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Married to Nabal

“Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail: and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: but the man was churlish and evil in his doings; and he was of the house of Caleb.” – I Samuel 25:3 KJV

Abigail, married to Nabal, a fool? How could such a beautiful woman marry such a man? In Abigail’s defense, during biblical days, marriages were arranged by parents. Nabal was a man of great wealth (I Samuel 25:2) and probably considered a wonderful mate. A wealthy, influential fool plus a smart and beautiful woman equals a perfect union?

Abigail found herself in a marriage dictated by customs – a situation she had no control over. But, what about us “modern day” Abigails who do have control over who we marry? Those of us who choose the worthiness of a potential mate based off his wealth, power, prestige, influence, looks, or pity (and the likeliness of our ability to “help” or “fix” him). Those of us who choose to follow our hearts instead of yielding to “red flags” or reasoning. What about those of us who value what others may think about who we are courting and make decisions based upon their opinions for us?

“Modern day” Abigails are making foolish decisions and voluntarily walking down the aisle with Nabal. Dismissing and making excuses for his cheating, convincing ourselves that “once we are married he will stop”. Ignoring the lies he tells his mother and being “understanding” when he belittles his daughter. Believing everything he says even though we have real, documented evidence to prove otherwise. His reputation is questionable, yet he convinces us that the people we have known for years and have much respect for are just liars and are jealous of him. The way he uses Scripture to justify our sins, eases our conscience so we can sleep although we know better. We rescue him every time he has a crisis because we want him to know that he can count on us. And, although we hear whispers about how he is destroying our reputations, we brush it off like lent on our shoulders.

The Bible says that a fool is a person who denies the existence of God (Psalms 14:1), trusts in his own heart (Proverbs 28:26), despises wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:7), quick-tempered and does not control her anger (Ecclesiastes 7:9; Proverbs 14:16-17), and who scoffs at sin (Proverbs 14:9; 10:23). “While wisdom consists primarily in circumspect behavior, self-control, self-restraint, and teachableness, the fool is [she] who lets [her] undisciplined nature have free play – the self-reliant [not waiting on God to present us to a potential mate], self-pleased, arrogant, indocile [we have the facts before we marry him, but we “love” him and marry him anyway], hasty with words [ostracizing everyone around us because they see what we see in him but we do not want to admit it to ourselves], contentious, envious [we watch other Christian marriages and wish ours was like theirs], quick to anger, intemperate, credulous, sluggish, given to pursuit of vain things, unable to conceal [her] own folly and shame” (A Dictionary of the Bible, Vol II: 43-44 [1899]). We “modern day” Abigails have no one to blame but ourselves for our difficult, unhealthy, miserable marriages because we walked in with our eyes wide open.

We willingly chose to enter into an irrevocable covenant with Nabal, a man to whom we are “unequally yoked” (II Corinthians 6:14). A man we cannot talk to (II Samuel 25:17). A man who is unkind and rude (I Samuel 25:3). A man who returns goodness with evil (I Samuel 25:21). A man whose true character we know (I Samuel 25:25). But, complain we cannot. We did not seek God’s wisdom before we chose to look into our own hearts only to be deceived into “falling in love.”

“Modern day” Abigails know that “what goes on behind the closed doors of a Christian home may be quite different from what should go on in a family” (“Abigail: Living with a Difficult Husband by Alice Matthews). Ladies, before we start “helping” God find the answer to our prayers for a suitable mate; let us take time out to do some serious self-examinations by seeking the wisdom of the Bible. That way, when God is finished preparing us for our future husbands, we will be blessed for our good judgment (I Samuel 25:32) and not foolish women wondering how we ended up with Nabal.

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