay, we still love you. Just as Jesus still loves us when we mess up, we have to still love our children and support them even if they mess up. I know that there are parents out there with four to five part-time jobs between them. I know these people live day by day sometimes not making ends meet. The car breaking down is a major event.
That is why I am crying out to employers, start putting people first. I get it, you don’t have to pay benefits if you hire people part-time. Then don’t complain about parents not raising their kids. Don’t complain that many children don’t get a decent education. Don’t complain when bad things happen at schools, shopping malls, and street events. Because the bottom line is people make your company and if you took care of people, great things will happen in your company.
There are companies that do put people first, take care of their employees, give back to the community, these companies are thriving. My prayer is that all the companies that think not paying their employees a decent wage with decent hours is a good thing; will find themselves right were their employees are.
We don’t need kings and orphanages to take our children. We don’t need to accept latchkey children as normal. WE need companies to return to the old ways. WE need companies that want loyal employees because they know their company has got their back. I might work some over-time with out OT, if I knew that if I have a family emergency, I am not going to be let go. I might not look for a new job if my job meet my family’s needs.
Maybe Esther was placed in the care of the king for his pleasures and it was not a good thing. But God used this bad thing for His purposes. But that does not mean that he was happy that she was placed into a harem.
WE need to get back to Christian principles. We need to stop letting our kids do whatever they want without any supervision.
2 Then the king’s personal attendants proposed, “Let a search be made for beautiful young virgins for the king. 3 Let the king appoint commissioners in every province of his realm to bring all these beautiful young women into the harem at the citadel of Susa. Let them be placed under the care of Hegai, the king’s eunuch, who is in charge of the women; and let beauty treatments be given to them.
8 When the king’s order and edict had been proclaimed, many young women were brought to the citadel of Susa and put under the care of Hegai.