Abigail is one of my Biblical heroes. She did not stand by and let her husband ridicule the soon-to-be-king David with insults. She somehow quickly gathered 200 loaves of bread (how in the world did she do that? There was no Kroger in those days!) and fruit and hurried to meet David and his men before they came to destroy her family in revenge for her husband Nabal’s foolish insults.
She was also quite a wordsmith. The Lord used her to remind David that revenge is the LORD’s, not man’s. David stopped his intention to kill all of the men in Abigail’s family and instead accepted her gifts, trusting the Lord to repay Nabal for his evil insults. Ten days later, Nabal died after having a heart attack…Abigail then married David.
I am having a difficult time pulling out themes to apply to my own life. I am not married to a Nabal. In fact, in our family I am the one who is often the foolish one. My husband is superman. He is brilliantly smart, witty, a great writer, an outstanding leader, fiercely competitive, athletic, strong, loving…I could go on and on. But I confess that there are times that I am…envious…of his way with words…of the way he wins EVERY game he plays…of the quickness of his mind. As my daughter told me tonight after he smashed me in a game of Scrabble, 320 to 160, I am “above average” intelligent, but he is “above above above average.” She’s not far off the mark. As part of his master’s degree class, he had to do some kind of brain study where they found he was three stanines ahead of the rest of us.
Sometimes it is difficult living up to the expectations I set for myself. I am no Abigail. I can’t conjure 200 loaves of bread out of thin air. I don’t have five servants attending me. My face gets oily, my thighs are flabby, and my brain is overloaded and tired. A neighbor’s child said my house smells like dog (it probably does, to my utter horror),…my Classical Conversations work has taken over my bedroom in a massive clutterbomb (where is the filing fairy when I need her),…I despair of ever being able to cook something that everyone in the family will remotely like…
They still love me. My husband chose me — the Lord chose me — to be his wife. I confess I have blundered my way these past fifteen years, but that blundering has been in love and in constant awe. I am content…most of the time…to stand in my husband’s shadow. It’s those times when I am not content that I am confronted with the pride within me. And that’s okay. I need to get it out.
As iron sharpens iron…my husband is sharpening me simply by being himself. And I love him for it. Even when it smarts.