Ellen G. White Writings

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Christ Triumphant, Page 145

The Fruits Of A Soft Answer, May 18

A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Proverbs 15:1.

Abigail’s manner and conciliatory gifts softened the spirit of David. He declared that it had been his intention to destroy Nabal and his household, but that now he would refrain from vengeance, for he believed that she had been sent by the Lord to prevent him from doing so great an evil. He promised that her request should be ever remembered, even when he should sit as ruler over Israel, and he would never seek retaliation for the insult of Nabal.

Although Nabal had refused the needy company of David and his men, yet that very night he made an extravagant feast for himself and his riotous friends, and indulged in eating and drinking till he sank in drunken stupor. The next day after the effects of his drunken debauch had somewhat passed away, his wife told him of how near he had been to death, and of how the calamity had been averted.... Palsied with horror, he sat down and never recovered from the shock.

From this history we can see that there are circumstances under which it is proper for a woman to act promptly and independently, moving with decision in the way she knows to be the way of the Lord. The wife is to stand by the side of the husband as his equal, sharing all the responsibilities of life, rendering due respect to him who has selected her for his life-long companion. “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he [referring to Christ] is the saviour of the body,” or church.... When the Spirit of Christ controls the husband, the wife’s subjection will result only in rest and benefit, for he will require from her only that which will result in good, and in the same way that Christ requires submission from the church....

When the husband has the nobility of character, purity of heart, and elevation of mind that every true Christian must possess, it will be made manifest in the marriage relation. If he has the mind of Christ he will not be a destroyer of the body, but will be full of tender love, seeking to reach the highest standard in Christ. He will seek to keep his wife in health and courage....

The Lord Jesus has not been correctly represented in His relation to the church by many husbands in their relation to their wives, for they do not keep the way of the Lord.... It was not the design of God that the husband should have control, as head of the house, when he himself does not submit to Christ.—Manuscript 17, 1891 (Manuscript Releases 21:214, 215).

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