Bathsheba, The Influential Wife

The Influential Wife

One day last week, I had one thing left on my to-do list: go to Sam’s. My husband had one thing on his to-do list: go to the gym. In an effort to spend more time together as a family, we decided to complete our to-do list together.

Well, you can guess how the story ends. We stayed at the gym longer than planned. By the time we got in the car, Sam’s had closed and my to-do list was incomplete.

To quote Cool Hand Luke, “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate!”

I was a little mad. David was a little bummed that he had let me down. I felt unimportant and unconsidered. He felt in the dark, unaware of the deadline imposed by Sam’s schedule.

While our introduction to Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11) is anything but an example of a God-honoring relationship, act 2 of Bathsheba’s story, reveals a godly wife of influence. King David is on his death bed and his son, Adonijah, has placed himself on the throne. However, Solomon, Bathsheba’s son, should be the heir to the throne (2 Samuel 12:24-25).

Bathsheba didn’t sulk. She didn’t whine. She didn’t nag and complain. These are my go-to’s. Instead, she chose to be an influential wife.

Approach in humility.

Bathsheba bowed and paid homage to the king, and the king said, “What do you desire?” (1 Kings 1:16)

When on the precipice of a potentially bad decision, it is tempting to wear a cloak of pride when we approach our spouse. The attitude of “I know better than you” comes naturally and without effort. According to Jesus’ teachings from the Sermon on the Mount, meekness–power under control–is the attitude of influence (Matthew 5:5). It recognizes God’s influence as greater than our own. It is the attitude of godly submission.

Remind him of his promise.

She said to him, “My lord, you swore to your servant by the Lord your God, saying, ‘Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne.'” (1 Kings 1:17)

Without manipulation or malice, Bathsheba gently reminds David of his promise. Husbands want to make us happy. They made a promise on the altar to have and to hold, to love and cherish. When life gets busy and priorities shift, that promise often gets forgotten. Then, there are the little promises–a night out, taking out the trash, putting air in the tires. I internalize those broken promises as evidence that I am not valuable. The reality is, he just forgot.

Orient him to reality.

“And now, behold, Adonijah is king, although you, my lord the king, do not know it.” (1 Kings 1:18)

David is lying on his death bed. He is not aware of the subversive activity going on around the palace. Bathsheba gives him the low-down. She doesn’t blame him for it, just states it as fact. Distractions can disorient a man. With work deadlines, bills in the mail, and kids begging for attention, reality becomes distorted. Wives can serve as a compass to help keep a man turned in the right direction.

Affirm his leadership.

“And now, my lord the king, the eyes of all Israel are on you, to tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him.” (1 Kings 1:20)

A man who feels in charge will take charge. Issuing ultimatums and expecting the worse can emasculate a man. Affirming his ability to make good decisions will encourage him to make those good decisions. This is, quite possibly, the most influential thing you can do for your husband. Let him know you support him and believe in him.

Look into the future.

“Otherwise it will come to pass, when my lord the king sleeps with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon will be counted offenders.” (1 Kings 1:21)

Bathsheba doesn’t threaten David. She invites him to see the end result of his current course of action. By following a decision to its likely end, we can support our husbands as they search for the best decision. Attitude is key. It is about humility and meekness, trusting and allowing God to change his heart. We can influence decisions by dreaming about the possibilities with our spouse.

Psalm 37:11

Using Bathsheba’s lesson in influence, here is how my gym-verses-Sam’s debacle could have gone:

David, I am letting you set the pace for this afternoon (approach in humility). Remember, we need to get to Sam’s (remind him of his promise). Sam’s closes at 6:00 today (orient him to reality). I know you can find a way for us to get everything done (affirm his leadership). If we stay here too long, we might miss out on the shopping trip (look into the future).

This is a small, kind of silly application of a scriptural truth. However, it is significant in my marriage. When you add a lifetime of gym-Sam’s tug of wars together, you end up with a bitter wife and an unengaged husband. I can stop the crazy by becoming an influential wife like Bathsheba. 

Is there an area of your marriage that frustrates you? How might you use Bathsheba’s example of influence to help shape your marriage?

Bathsheba, The Influential Wife is part of an ongoing series, Portrait of a Godly Wife.

Recommended Resources

She Reads Truth
For more on Act 1 of Bathsheba’s life–and redemption and restoration–read Bathsheba, from She Reads Truth’s Women of the Word plan.

Sisters, our past does not define us. The sin committed by us or to us is not the end of the story. Our God is able to redeem and restore! Vivian Mabuni

If you enjoy historical fiction, try the Lineage of Grace series by Francine Rivers. In Bathsheba, Rivers takes the reader through the highs and lows of Bathsheba’s journey from Uriah’s wife to David’s palace.

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  1. Good encouragement! I love that book series.

  2. Great reminders. I apprrciatr your integration of scripture with life. Thanks for writing!

  3. Love the practical application!

  4. I’m gonna have to work harder at this as well.

  5. No, no, it’s not silly at all! It’s in these small things that God prunes us. Thank you for this post. I struggle myself. I’ve been a Christian several years – and not only that, but one who delved quickly, deep and daily into the Word to build my faith. My husband is a new Christian and still not really comfortable with it. And not a reader, and struggling to find Christian male friends or a group. Our church is offering Sunday classes come the fall. I immediately pick up on marriage, but HE wants to get a firmer grounding in faith foundations. When he said that, I realized that I’M the one struggling – he’s actually made so much progress in marriage since accepting the faith that he truly is a new man from 2 years ago. Me? Struggling to be a good wife! So, this is a great reminder to me to give him the respect and authority, even if he is newer at this. Thank you!

  6. You say the gym-versus-Sam’s application is a little silly… but isn’t that what 95% of our marital disagreements are about? I love the concrete example of how to be an up front, truth-telling, humble wife instead of make things worse by the way I handle the daily minutia. Thank you for this inspiring word!

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