Any romance lovers out there? I am a sucker for a good chic flick. I thought I would share one of my favorite love stories in the Bible with you. There is so many good things in this chapter that it will be hard fom me to narrow down my thoughts. I encourage you to read it when you have time to really digest it and apply it to your relationships.
David & Abigail are found in 1 Samuel 25. Their story goes like this: Abigail was married to an idiot of a man named Nabal, who had a horrible reputation. David had already been anointed King but was hiding in the mountains and caves from King Saul. David and his men were in need of food so David sent a blessing to Nabal's house. Nabal rejected David and his men and David did not take this rejection well. He went from blessing his house to, "Every man strap on your sword." The Bible says that when Abigail heard what Nabal had done, she made haste and left with food for David and his men. She did not tell her husband Nabal.
Verse 23-31 "When Abigail saw David, she hurried and got down from the donkey and fell before David on her face and bowed to the ground. She fell at his feet and said, 'On me alone, my lord, be the guilt. Please let your servant speak in your ears, and hear the word of your servant. Let not my lord regard this worthless fellow, Nabal, for as his name is, so is he. Nabal is his name and folly is with him. But I your servant did not see the young men of my lord whom you sent. Now then, my lord, as the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, because the Lord has restrained you from bloodguilt and from saving with your own hand, now let your enemies and those who seek to do evil to my lord be as Nabal. Please forgive the trespass of your servant. For the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house, because my lord is fighting the battles of the Lord, and evil shall not be found in you so long as you live. If men rise up to pursue you and to seek your life, the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living in the care of the Lord your God. And the lives of your enemies he shall sling out as from the hollow of the sling. And when the Lord has done to my lord according to all the good that he has spoken concerning you and has appointed you prince over Israel, my lord shall have no cause of grief or pangs of conscience for having shed blood without cause or for my lord working salvation himself. And then the Lord has dealt well with my lord, then remember your servant. "
The story continues with David having a complete change of heart. His tone completely changes and he goes from wanting to kill the whole house to putting blessings on Abigail and her house. Verse 35 reads, "Then David received from her hand what she had brought him. And he said to her, 'Go up in peace to your house. See, I have obeyed your voice and I have granted your petition.'" Abigail goes back home to Nabal; back home to her imperfection and frustration and found him drunk. It makes me wonder how many women leave your church and go home to drama and confusion? They leave the perfection of heaven for the imperfection of their world. It might give you a little more compassion to the ones who show up early and are the last to leave. But that's a note for another day. The next morning, Abigail told him what she had done and it says his heart turned as a stone and he died ten days later. When David heard this he sent for Abigail and she became King David's first wife.
Women are designed to have a positive effect on men. All throughout the Bible we see where women disarmed aggression. Peacemaking is an invitation to change generations. Never think that the choices you make today wont affect future generations. God did not give the title of 'helper' to us [women] for nothing. Abigail helped David identify with the king inside of himself in a moment when he was acting anything but kingdom minded. His pride was hurt. She reminded him what he was on this earth to do. And that is the power you carry to your husband. To your sons. Not to be a manipulator- but in it's truest nature- your words of encouragement will feed the king inside the men in your life. Yes- even the ones not related to you. This same principle works with the leaders and youth in my world. I heard a pastor teach that whatever I want to see come alive in my husband is what I have to speak to.I have to start telling him what he is- not what he isn't. As an example, something I started almost two years ago is texting Josh a couple hours before he preaches with some words of encouragement. It usually goes along with the prayer I was praying for him that day.
You have what it takes to handle this platform.
There is no one better than you for this assignment.
The words you speak are full of wisdom and
Will break down any plot the enemy is building.
Tonight you will gain new territory but it
Wont come without a fight. Guard your heart, guard your mind
And remember that you can do anything you set your hand to.
You already have what it takes. With you heart and soul.
I cannot tell you what this did for us as partners in ministry. He never has to wonder if I am with him. He never has to wonder what I think of him. And he never has to wonder whether or not I am standing with him. I cannot emphasize enough that he needs to hear from you. Regularly. Feed his spirit with the life giving words of Jesus and it is amazing to watch what God will do through you as a team. Things that have seemed hard and unattainable, will open and yield to your hands. You wont feel like you are working in circles but new territory and influence will come under your authority. The two of you will 'flow' better together in your services. United Creativity will flow in your hearts and ministry. God flows in unity and it starts with you and your husband and trickles down to every volunteer on your team. If you have something that you do to encourage your husband that works- I would love to hear your ideas! E-mail me with them and I will compile a list and make them available to all of us.
On another note- here is something not do to. This came with a hard cost to me. When your husband comes off the platform- it is done. It is over. From that point forward, it is not the time or place to critique or criticize. Not that you ever lie to him- but you can tell him it wasn't the best night without criticizing him to the core. If that piece was printed and mailed out, if the counseling session is over, if the event is done... then it's done. Whether it was done or said the way you would have done it or not. Saying anything then will only make him feel more insecure or paranoid and you will come off sounding rude and harsh. So when Josh comes off the pulpit he is met with smiling eyes and a proud wife- whether it was his best night or not. Imagine if David had killed Nabal's entire house and here came Abigail running up and yelling at him as to why he did it like that- what do you think would have happened to her then?
I could go on and on and on about this chapter but I don't want to get too long. There will be more to come on speaking life into your husband- on and off the platform- in the weeks and months to come. I can't encourage you enough to break this chapter down and study her actions and her words. It will be life changing to the men in your world. Get creative with your husband's love language and find what type of encouragement he needs from you. My husband would not let me finish this without saying that physical encouragement is always a good place to start. :)