Marriage Insight: Risky Business – How a Couple’s Differences Protect Threats to Their Marriage

Insights are short, biblical truths to equip you to lead from your strengths.

It’s no secret that in the 21st century, marriages are under attack.

couple talking while sitting on couch

But what may surprise you is that marriages have been under attack for centuries.

When you and your spouse are aware of threats to your marriage, you can each use your strengths to face it and thwart it.

One couple shows us how. The time was 478 B.C. The place was Persia. King Ahasuerus was crafty about war but clueless about his most trusted governmental advisor. He had no idea that Haman plotted a great evil in his king’s name – the eradication of the Jewish people in Persia. Haman’s scheme placed Ahasuerus, his rule, his reputation, and his marriage to Esther in jeopardy.

Meanwhile, Esther faced a personal threat and a threat to her people: death.

Here’s an Insight

God can use a couple’s differences to protect each other and their marriage.

By all accounts, Ahasuerus was fearless and resourceful – an independent thinker who could act impulsively. Like others known as Pioneering in risky situations, Ahasuerus was a classic High-Risk taker. He was a powerful leader with lands extending from India to Ethiopia, which he continued to work to expand by invading Greece.

Esther, on the other hand, was a Jewish orphan raised by a relative in pagan Persia. She faithfully sought to follow God’s teachings. When directed to prepare to meet the king, she quietly and diligently set about to comply. In a very careful, systematic approach so characteristic to Structured Low-Risk takers, Esther resolved to do her best to please the king.

And please him she did. King Ahasuerus chose Esther to be his new bride and queen.

Different Risk-Takers Use Their Strengths to Thwart a Threat

Esther could have ignored the threat to her husband and needs of her people and instead simply lived in the palace’s safety. Instead, she sought to bring the information to the king’s attention, well aware that she was about to risk her life by revealing her identity, in defying the cultural norms (women did not initiate contact with men), and in the challenge to her husband’s staff.

She faced the risk meticulously and systematically. First, Esther sought God’s input. She enlisted others to pray and fast for the king’s favor. Then she approached the king with an invitation to a meal, followed by a second evening of celebration. Esther’s Structured, orderly tactics paid off. When the king invited her to make a personal request of him, Esther exposed Haman’s true character to the king.

Meanwhile, Ahasuerus took the very unconventional approach of listening to his wife and granting the Jewish people the right to defend themselves. His Pioneering ways helped to stem the attack on his marriage and his reign.

The king’s high-risk, revolutionary approach protected the Jewish people. The queen’s low-risk, cautious strengths paved the way for her to be heard, thereby protecting the king and her people.

Ahasuerus and Esther faced risk in different ways. God used their strengths to help protect both spouses and their marriage in the face of a dangerous threat.

A threat to your marriage is risky business. When you face one, consider your strengths. God can help you and your spouse face the risk in different ways, but together.

Now How Shall I Live?

Read how Ahasuerus and Esther interacted in Esther 4-5.

  • Identify the strengths exhibited by Ahasuerus.
  • Identify the strengths exhibited by Esther.
  • How did God use this couple’s individual strengths to build a strong marriage?

Powerful curriculum that equips couples to understand each others’ strengths and how those strengths work together in marriage: Different by Design

Discover and use your God-given strengths in your marriage using the Marriage Insights Profile.

More Marriage Insights

David and Abigail: . How Differences Blend to Solve Two Problems in One Situation

Elkanah and Hannah: Good Grief! How Differences Help Couples Grieve Together

Manoah and His Wife: How Differences Help Couples Navigate High Stress Change

Zechariah and Elizabeth: How Differences Make a Strong Marriage Stronger

More Insights About Strengths

Conflict: Flip the Switch! How to Use Your Adapted Strengths to Resolve Conflict

Conflict: It Can Lead to Multiplication

Conflict: Must Two Similar Personalities Always Lead to Conflict?

Conflict: Diffuse Jealousy by Blending Strengths