As a young woman who wanted to love the Lord our God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength I struggled with the concept of submitting to my husband. Not because I rebelled against submission as some do but rather I struggled with checking my mind, convictions and common sense at the door so to speak in order to submit.
I married while still in college and desired more than anything to join my husband in loving and serving the Lord in our marriage.
Sadly, though he did not spend the majority of our 10-year marriage submitting to the Lord. His selfishness and rebellion made our years together difficult rather than being filled with blessing we experienced trials and struggles.
I tried to be quiet and follow but I bet if you asked him he didn’t see it that way. I felt the need to express my opinions but always gave in to his leadership in the end. Our marriage did not survive.
I am remarried and one of the things I spent much time in prayer about before marrying again was submission. I was thankful the Lord helped me understand His heart for marriage and submission as I sought him.
Just recently I read about Abigail and Nabal. It was good to have a reminder of those things which God had taught me years ago about a marriage relationship.
3 Things I learned from Abigail’s Extravagant Obedience to God in Numbers 25
Abigail was a woman of great worth apart from her husband….
3 His name was Nabal and his wife’s name was Abigail. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband was surly and mean in his dealings—he was a Calebite.”
It really stood out to me how valuable Abigail was to be highlighted in the Old Testament. As a young wife I did not find myself in a relationship that valued me or my thoughts. I ended up losing myself and forgetting my value. I became unhealthy in the struggle of caring for my husband. At one point of brokenness and pain I was poured out my needs to the Lord, He assured me that He loved ME and I was worth DYING for. I had forgotten that.
Abigail knew God and honored Him even when her husband did not…..
18 Abigail acted quickly. She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahs of roasted grain, a hundred cakes of raisins and two hundred cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys.”
As soon as Abigail heard that Nabal had sent David’s men away with insult she jumped into action. Her drastic response to her husband’s foolishness was eye opening. In that day and age, she definitely took her life in her hands by honoring David even when Nabal did not. Her quick action brought a blessing from David instead of the revenge he was on his way to extract on Nabal and all those he was responsible for.
Abigail was blessed in her obedience…..
35 Then David accepted from her hand what she had brought him and said, “Go home in peace. I have heard your words and granted your request.”
It can be confusing at times when it appears that scripture contradicts itself. After all Ephesians 5:22 states clearly “ Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.” Obviously, Abigail did not do that.
I think that God is clear, we are to follow the first commandment always and all the others after that. If we are being asked by our husband, father, boss or anyone to break the first commandment which Christ told us in Matthew 22:37-9 “ Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
I was blessed and encouraged by the reminder of Abigail and her actions in Numbers. I don’t spend a lot of time looking back to find things I would change or regrets in my life rather I look to learn and do better today.
In my marriage today I am thankfully I have not had the struggles of submitting to my husband in areas that I know are not God’s will for us. But even as I read of Abigail I am encouraged to Love my Lord and my Husband well!
Rayna, I never thought of Abigail’s story in this way! This is wonderful. Thank you.
Thanks Mary Lou! Blessings
Hi Rayna, this is a great post. I remember when I came to my understanding of “submission.” I realized that I had misunderstood it. I think this is common and where many women get into trouble.
Abigail is an example of great wisdom and courage in action. Her motive wasn’t to go against her husband, but to honor God above all.
Great read for wives everywhere!
Thanks Debbie! I agree. I love the statement, “Her motive wasn’t to go against her husband, but to honor God above all.” such a great way to say it!