1 Samuel 25; Isaiah 28:23; 53:12; Daniel 9:15-19; Proverbs 14:33; Matthew 15:10; Romans 8:34
Psychologists will tell you that regardless of your circumstances, you are a victim only by choice. Abigail’s life teaches us how to rise above abusive relationships, no matter who is involved.
Blank paper, colored markers, pencils, copies of “How to Escape From an Emotionally Abusive Relationship” (http://www.ehow.com/how_2308276_escape-from-emotionally-abusive-relationship.html)
Connecting with the Scripture Topic
- Read and discuss “How to Escape From an Emotionally Abusive Relationship.”
- Using paper and markers, draw an abstract picture of what abuse looks like. Share your drawing with the class, describing why you drew what you did.
Sharing and Receiving Scripture
- A. What can we do if we’re caught in an abusive relationship of any kind? Is there hope for escape? Can we rise above the situation as Abigail did?
- Thought Questions
Read the story in 1 Samuel 25. What lessons does Abigail teach us?
1. When in an abusive situation, only we can choose to take action and create something positive.
2. When in a safe environment, stand up to your abuser, as Abigail stood up to Nabal.
3. We don’t need to let others dictate what we do—we can make our own healthy choices.
4. You should never put yourself in a position where someone can take advantage of you.
5. We may sometimes have more inner strength than we realize.
Read 1 Samuel 25:23-31. How does Abigail’s conversation with David parallel intercessory prayer?
1. She recognized David as king—we must recognize God as King.
2. She bowed before him—we shouldn’t be too proud to bow before God.
3. She approached David humbly—we should approach God humbly.
4. She asked for forgiveness before making her request—we should do the same.
5. She asked for a blessing—it is okay for us to ask for God’s favor to be on us.
Read 1 Samuel 25:25, 26. Although Nabal was an abusive man, Abigail took her life in her hands and took action—for herself and those she cared for. What can we learn from her?
1. She wanted to treat people differently than her husband did—she didn’t want his reputation.
2. When she found out what Nabal had done, she immediately took action to save her own life.
3. She knew she was a better person than Nabal may have led her to believe she was.
4. Bowing and submitting to David continued her “victim” status, which was wrong.
5. She wanted a better life for herself, and that’s not something to feel guilty about.
Read 1 Samuel 25:41. These are the last recorded words of Abigail. After all she’d gone through, what do her words teach us?
1. Submission to the right person isn’t unhealthy.
2. Once a person leaves an abusive relationship, there is hope for a brighter future.
3. There is a way out.
4. In addition to God, we will always have to submit to certain people.
5. We should never give up hope for happiness, although we may have to fight for it, as Abigail did.
Applying the Message of the Scripture
Gather in groups of two or three. Choose one of the following options and work on a solution. After several minutes, report back to the larger group with your findings.
- Option 1: If a husband or wife is in a physically abusive relationship, does he or she have grounds for divorce? What about an emotionally abusive relationship? Discuss.
- Option 2: Act out several skits depicting abuse. Some ideas are: boss/employee, parent/child, friend/friend, spouse/spouse, adult child/parent. Show an unhealthy way to handle the abuse and then a healthy way.
- Option 3: Do you know someone who is living with abuse? Talk to him or her. Support that person in seeking help. If he or she won’t listen or is too scared, engage a professional.
Valuing Scripture in Your Life
- Has God been speaking to you while you’ve been studying this lesson? Could you possibly be an abuser? If so, work to overcome this trait by seeking help through prayer, reading books on the subject, and/or consulting with a professional counselor or coach.
- If someone is abusing you, take action. You are an extremely valuable daughter or son of God. Decide this week to get professional help from a counselor or law enforcement officer on how best to handle your situation.
Next Week’s Scripture Focus:
1 Samuel 26:5-11; 2 Samuel 11; Esther 8:17; Psalm 51; Isaiah 56:3-7; Ephesians 2:19