Will some good lovely woman out there please write a sermon on women married to the Nabals of this world?
For those of you who aren't Christians, there is a story in the Bible about a sane good woman named Abigail who was married to a food named Nabal. Doesn't help that his name means folly.
I've seen so many Nabals in my time I can't count. And yet, when ministers give sermons about submission they assume the men are perfect. But let's face it...some of these guys are poison. I have a friend whose husband made her buy a crappy house just so he could be close to his card-playing friends. I have a friend whose hubby is totally selfish and buys himself tons of electronic toys -- last thing was a Harley or honda motorbike-- while the family survived on my friend's paycheck.
What are women to do when they are married to men who literally kill them by making them stress or by making stupid far--reaching decisions? Oh, women ministers, where are you????? Stand up against all this horrible silly doctrine we have had to endure because of male preachers. I mean, when am I going to hear a minister -- male or female-- give a sermon about men "giving their life" for their wives. Hey, we women must submit but men must sacrifice themselves. Wisely dividing the word of truth? Not in most churches. And so many women ministers still reinforce the old cruelty. (And I'm not even talking about guys who've killed their wives and bullied them.)
Let us consider the Nabal/Abigail situation. She is married to a fool. A rich powerful guy arrives. Her husband forbids her to help handsome warrior. But she disobeys him and rushes off to badmouth her husband to this warrior. Her husband dies and immediately she marries warrior without so much as a heartbeat. Honestly, if a woman were to do this in real life, Christians would slam her. But she does this in the Bible and David is the hot warrior/king so we excuse that. Talk about flaky relativistic ethics. And then we tell women in Abigail's situation that we must submit, as Abigail did; or we must be noble as Abigail was because she recognized the Lord's anointed. Ah, the amount of women who have run off with ministers because they had bad husbands! Is that what we're telling ladies? That's the subtext and the subtle myth we're playing with here. Do we really realize what is going on here? I really like Abigail but --I just don't like David-- the way this story is often preached well, the rebound subtext is nauseating. Like a Christian romance. A bad one. A good man will take you after you've suffered with a bad man. That will be your reward from God. puhleze!
Marriage is a powerful institution and can be soul-destroying and life-destroying. It's been known for years that a bad marriage can destroy a woman's health. Pick the wrong spouse to "submit to" and you have ruined your life. And the trouble is that most good church women are so noble and wanting to please God they will put up with this crap, dying a early death or waiting for their Nabal to keel over. Of course he generally doesn't keel over. But even if he does die before his wife, the wife is generally too old, too sickly (because of his foolishness), too poor (again because of his foolishness and oftentimes his stubbornness) to make much of her life. Unless God steps in and do some miraculous recovery of her soul, body, finances, etc. So she'll have five years to enjoy her life AT LAST. Yeah, I know...I sound cynical but ministers really should watch what they say to married women about how to submit and who to submit to. Call me a bitch but if someone is suffering with a crappy spouse, I'll be the first to say, "Divorce the idiot!" And if it's a man, I'll say, "Submit my eye!"
Hey, Abigail deceived her husband, went behind his back, and ran off with another man after her hubby died of a heart attack. Except for the heart attackr part, sounds pretty cool to me. But then the other guy was David. And she ran off with David after her hubby had the attack. But dang, do these women have to wait around for their hubbies to die of heart attacks? Come on, women preachers, tell the Abigails out there what to do!
Honestly, I don't have much of an ism but it was said of Studs Terkel and I hope it will be said of me: "If she had an ism, it's underdogism." I just hate the idea of thousands of women being made to endure crap by churches telling them to submit to Nabals...and damaging the souls of women by not looking carefully at the story. -C
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