No - really... Being unequally yoked in marriage is difficult most days and near impossible other days. Is he the real reason you can't serve God how you'd like to? Suppose you could just go back in time and redo the whole marriage thing. I'm talking about after you became a Christian. There are many of us that came to faith in Jesus Christ later on in our marriage. If we were honest, many of us would say "YES" to the redo, but that would be erroneous and sinful wouldn't it?
When I became a Christian at 33 yrs. old, I had already been married for seven years. As time went by I began to grow more and more unsettled. I was a new creature in Christ. I had new interests and desires. But God stopped my flawed thinking and convicted me of what I was plotting. I believe God told me I would get a new husband with the same man!
The traditional story of Abigail in I Samuel 25 is a familiar one. Abigail was married to Nabal, a man of means who treated her and everyone else like dirt. Though Nabal was descended from Caleb, he shared none of his virtues. When King David heard that her husband Nabal reviled his men, he was ready to kill him and his household. Abigail went out to meet David with humility and gifts. David highly praised Abigail’s courage and advice. Nabal soon died upon hearing what took place after his drunken binge. Abigail became David’s wife when he proposed after learning of Nabal’s fate. Abigail would now reside with the King in a “fairy tale” ending.
Not so fast… Don’t be “caught up” in the Abigail syndrome. I believe God has a New Testament application for those of us who stand in the gap for our unbelieving husbands. Let’s look at what this passage does not represent:
We don’t pray that our husbands will “drop dead” so we can marry a believer as that would not be in God’s perfect will for us. Neither do we hope he’ll die from a heart attack to “pay him back” for his evil ways. God has a better plan. I believe this would be the God honoring scenario for the wife who believes for her husband’s salvation.
Abigail was a woman of good understanding. (I Samuel 25:3). Godly wisdom and understanding promote knowing God’s will. Isaiah 11:2 is a picture of the Holy Spirit for us today: “The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon [us], the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.” We must be in tune with what God would have us do with regards to our mate. Daily prayer and being in God’sWord helps us to know God’s will.
Interestingly, when David sent his men to ask favor and provision from Nabal, he was indifferent and inquired: “Who is David, and who is the son of Jesse?…Shall I then take my bread and my water and my meat … and give it to men when I do not know where they are from?” (I Samuel 25:10-11). Likewise, your husband, just as Nabal, doesn’t know the King yet.
Often times it is difficult to tithe, attend every church service, or be at every Bible study or function because your husband doesn’t see a need for you to participate or share you with God. Be patient. He must see your commitment and desire to be with God’s people and in God’s presence.
Nabal was a self-made man who was very prideful and greedy. Reading Jesus’ parable of the rich fool in Luke 12:16-20, we see similarities. Nabal was not thankful for anything, nor recognized God’s hand of provision at all. Your husband may be “rich and full of worldly things.” His equating “good things & provision” to GOD are foreign. Only GOD can change his heart and priorities as you pray for his spiritual enlightenment (Ephesians 1:18). Pray for God to woo him by His Spirit into a curiosity and awareness of the things of God.
Unlike King David who planned to wipe out Nabal’s lineage, God has compassion and mercy on our spouses. He is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9). God wills that your spouse join you in “holy union.” The apostle Paul states in I Corinthians 7:14, 16 “for the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife …for how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband?”
When Abigail heard what Nabal had done, she quickly prepared an offering for King David. Our offering brought to our King is a humble heart, a willing & submissive spirit, and unwavering obedience. We intercede on our husband’s behalf by meeting the King of Kings.
King David praised Abigail for her good sense and devotion: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me! And blessed is your advice and blessed are you , because you have kept me this day from coming to bloodshed… unless you had hastened and come to meet me, surely by morning light no males would have been left to Nabal” (I Samuel 25:32-34). David would have wiped out Nabal’s name but it was God’s desire to “promote a Godly lineage.” Abigail’s actions and attitude spared Nabal but Nabal didn’t recognize her sacrifice. Our sacrifice on our spouse’s behalf is unwavering faith and persistent prayers offered up to the Throne of Grace. GOD always takes notice of devotion!
How would God have you treat your spouse? What would He have you do to honor your vows before God - even though your husband isn't a Christian yet? Share with me your experiences in marriage that might mirror that of Abigail's petition before the king.