How Not To Have a Marriage
2Sam. 6:16 ¶ As the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal daughter of Saul looked out of the window, and saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart.
2Sam. 6:17 ¶ They brought in the ark of the LORD, and set it in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt offerings and offerings of well-being before the LORD.
2Sam. 6:18 When David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the offerings of well-being, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts,
2Sam. 6:19 and distributed food among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, to each a cake of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins. Then all the people went back to their homes.
2Sam. 6:20 ¶ David returned to bless his household. But Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, “How the king of Israel honored himself today, uncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants’ maids, as any vulgar fellow might shamelessly uncover himself!”
2Sam. 6:21 David said to Michal, “It was before the LORD, who chose me in place of your father and all his household, to appoint me as prince over Israel, the people of the LORD, that I have danced before the LORD.
2Sam. 6:22 I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in my own eyes; but by the maids of whom you have spoken, by them I shall be held in honor.”
2Sam. 6:23 And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.
Michal was David’s young beautiful bride and they had fallen madly in love. She was Saul’s daughter and at one point she had even helped to save David’s life. However, as David and her father Saul continued to fight, I believe that she somehow doubted whether she would ever be reunited with the husband of her youth, David. She became a pawn in the power struggle between two men. In David’s absence her father gave her to another man in marriage.
One would assume that this second marriage was a sad one, but apparently it was not. Later when David was victorious he sent for Michal. He wants her back now, but somehow I doubt that it’s because he’s in love with her the way he was years before. Instead, he believes that he deserves her back, possibly as a spoil of war. We are told that her husband follows her all the way to David, weeping because he does not want to let her go. Her new husband loves her and is heart-broken at losing her! Yet, David demands that she return to his household.
Michal’s life has been shattered by the relationship between David and her father. She has been the rope in a tug of war and she allows bitterness to take root. Living in the home of her husband, the man whom she had dearly loved, she no longer allows herself to love. Everything that he does makes her angry and despise him even more. When all the city is rejoicing with David when he returns home with the ark she can only see the negative. Why would he make such a fool of himself? And she despised him.
David was excited about all that had happened and wanted to come home and share the joy with his household. Instead, he is met by his first wife, Michal, who spits her words at him, “How the king of Israel honored himself today, uncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants’ maids, as any vulgar fellow might shamelessly uncover himself!” She has no place in her heart to forgive him and all she can see is something negative. There is no understanding of David’s relationship with the LORD.
Somehow I believe they live in a very cold relationship with no physical contact for the remainder of their marriage. David has been hurt by her words. Michal has been hurt by his actions. No one reaches out to the other and a marriage dies.
There are so many problems with David and marriage that it’s sometimes frustrating to hear that he was a “man after God’s own heart.” He had multiple wives and God had warned the Israelites that this would become a problem for a king. Truly this does become a major problem.
What makes this story interesting is that Michal is the first wife. Let’s look at this marriage and simply learn what not to do — or maybe, let’s think about the positives, what should we do?
1) Love the spouse of your youth. God’s intent is that we stay married to our spouses for a lifetime. There are seasons of life when the relationship may change or shift and adjustments need to be made, but a commitment to making it work for a lifetime is necessary! Had Michal and David been allowed to be together for their entire lives, how would this story have ended? We don’t know, but somehow I believe that he may not have taken other wives and he and Michal would have loved each other to the end.
2) Put the feelings of your spouse above yours. When David had Michal brought back to him, it doesn’t appear to have been out of a great love for Michal, but out of revenge for the fact that her father had taken her from him. Because the Scripture makes such a point to show us the reaction of her husband, it becomes apparent that she was now in a happy marriage. If David had shown great love for Michal, would he have made her leave her husband, or was he now acting out of a selfish heart? In a marriage you need to think about the needs of your spouse and put their needs above your needs. Allow the love of God to fill you with love for your spouse and desire for them to flourish in life and in your marriage. Do all you can to make them feel as loved as possible.
3) Do not allow small irritations to grow into full-blown contempt. There will always be little things that your spouse does that will annoy you. Hey, we are human and we all have our oddities! The problem comes in when we allow those little things to become big things. Sure, I don’t like the way that he squeezes the toothpaste tube but it’s not worth the destruction of our marriage. Get over it! Michal refused to get over it. David would have treated her with love and respect but she would not allow it. She built up barriers and allowed his actions to irritate her and then nursed her feelings into contempt. Making no attempt to hide her feelings she let him know what she thought and with a wounded heart and ego, David left her alone for the rest of her days.
4) Be willing to say that you are sorry. What would have happened if both David and Michal had owned up to their hurts and been willing to work on their marriage? Mistakes had been made all the way around, but by refusing to say they were sorry — by refusing to work on things, they were miserable. Why would you choose to remain miserable for the rest of your life? The joy that is possible when two individuals work at their marriage is indescribable.
God desires for us to have healthy marriages, ones which reflect the love found in God. God continues to reach out to us in holy love, constantly reconciling us to him. This same action should be found when a husband and wife reach out to constantly love and desire the best for the other. In doing so, we overcome the obstacles that life throws our way and we are brought to a place where we cannot wait to simply be in the company of the one we love, for there is no place we would rather be, than together.
Lord, may you be glorified in my marriage. Amen.