By Lisa Nordell-Detres
Controversy Alert! Controversy Alert!
Although the oldest institution in the history of humanity is a hot issue, I would like to look at three marriages in the Bible: One good, one so-so and one that was just ugly. The good marriage is that between Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 12-21. Judging from the give-and-take in their story, this couple served as an excellent model of a marriage partnership among equals, even in the ancient world. They listened to each other and took each other’s advice, even if the outcome of one suggestion led to conflict in the Middle East that has yet to be resolved.
The second example of a so-so marriage is between the first married couple, Adam and Eve. Not that they had any choice of whom they would marry, but there are some indications that their marriage was mediocre at best. The first sign of trouble was still in the Garden of Eden when God confronted them with their sin (Genesis 3:11-13). Here is the first recorded history of finger-pointing. Adam blamed Eve indirectly, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” Sadly, the following chapter records the first murder involving two of their sons, Cain and Abel. These two unfortunate events indicate the first troubled home of many to come in this fallen world.
The last illustration shows a bad marriage in I Samuel 25, between Abigail and Nabal. Abigail is described as “intelligent and beautiful” while Nabal (“Fool”) is described as “surly and mean in his dealings.” I have to assume that Nabal was also abusive to Abigail. The guy was a jerk who messed with the wrong guy, David, who would be king. Abigail interceded on behalf of her husband and convinced David that killing her foolish husband would be a mistake. David backed down. When Nabal found out what had happened, he had a heart attack and died ten days later. Not all abusive marriages have such satisfying endings, but Abigail set a great example of wisdom and intelligence in dealing with not one, but two rash men.
The link in each instance is that these marriages had their difficulties, but the women acted with wisdom and understanding in making their marriages work, for better or for worse.
Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to two boys, a pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside.
Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon.