David was a man after God’s own heart, but he’s not what we can call a good example of a husband, seeing as he had a failed marriage. From 1 Samuel 18:17-28 we are told that after the woman he had been promised was given to another man, David married her sister, Michal. This arrangement, as well as the previous one, was made by Saul, Michal’s father – David’s father-in-law.
From the word go, Saul had ill-intentions toward David (that had nothing to do with his daughters) but he devised a way to use his own daughter to try and kill him. It is apparent that he was a selfish in-law and we can learn some lessons here.
3 Lessons to Learn From David and Michal’s Marriage
I. In-laws, when given a chance, can completely destroy a marriage.
Apart from Saul not giving Merab to David as initially promised, he sought to kill him (David). This must have hurt David he had trouble forgiving Saul. Michal, however, had done the right thing – giving priority to her marriage by saving her husband from harm. Yet, David did not separate/set apart Michal from Saul – he imposed the sins of her father on her. It didn’t matter that his wife had no control over the deeds of her father. David should have been able to see Michal as a separate individual from her father.
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” – Genesis 2:24
Marriage never works until a couple, both, leave their parents to cleave to each other. Different strictures come into play because a new completely independent family unit has been created, not added to the existing of either side. The parent-child relationship changes; it does not deteriorate but is adjusted within new bounds. Yet, it doesn’t absolve the couple from certain specific God-given assignments, such as taking care of a widowed mother or an incapacitated parent. Honoring parents is something that will continue to be in play even as the marriage is lived out, but it should not be enslaving. It must be done in agreement and order of priority and not at the expense of your nuclear family. In the same vein, parents are now no longer as responsible as they were over their grown and married children. They cannot run the new home – a margin that David failed to draw.
II. A marriage cannot thrive or succeed without the love of a husband for his wife.
Michal is the first and only woman to be said to love her husband. After risking her life and saving him from death, David abandoned her. For 10 years, he never came back nor send for her to join him. In addition, he married other wives when he was in exile. Don’t you think news must have come back to Michal? I think so. Consequently, she must have been deeply hurt to the point where her love turned to bitterness, anger, and even hatred. Here was a woman who lacked security in her husband’s love.
Meanwhile, David is enjoying victory upon victory. On this instance, he succeeds in bringing the Ark back to Jerusalem. He is overjoyed and returns to bless his household only to be met by Michal Unloved!
“Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul come out to meet David, and said, ‘How glorious was the king of Israel today, uncovering himself today in the eyes of the maids of his servants, as one of the base fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!’” – 2 Samuel 6:20
She is not even concerned about the things of God at this point. She despises David in her heart. She is disturbed about how the maids looked at him. She is jealous and insecure because David is not affectionate toward her.
Earlier, in David’s absentia, she had been married off to Paltiel for several years. All was quiet and peaceful. She was doing well in that house and they loved each other – until David shows up to claim her and Paltiel is devastated. He weeps for her.
“Then her husband went along with her to Bahurim, weeping behind her. So Abner said to him, ‘Go, return!’ And he returned.” – 2 Samuel 3:16
Beware! The wife you don’t value and cherish could thrive in another man’s house where there is love.
The bitterness in Michal had eroded her love for God. She develops a demeaning attitude toward her husband. She is more concerned with how the royal family looks before men rather than before God. Accordingly, out of the abundance of her heart, Michal speaks and snuffs out the life of her future.
If you are single, be careful how you worship. Make sure your spouse-to-be loves God and worships as you do. Otherwise, you will have problems.
Do you love your wife? Can she say yes if we asked her that question in public?
III. Every man wants to be celebrated at home.
When Michal spoke with sarcasm against David’s worship, he responded thus:
“And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight. But as for the maidservants of whom you have spoken, by them I will be held in honor.” – 2 Samuel 6:22
David acknowledged the celebration, honor, respect and admiration of maids (commoners) rather than the dishonor and bashing from a queen!
This dishonor severed and separated the two and they never enjoyed intimacy again until she died. This is implied in 2 Samuel 6:23.
David is showered with celebration everywhere except in his own home.
Do you celebrate your husband?