Crossroads: When You Have to Stand Up For Someone – Esther


Esther 4:12-14

Stats About Esther

• Esther was her Persian name; her Jewish name was Hadassah or “Myrtle”
• Was an orphan and was raised by her cousin Mordecai
• Risked her life to save the Jewish people

My Story

Bullying comes in a lot of different forms. When I was in middle school, there was a girl who always teased me. She made fun of me and just would not leave me alone. To make matters worse, we were related. She was my cousin but we didn’t get along. We had gym together one year and she teased me relentlessly. I would go home upset every day until one day when I finally stood up to her. My story has a happy ending—after I stood up to her, she left me alone. I developed a “thicker skin” so to speak so that things like that didn’t bother me as much, and she left me alone.

Your Story

Tell your children about a time when you had to stand up for yourself or someone else or when you wished you had. If you were ever bullied as a child, tell your children that story.

The Bible Story

In the book of Esther, we find a Jewish woman named Esther who has become Queen of Persia. A man named Haman was the highest-ranking official in the government. The king commanded that everyone bow down to Haman. Everyone always did, except for a man named Mordecai, who was Esther’s cousin. As a Jew, Mordecai refused to bow to anyone except for God. Haman was furious that Mordecai wouldn’t bow down. He was so angry that he began to plot to eliminate all of the Jews in the kingdom. Haman told the king that there was a group of people who were completely ignoring the king’s laws and that the king shouldn’t put up with it. Haman asked the king to give orders that these people would be destroyed, and the king agreed. The news spread throughout the land that the king had ordered all of the Jews to be killed. Mordecai went to Esther to ask her to beg the king to not kill their people. Mordecai said to her (Esther 4:12-14, The Message) “Don’t think that just because you live in the king’s house you’re the one Jew who will get out of this alive. If you persist in staying silent at a time like this, help and deliverance will arrive for the Jews from someplace else; but you and your family will be wiped out. Who knows? Maybe you were made queen for just such a time as this.”

Esther told Mordecai that she would go to the king and stand up for her people, even though it was forbidden to go to the king uninvited. She did and the king didn’t punish her as everyone expected. Then, Esther invited the king and Haman to dine with her. The king asked Esther what she wanted and she asked him to save her people. The king saved the Jews and punished Haman instead.


It can be scary to stand up for yourself or for someone else. Ask your children if they or someone they know has ever been bullied. How did they handle it? What was the outcome? If they haven’t been, talk about what to do if they ever are bullied. Talk about ways to stand up for themselves or others, as well as the importance of telling an adult. Here are several useful resources on bullying that will be helpful with this discussion:

From What to Do If You’re Bullied
There are things you can do if you are being bullied:
Look at the kid bullying you and tell him or her to stop in a calm, clear voice. You can also try to laugh it off. This works best if joking is easy for you. It could catch the kid bullying you off guard.

If speaking up seems too hard or not safe, walk away and stay away. Don’t fight back. Find an adult to stop the bullying on the spot.

There are things you can do to stay safe in the future:
Talk to an adult you trust. Don’t keep your feelings inside. Telling someone can help you feel less alone. They can help you make a plan to stop the bullying.

Stay away from places where bullying happens.

Stay near adults and other kids. Most bullying happens when adults aren’t around. This is a very useful article on bullying.


Ask God to give each of you courage and help you to know when to stand up for yourself or someone else.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

Kevin Head began serving as Minister to Young Families at First Baptist Roswell, Georgia, in February 2012. He has pastored three churches in Kentucky and more recently served as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Lumberton, North Carolina. In 2007, Kevin and his wife, Amy, began a ministry-based counseling practice called New Perspectives for Life in East Cobb, Georgia. He is a graduate of Furman University (B.A.) and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Ph.D., M.Div.) in Louisville, Kentucky. Kevin was ordained by the First Baptist Church of Belvedere, South Carolina. His model of ministry is based on John 8 and the amazing, continual grace of Jesus Christ. Kevin and Amy have two children, Jenna and Joshua.

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