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Pastors' Wives--Guard Your Heart

Did you know that there is only one woman in Scripture who is specifically said to have loved a man? Often we read about men loving women: Jacob loved Rachel, Isaac loved Rebekah, King Ahasuerus loved Esther, etc., but as far as a woman loving a man, there is only one. And I was truly caught off guard when I discovered who it was.

It was Michal, daughter of King Saul, first wife of the future King David. I’ve studied and read about David throughout my lifetime, and the only thing that I really remembered about Michal was how she had despised David as he danced before the Lord when they brought the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem. But I had never intimately studied the woman, Michal, herself until recently.

So how on earth did she go from being the only woman God chose to describe as loving a particular man, to one day despising that same man?

Was it simply NOT real love in the first place? Was it just some puppy love-type crush? No, I don’t believe that’s the case at all. We know that after David killed Goliath he was taken to live with King Saul’s household. (1 Samuel 18:2) So as the youngest daughter of Saul, Michal would most likely have had more interaction and knowledge of David than the average teenage girl in Israel.

Not to mention that GOD SAID IT. And He didn’t say it just once. No, He said it twice. Both in 1 Samuel 18:20 as well as 1 Samuel 18:28 we find Michal being described as loving David. So what happened?

Let me first just say that within and around the seven passages of Scripture that include mention of Michal, we find this crazy world of abuse, manipulation, mental instability, war, alliances, hero worship, anger, attempted murder and multiple marriages. And this is just a portion of the threads that are spun together to make up the web of Michal’s life. An entire book could easily be written just studying the intricate weavings of the life of this young woman. You can find her story in 1 Samuel 14:49, 18:20-29, 19:1-17, 25:43-44, 2 Samuel 3:12-16, 6:12-23, and 1 Chronicles 15:1-29 if you would like to read about her yourself.

Despite being raised as a privileged princess in a palace, Michal had a miserable life. But I know plenty of women who grew up in horrible homes, yet became Godly women of substance. Unfortunately I also know plenty of women who grew up in beautiful, loving homes who ended up wasting their lives far away from God. Yes, experience DOES indeed play a role to some degree in who and what we become in life. But I believe that it goes much deeper than that.

It fact, it goes to the deepest corners of the heart. In both passages that tell about the day that David brought the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem, it says that Michal looked down from the palace window and “despised him in her heart.” (2 Samuel 6:16 & 1 Chronicles 15:29 HCSB) This woman whose heart was so full of love for David, now had only loathing and detest for him.

As a pastor’s wife, these passages scare me to death. You know why? Because I get it--I’ve been there. David spent a LOT of time in the Lord’s service. The first time he tried to bring the Ark to Jerusalem, they did it wrong and were punished harshly by God. From the description of how he attempted it the second time, it’s evident that David had spent many hours studying the Law of Moses and the exact specifications for moving the Ark.

Then came the day of the big event. There were fewer than 10 miles left to finish bringing the Ark to the city, but imagine how long it would have taken David, those carrying the ark, and the “whole house of Israel” (2 Samuel 6:15 HCSB) to cover that distance walking! David was certainly gone quite a while.

THEN, after arriving in the city, they put the Ark inside a special tent and offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to the Lord. (vs. 17) We’re talking multiple slaughters, cooking and fire building. THEN, David stood before all the people and blessed them. (vs. 18) THEN, he passed out bread and cakes to EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THE ENTIRE ISRAELITE COMMUNITY. Talk about a time consumer!

When all of this celebration was finally completed and all of the people left to their own houses, THEN, and only then, “David returned home to bless his household.” (vs. 20) I’m sure that David was riding an emotional and spiritual high after such an amazing day. After over 60 years, the Ark of God’s Covenant was back where it belonged with God’s own people. Incredible worship had taken place. Hearts had sought after God. And David was most likely excited to share all of this with his household that night.

But Michal wasn’t in the mood for celebration. No, this was only one of many, many nights where David had come home exhausted yet giddy over the day he and the Lord had spent together. And what was left of himself, he managed to drag home in the few wee hours left of the night to give the remnants to his family. Oh, sisters, have you ever been there?

And when Michal heard David’s chariot pull in, she met him in the driveway to give him a piece of her mind, much like I hate to admit that I have done more than once over the years. She didn’t even give him a chance to tell her about the events of the day.

As a spectator peeking into their lives though, my first thought was, “Oh Michal, WHY weren’t you out there being a part of the celebration and victory for the Lord? If you had only been where God was present and moving rather than holed up in your own little world, looking at your own little self, you may have found yourself dancing at David’s side instead of angrily destroying your marriage.” And then I caught my breath as I realized, there but by the grace of God go I.

So sisters, I’m talking to the mirror as much as I am to you, GUARD YOUR HEART. Completely immerse it in the presence of Jesus. Take every opportunity to BE A PART of the victories for the Kingdom rather than watching them from a distance or not even watching them at all.

And remember that our husbands are in fact, only human. For as much as David loved and sought after God, he was certainly a pretty lousy family man most of the time. I understand that, and I struggle with David sometimes for that very reason. But it’s not our husband’s responsibility, even as a minister, to grow our relationship with the Creator of the universe. It’s ours.


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