"And David said to Abigail…‘Blessed be your discretion and advice, and blessed be you who have kept me today from bloodguiltiness and from avenging myself with my own hand. For as the Lord, the God of Israel lives, Who has prevented me from hurting you, if you had not hurried and come to meet me, surely by morning there would not have been left so much as one male to Nabal.' So David accepted what (Abigail) had brought him and said to her, ‘Go up in peace to your house. See I have hearkened to your voice and have granted your petition.'"
I Samuel 25: 32-35, Amplified Bible
"How To Build a Solid Relationship"
"What greater thing is there for two human souls, than to feel that they are joined for life - to strengthen each other in all labor, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting."
What are the most important relationships I have in my life?
Have I taken time to build strong relationships with those I care about the most?
"If one is out of touch with oneself, then one cannot touch others."
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
"The easiest kind of relationship for me is with ten thousand people. The hardest is with one."
Several months ago, Jim and I happened upon an interview that was conducted with the famed folk-singer Joan Baez. She has always been a person who bluntly expressed her opinions. However, she did not open up as much about her personal life. What I found so revealing in this interview was the honest way she described the personal relationships in her life, especially with her son. She freely admitted she hadn't been there as much as she could have been when her son was young and now, with passing time, they have been able to forge a bond, but as she noted, it has taken effort from both of them.
As I have been studying about Abigail over the last few months, preparing the devotionals, it hit me that the relationship between David and Abigail, is actually filled with the building blocks that make successful relationships, not only between spouses, but also friends and family members.
For the next few days, I want to share with you the qualities which I Samuel 25: 32-35, identify as elements in strong relationships which are built on a heavenly foundation.
Interestingly, God has given us the blueprint of Abigail and David's relationship, for it contains all the essentials necessary in strong relationships. By studying this story, first, it will be easier for us to identify what went wrong with the relationship David had with Bathsheba - and believe me, the contrast is dramatic!
As we read I Samuel 25: 32-35, David is responding to the words Abigail spoke to him, words of serenity and kindness. Words that conveyed the generosity of a loving-hearted woman. What better place to start a relationship than with a generous, unselfish heart which is full of love. The famed British author Charles Dickens wrote that relationships need, "A heart that never hardens, a temper than never tires, and a touch that never hurts."
These qualities certainly permeated the life of Abigail and it didn't take David long to recognize Abigail's life was infused with a gentle softness, and a touch of kindness.
But David also saw other qualities that Abigail possessed which are the building blocks of a solid, heavenly relationship.
When I think of my own interaction with my husband, Jim, and with my dearest friends, the characteristics David identified are ones I find in those I know I can trust and confide in.
Abigail was a person of discretion. She also gave exceptional counsel and advice. And she was a person of action. By the same token, we find that for this relationship to be successful, David "accepted" the advice Abigail shared with him because he listened to her words before acting. As David told Abigail, "I have hearkened to your voice."
I want to explore the facets of relationships which are built on heavenly virtues, for so often, when we rush headlong into marriages, friendships or even business associations, and fail to consider that God has a plan for our lives which includes the interaction we have with others, we may find ourselves in less than optimal situations. But when we follow God's blueprint, the foundation will be firm and solid.
"You can never establish a personal relationship without opening up your own heart."
"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, as the Lord has forgiven you."
Colossians 3: 12
"Dear Father in heaven let us be peacemakers:
more ready to call people friends than enemies
more ready to trust than to mistrust
more ready to love than to hate
more ready to respect than despise
more ready to serve than be served…
Dear Father in heaven,
let us be more like Christ."
The Mother's Union
Anthology of Public Prayers
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.