David and Michal
It started so well for David and Michal. The beautiful princess falls in love with the handsome young military hero – a Goliath-slayer. Even King Saul couldn’t deny it. But it only takes a few chapters to see how soon the honeymoon ended.
Husbands and Wives
2 Samuel 6:16 As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart.
Dr. John Gottman, a psychologist at the University of Washington, studied more than 2,000 married couples over two decades. He discovered patterns about how partners relate to each other which can be used to predict – with 94% accuracy – which marriages will succeed and which will fail. If he could watch you argue for 5 minutes, he could tell you where your marriage was going to end up. Do you know what one of the key things he was looking for was? Contempt. He viewed it as an “Marital Apocalyptic Horseman.” It was only a matter of time for that marriage. When we communicate in this state, we treat others with disrespect, mock them with sarcasm, ridicule, use body language such as eye-rolling or scoffing. The target of contempt is made to feel despised and worthless.
Contempt is an attitude of superiority and disgust. It’s harmful to a relationship because it tends to express itself in actions that communicate arrogance: We’re not equals. I’m smarter than you. I’m more sensitive than you. I know what’s best. I’m OK … you’re not OK. You are beneath me! Contempt shows up in statements that come from a position of moral superiority. Research even shows that couples that are contemptuous of each other are more likely to suffer from infectious illness (colds, the flu, etc.) than others due to weakened immune systems! Contempt is fueled by long-simmering negative thoughts about the partner—which come to a head when the perpetrator attacks the accused from a position of relative superiority. Michal stopped looking for things to admire.
How is your marriage? Wife: are your respecting your husband? Husband: are you cherishing your wife? If not, you can be sure, you’ll dance alone in a graceless relationship. Returning home after a major victory and your wife is unimpressed and not interested? It could be that she’s just like Michal – God is a low priority. But on the other hand, it could be that she sees something (your career), or someone is getting more attention than you are giving her. Wife: If your husband is making spiritual strides, affirm him for it. Don’t mock him for praying or ridicule the church he goes to or belittle him for turning to God.
Sons and Daughters
2 Samuel 6:16, 20, 23 16 Michal daughter of Saul… 20 Michal daughter of Saul… 23 Michal daughter of Saul… For "daughter" let's read "filter." Filter of Saul
King Saul. Loud tantrums in the palace. Deep depressions. Bitter rage. Unpredictable mood swings. In homes where dad is a tyrant, a little girl spends her life in fear and develops resentment at the prospect of being a woman, a person, who in her eyes, should do anything possible to win over a man. And then, when that man you’ve won, has affection for another, it all turns to anger. She despised him in her heart. Michal will come to see all men through the filter of King Saul, her father.
Here are the conversations that Michal needed, that all children need... (Sons and Daughters: 5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter, Revised and Expanded Edition / 5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Son, Revised and Expanded Edition - Vicki Courtney)
1. Don’t let the culture define you: the culture has a very narrow definition of beauty, like body shape and weight.
2. Guard your heart: we are hooked on screens.
3. Have a little sex respect: we haven’t overvalued sex; we have undervalued.
4. Childhood is only for a season: adulting will come soon enough.
5. You are who you’ve been becoming: as you get older and more independent what you have been becoming all along gets more visible.