The Way to a Man's Heart: Esther's Banquet
Anybody else get super irritable when you are hungry? I do sometimes. My son definitely does. My husband is usually pretty chill most of the time anyway, and food doesn't seem to affect him very much. It definitely makes us all happy. I think that's why many of our social gatherings take place with food involved. Our blood sugar gets elevated, our mood improves, and we are having a great time. This is why many salespeople will "wine and dine" clients - to make them much happier and willing to negotiate.
One of my favorite Bible stories is the story of Esther. If you are unfamiliar with the story, Esther was a young Jewish girl living in exile. King Ahasuerus was looking for a new queen after the old one displeased him and he sent her away. In order to find this new queen, his advisers set up a selection pageant to gather all of the eligible women in the kingdom, bring them to the palace, put them through months of beauty treatments, and then present each one to the king. He was to pick his favorite from these and make her the new queen. Esther found favor with the king and became his new queen. One of the king's leaders, Haman got angry with Esther's cousin, Mordecai, and decided to have all of the Jewish people in the kingdom killed. Esther learns of this from this cousin, who urges her to help. So, she calculates her approach to her husband, King Ahasuerus.
I am sure it is ancient wisdom passed from woman to woman, maybe even beginning with this tale of Esther, that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. I know what foods my husband likes. I never mind making his favorites, especially for his birthday. I also know that if I want something, talking about it when we are relaxed and feeling good, AKA over dinner, is always a great idea. Esther knows this, and invites her husband and Haman to a banquet she especially put together for them. I imagine that she pulled out all of the stops for this meal and had all of her husband's favorite foods. After they eat, the king is feeling great and asks her what she wants. She asks them to come again to a banquet where she will reveal her request. They do so, she ask him to spare her people, he does, and Haman gets what's coming to him. Great story - read it if you haven't!
Perhaps the next time you or I need to have a difficult conversation, or just want to do something special for our friends, we should take a page out of Esther's book and serve some delicious food. I know where you can find some good recipes...