Trapped in a Loveless Marriage - A Biography of Abigail

Trapped in a Loveless Marriage - A Biography of Abigail by Elizabeth George
*This biography of Abigail is one of 150 bios featured in the A Woman After God’s Own Heart Bible.


After King Saul tried to kill David, David and his soldiers moved from place to place to avoid Saul’s army. David’s movements brought his men to a small village. After watching over the possessions of a rich man named Nabal, David requested food for his men. Nabal had benefited from his protection, but Nabal rudely refused David’s request. Nabal’s insults so angered David that he determined to destroy Nabal and his household, including Abigail, Nabal’s wife.


Abigail’s home life— 1 Samuel 25:1-13

Arranged marriage was the custom of the day, so Abigail was probably wed to Nabal for his wealth, not for love. While she was a faithful and savvy woman, Nabal’s name (meaning “fool”) and his actions showed he was indeed a fool. 

David asked Nabal to repay a past kindness by giving David’s men some provisions. Nabal rudely denied David’s request, so David became angry and planned to destroy Nabal’s household. 

Abigail’s wisdom— 1 Samuel 25:14-35

A servant overheard Nabal’s rejection of David’s request and told Nabal’s wife, Abigail. The servant warned her that David was returning. Abigail quickly prepared a large supply of food and rode out to meet David. She fell before David and humbly pleaded for her husband’s life. David thanked God for sending Abigail to him and agreed not to harm Nabal.

Abigail’s widowhood— 1 Samuel 25:36-38

After a night of heavy drinking, Nabal was told about the terrible danger he had been in. The shock of the news caused Nabal to suffer a stroke. Ten days later the Lord struck Nabal and he died. 

Abigail’s marriage to David— 1 Samuel 25:39-44

Following Nabal’s death, David asked Abigail to become his wife and she accepted. Abigail and Nabal had no children, but God blessed her marriage to David with a son named Chileab, meaning “God is my judge.” In Abigail’s life, we can see the truth of this name— God protected, honored, and blessed Abigail despite her difficult marriage to Nabal. 


Cultivate a life of wisdom. Not only did Abigail act wisely, she spoke wisely, making peace according to God’s ways. When crises arise, you can act with wisdom and discretion as Abigail did. Praise God that He has given you all you need to make wise decisions throughout your days. What is the first step to wisdom? “The fear of the Lord” (Prov. 9:10).

Cultivate a life of faithfulness. Abigail had little cause for joy, trapped in a loveless marriage to a fool. Yet she was loyal, trustworthy, steadfast, and reliable to her husband, to the management of her home, and to her servants. The Bible instructs you to “build” your home (Prov. 14:1) and watch carefully over your household (31:27). Follow Abigail’s example and be faithful to your family and home. You will honor God and be a blessing to your family, and will be blessed by them (31:28). And God will bless you for your faithfulness.

Dear Lord, please remind me that You protect, honor, and bless those who are faithful to you. I ask for grace for any women who are in difficult marriages. Amen.

A Woman After God's Own Heart Bible—Find hope and encouragement in this Bible that includes:

  • A devotional reading for every day of the year
  • More than 150 biographies of women of the Bible
  • Twenty-five full-page topical reflections on life's challenges
  • Plus four hundred brief whispers of wisdom for daily life

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Jim and Elizabeth George

Jim and Elizabeth George are bestselling authors and national speakers dedicated to helping people live a life after God’s own heart. Together, they have written over 150 books with more than 14 million copies sold around the world. For over 35 years, the teachings and steadfast example of Elizabeth and Jim have helped countless men and women:

  • Simplify life by focusing on God’s priorities.
  • Appreciate God’s Word and apply it to everyday situations.
  • Respond to circumstances with confidence by seeing yourself through God’s loving eyes.
  • Increase closeness in marriage by serving and honoring each other.
  • Powerfully shape the hearts of children and teenagers.
  • Enjoy greater intimacy with God.

Learn more about Jim and Elizabeth George here.

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