History should never be rewritten, but we can use what we know for certain, and then explore further possibilities, by using what we’ve learned about human nature.  With a slightly different perspective, we can gain valuable new insights from a well-known story – in this case, David and Bathsheba.  Here’s the highlights of what we know for certain.  David wasn’t away at battle with his men, but instead napping and strolling at home.  A beautiful woman named Bathsheba, was bathing to purify herself, most likely in the privacy of her home, and yet she was somehow within view from the palace.  Finally, we know that her husband Uriah, was extremely dedicated to king and nation.

 

Uriah must have been a remarkable man, but can a man be too dedicated to his calling or work?  Uriah was so dedicated, that he refused to partake of the good and permissible pleasures of life as a married man, while his fellow soldiers were suffering the realities of battle.  I wonder how Uriah’s dedication to his king, affected his wife.  Did Bathsheba feel ignored by the one and only man that was to cherish her, and did this leave her vulnerable?

 

Bathsheba was the daughter of Eliam – a mighty man of King David, the granddaughter of Ahithophel – King David’s chief counsel, and her husband Uriah was close to David as well.  She was connected.  Was she aware that the handsome king hadn’t left the city?  I would never suggest that Bathsheba was a seductress.   Actually, I believe the opposite about her. Nathan the prophet implies that she was a lamb, an animal synonymous with innocence.  Was this innocent so starved for affirmation and fulfillment from her husband, that she became exceedingly needy of receiving male attention?  Most likely, Bathsheba had always been told that she was beautiful, and much of her self-perceived value may have come from this.  With Uriah so distracted and choosing to stay away from Bathsheba, did she question her attractiveness?  Did Bathsheba realize that David might be able to glimpse her soft curves while she lingered in front of her window?  Surely, the man after God’s own heart, would never do more than look, would he?  We know that David didn’t just look.  The look, or being beautiful enough to attract a look isn’t the problem – it’s the heart motive behind attracting the attention or allowing the gaze to continue.  Here’s where the spark of lust turns into an all consuming fire.

 

Obviously I can’t be certain that this depiction is accurate, but I believe that we can still learn something.  Husbands, your first love should be for the Lord, and your next should be for your wife.  She needs your admiration and emotional support.  Wives, if your husband isn’t doing this, don’t seek this from another man, but instead lean into the Lord and allow Him to fill the void.  Men, you were created to be visual – you’re going to notice beauty, but where does noticing lead you?  Is there a second look, a longer look?  Is your mind now playing with her?  Know your triggers and weaknesses.  Knowing them allows you to recognize danger and throw up your protective wall, before the temptation overpowers you.  Are you lonely or unfulfilled in your marriage? Watch out.  Are you over-committed to causes outside of your marriage?  Watch out.  Do you easily move to sensuality?  Watch out.

 

There’s hope for all of us.  God forgives a contrite heart, and He brings restoration out of the worst situations.  In fact, God used David and Bathsheba in the lineage of Christ, and Bathsheba may have been the woman speaking to her son in Proverbs 31 – “charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last, but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised”.  Perhaps these are wise words from a woman who has learned hard lessons.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read, react and comment.  You are such an encouragement to me.

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20,000 Chances to Steer the Ship – Relation-ship, Friend-ship, Disciple-ship

Most women express a daily mega-load of words.  About 13,000 more than men.  What if all of those words were uplifting?

 

God says that the tongue is hard to tame, full of poison, and that it’s like a small rudder that’s capable of steering a large ship.  Recently, after sensing sadness within my home, I prayed and asked God to show me what my part was in this.  He revealed that I’d taken my gift of words and wounded my loved-one.  God had given me the gift of words to bless and build, but I’d used them as a curse.

 

A woman enjoys enormous power in her femininity, which can be harnessed for good, or exploited and used for destruction.   We are very much like that small rudder that is capable of steering a large ship.  Along with the abundance of words, a woman’s mind is able to multi-task, and we usually have an enormous capability to be aware of the happenings around us.  We are natural managers, delegators and motivators.  Unfortunately, pride in our abilities can get in our way.  We remember details, so we correct or chide others when they don’t.  We are capable of juggling many tasks, so we demean others when they can’t.  When others hurt us, we wound by expertly wielding the weapon of sharp cutting remarks.

 

I hear your lament – “but Madeline, you have no idea how hurtful my husband has been, or how exasperating my child is, or how cruel that other woman was!”  You’re right, but I do know that life isn’t fair, and that the only person that you have control over, is yourself.  I’ve learned that when another person intentionally or unintentionally hurts me, I have no right to return the hurt.  God tells me that as a follower of Jesus Christ, I possess the same power that resurrected Him.  That’s power!  I should be able to follow His command to love my neighbor – the people that He puts along my path or in my sphere of influence.

 

God humbled me – I apologized and then asked for forgiveness.  I’m determined to steer this ship into peaceful, beautiful waters.  He created me as a woman, to be a guardian of hearts.  My words should be full of grace and seasoned with salt.  I should protect hearts, lift hearts, build hearts, and repair hearts.  Just as salt brings out the flavor of food, I can bring out the best in others.  I can help someone believe that they can overcome and do great things.  I can tell the truth gently, always with the motive of love, and helping another to see the best path – God’s path.  I can forgive again and again, because I hope in God’s purposes.  I can withhold my thoughts, because I understand that my wisdom is limited, and God is always working.  Most remarkably, I can speak words to heaven, interceding for others.

 

Life giving words are sweet and encouraging, savory and wise.  They’re not bitter, nor are they hot.  Perhaps we could taste test our words, before we spit them out.

 

Thank you for taking time out of your day to read.  Your readership, reactions and comments are so encouraging to me.