The Beautiful, Strong and Intelligent Woman..and THAT Guy!?!

[this post has nothing to do with a man’s outward appearance]

Does this ever happen to you..
You meet an intelligent and beautiful woman..then you meet her husband..
and you ask, “How!?”

How does this happen?

How can intelligent, beautiful, strong, Bible-believing women get trapped into relationships with men not their equal?

It is almost understandable in ancient history and still-backward cultures today where arranged marriage is the rule. A man simply had(s) to be rich to then be the most “attractive” man in the village, regardless of how he looked or acted. But today? and here? where women have the ability to make their own choice!?! (Maybe the strong women who read this blog can help me out with the answer to this riddle in the comments?)

In 1 Samuel 25 this situation plays itself out with the “intelligent and beautiful” Abigail and her “crude and mean” husband, Nabal. She seems to have a good head on her shoulders while Nabal proves himself to be an idiot. And David is included in the mix.

  • Nabal, the jerk,  angers and offends David..
  • David vows to kill Nabal..
  • Abigail comes to the rescue..
  • she acts quickly..
  • she goes out to meet David bringing what he had requested from Nabal..
  • she humbles herself before David..
  • she calmly and persuasively re-frames the situation for David..
  • and she keeps David from sin..
    (and as an aside, she eventually marries David after her husband dies.)

Now, Abigail is not without some fault..she didn’t get it all right..but I would suggest that SHE was the bigger person in this whole story.

I’ve read some interesting thoughts on this phenomenon of “choosing to be trapped” to these men and the spiritual implication/explanation of such bad decisions. From the Enduring Word commentary I got this:

A woman may still find herself in Abigail’s pitiful plight. To such a one there is but one advice – you must stay where you are. The dissimilarity in taste and temperament does not constitute a sufficient reason for leaving your husband to drift. You must believe that God has permitted you to enter on this awful heritage, partly because this fiery ordeal was required by your character, and partly that you might act as a counteractive influence. You must stay as you are. It may be that some day your opportunity will come, as it came to Abigail. In the meantime do not allow your purer nature to be bespotted or besmeared. You can always keep the soul clean and pure. (Meyer)

May I say to you lovingly, but firmly, if such a circumstance has befallen you, that is no reason for you to invoke the law of the country to get out of the entanglement. Perhaps God knew that you needed the fiery trial to humble you and make you a testimony to your partner. The Bible says you must stay as you are. Maybe there will come to you one day, as there came to Abigail, a new opportunity; but until then, it is for you to prove the grace and power of the Lord in your heart to strengthen you and keep you pure. (Redpath)

But what do you think?

It’s obvious by David’s response to Abigail that God was at work. He thanks the Lord who he says “sent her” to him that day to keep him from a sinful course. The Bible describes her as beautiful and intelligent, yet she was bound to a jerk. She did remain with her husband until he died. It’s just a weird confusing story..relationally. God obviously used the situation and made something beautiful out of what was quite a mess.

I believe in the strong woman.
I believe there are many strong women today who are leading this community as Christ leads them.
And I believe there are many Abigails out there married to Nabals.

What’s your take?
Do you know an Abigail?


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  • Jillian Hill

    love this post–and i had the exact same questions. how in the world did abigail end up with nabal?? 

    head scratcher, for sure. 🙂

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