"Now Michal, Saul's daughter, loved David: and they told Saul, and it pleased him. Saul thought, ‘I will give her to him that she may be a snare to him and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.'"
I Samuel 18: 20,21, Amplified Bible
"When Love Is Used" Part II
"Love is the only service that power cannot command and money cannot buy."
Has someone I loved ever tried to "use" my love?
Has someone I loved ever "abused" my love?
"True love always seeks to help, never to hurt."
"You can't treat love like a commodity. It isn't something you buy."
It is just a simple statement in the Scripture but its impact tells us a great deal, "Michal loved David." In a world and at a time when women's feelings and desires were rarely considered, the Bible shares with us that Michal loved David, a man she had to have known her father hated.
There is no mistaking the situation. Michal's dad, King Saul, had evil motives when he tried to get David into his family. Recognizing that David wasn't a wealthy man, Saul knew that to give his daughter's hand in marriage to David, the young man would have to prove himself and for Saul, a fight to the death was what he had in mind - David's death. And so this evil, mean father decided to use his daughter's love to try and destroy David. Talk about abusive behavior. Using love to kill.
And yet, how often in our world today have we seen the pure love of a person used by another, to try and control, demean and yes even to kill. Whether it's abusive behavior by a parent toward a child or violence against one mate by another or even elder abuse when children treat an elderly parent in a destructive way, what is heaven's design for loving relationships that inspire, encourage and promote unity, understanding and harmony, instead become war zones where human feelings are destroyed by bullets of venom carrying toxins that use the love of one so dear. And sadly, when love is used it allows the other party to dominate and in the end rule with an out-of-control power not of heaven's making. For King Saul, who had rejected God and lost the powerful position of rulership in his nation, his desire to still control something or someone was focused on those he thought were weak, his daughters. So he decided, in the case of Michal, to use her love for another as his mass weapon of destruction.
Just as in the case of Saul's home, when the specter of abuse rears its ugly head in homes today, it is often the person who feels weak inside, as Saul did as a lesser person, who decides to use physical or verbal or sexual abuse as a way to control and demean. And these tools can be even sharper when love, like Michal's, is freely given.
This story, isn't over. For sadly, while David wasn't the abuser in this case, he saw too well in his own life what happens when love is abused and as we will see in the future, those who have been used and abused can sometimes turn right around and do the same thing.
Several years ago, I read a very touching parable. It is the parable of the Good Samaritan, rewritten by a pastor, Mary Lee Wile. It is called From Jerusalem to Jericho: A Retelling of the Good Samaritan for Battered Women. This touching piece shares the story of how love when used becomes love abused. But it also helps those who have been abused to recognize that God's plan for His daughters is far above any healing balm we may have for ourselves. For as the author of this piece so beautifully states, "I say to you, whoever injures anyone, woman, man, or child injures the Divine image and is held accountable before God."
From Jerusalem to Jericho: A Retelling of the Good Samaritan for Battered Women
"A woman who was much abused by her wealthy husband left Jerusalem and headed toward Jericho to seek shelter among kinswomen," Jesus told the crowd. "And as she was going, her wounds caused such pain that she sat down beside the road and wept.
"Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and noting her fine garments, he stopped to ask the cause of her distress. When she told him that her husband had beaten her near to death, the priest drew back and counseled her to return to her husband and be a better wife. Then he crossed the road and continued on his journey.
"So likewise a judge, when he came to the place, stopped to question the woman, and learning the cause of her agony he, too, counseled that her duty was to her husband and that she should return at once to Jerusalem. When she refused, he, too, crossed the road and continued on his journey.
"But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where the woman lay beside the road, and when he heard her story, he had compassion, and he bound up her wounds and set her on his own beast and brought her to an inn where he found women to care for her, saying, "There are those who seek her life to destroy it, and no one must know that she is here. When she is well enough to travel, see that she has safe passage to Jericho. And whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.'
"Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the woman?"
And the lawyer said, "Should not the woman have returned to her husband? You preach words of forgiveness. Should she not have forgiven her husband, obeyed the law, and returned home? Weren't the priest and judge the better neighbors? The Samaritan assisted the woman in her disobedience."
And Jesus said, "Woe to you who pervert justice and allow injury to the innocent! You fools! Did not God make woman and man both in the Divine image? Is not a woman's body a temple of God? I say to you, whoever injures anyone, woman, man, or child, injures the Divine image and is held accountable before God."
And the women in the crowd spoke to one another, "Here is one who understands; truly this must be the Holy One of God."
Healing and Blessing
"Come now reviving Spirit of our God,
Lay Your healing balm upon those who
have been used and abused.
And then, renew and bless them.
Proclaim through their lives
Your liberating power."
Adapted from a prayer by Frederica Thompson
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.