Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Critical Wife

As women, I believe we have a tendency to be critical of life.  Because we analyze everything, many times we get hung up on the things that we don’t like instead of looking at the good things that surround us. 

In marriage, it can be a temptation for us to continually analyze our husbands.  Even when they are doing the best they can and/or trying to be a good husband and father, we can easily pick out their flaws.  And, many times, we are all too quick to point them out to them!

Today, as I was reading in 2 Samuel 6, I saw how Michal did this to her husband, David.  David had just done a wonderful thing by going to Judah to bring back the Ark of the Lord, which contained the Ten Commandments.  As he was returning home, he was leaping and dancing before the Lord. Instead of focusing on this great thing her husband had done and instead of seeing her husband’s actions as unto the Lord, she is embarrassed at the way he is seen in public: But as the Ark of the Lord entered the City of David, Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked down from her window. When she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she was filled with contempt for him” (2 Samuel 6:16).

After they reached home, David then continued his celebration by presenting an offering to the Lord and by giving a gift to all of the people: They brought the Ark of the Lord and set it in its place inside the special tent David had prepared for it. And David sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings to the Lord. When he had finished his sacrifices, David blessed the people in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.  Then he gave to every Israelite man and woman in the crowd a loaf of bread, a cake of dates, and a cake of raisins. Then all the people returned to their homes” (verses17-19).

David is about to return home to his wife, after a day of celebration and praise.  He is probably filled with joy.  But, by whom is he greeted when he gets home?  A critical wife!  Michal is filled with disgust and she lets her husband know it: When David returned home to bless his own family, Michal, the daughter of Saul, came out to meet him. She said in disgust, ‘How distinguished the king of Israel looked today, shamelessly exposing himself to the servant girls like any vulgar person might do!’” (verse 20). 

David quickly corrected her, by letting her know that he was only dancing before the Lord and offering praise to Him alone: David retorted to Michal, ‘I was dancing before the Lord, who chose me above your father and all his family! He appointed me as the leader of Israel, the people of the Lord, so I celebrate before the Lord.  Yes, and I am willing to look even more foolish than this, even to be humiliated in my own eyes…’” (verses 21-22).  

Perhaps Michal misunderstood what David was doing and thought that he was putting on a show instead of praising the Lord.  But, whatever the case, she does not give her husband the benefit of the doubt.  Instead, she is filled with contempt for him and then talks harshly to him as soon as he returns home. 

By doing this, Michal missed out on a lot:
  • She missed out on the joyous occasion that she could have shared with her husband when he entered the city with the ark of the Lord.
  • She ruined her husband’s outlook on life. I’ll bet that David’s mood quickly changed when he was greeted at home with a contemptuous wife. 
  • She remained childless. Because of the way that she treated David, she remained childless throughout her entire life.
By looking at the story of Michal, I can relate.  There have been many times when I have allowed my critical spirit to keep me from seeing the good in my husband.  When I am focused on the few flaws, I miss out on the wonderful qualities of the man I married.  Furthermore, instead of focusing on the ways I can make our marriage stronger, my critical spirit will just pull us apart. 

Today, I have learned from Michal that I want to do my best to lay aside my critical spirit.  Satan wants to do all that he can to make marriages fall apart.  One way he can make our marriages weak is by causing us to focus on the negative.  May we stand up against his schemes and be grateful for the husbands that God has given us! 

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