A healthy Co-dependency

Abigail was in a predicament. Her husband had infuriated her king and her whole family was about to face death. Her response was to quickly made two hundred loaves of bread, added two skins of wine, five sheep already dressed, five “seahs” of roasted grain, one hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and then loaded the food on donkeys. That sounds like a Natural to me: They do what they need to do, and don’t worry if it’s looking or smelling fine. They are very practical people. They work quickly and productively because they don’t get hung up on the time-consuming details that aren’t important to them.

It may have been her culture and time, but I am assuming Abigail’s preference was a simple, informal and unstructured life. If this Img.ID is going to host a party she would actually prefer it not be planned so she can excuse that it is thrown in a basket and loaded onto a donkey. If she is at a party, she would rather not be, unless it’s a backyard BBQ or buffet-style at a good friend’s home. I bet Abigail loved the chance to get away from that feast to do something more important, like saving her family.

Natural women usually have good people skills. I believe Abigail must have qualified there, too. She was living with an abusive man, but his temperament did not defeat her. Some of us are paralyzed by a man’s anger. Abigail was not. She knew how to handle her husband’s foolishness, and she did it without dishonoring him. She sent others ahead of her, and went the secret pathway toward David in order to protect him from knowing what she was doing until the right time to tell him.

Abigail’s husband, Nabal, was not worthy of honor, but she did show him respect. David was honorable, and Abigail quickly demonstrated that when she reached him. She fell on her face and bowed down before his feet and apologized for her husband’s rude behavior.

Very often abused women take responsibility for the wrongdoing of others, and try to cover up their mistakes, especially those of their abuser. Abigail did that, but she did so with wisdom and boundaries. She was determined to correct Nabal’s foolishness, she was determined to protect her household, and she was also determined to keep David from making a big mistake himself. Codependency is something women can tend to be prone to, but it is not always a bad trait. I think God is pleased with us when we invest so much into others, as long as we keep a clear head and our focus is on His will not our own.

Abigail had healthy codependency.

She successfully brought the king’s perspective back to proper priorities and saved her family by simply reminding him that God fights his battles and that he should keep himself from shedding innocent blood. Her motive wasn’t all about covering up what her husband did wrong; we know that because she did not keep what she did a secret. When she got back to Nabal he was drunk, so she waited until the next morning to tell him what happened. If her desire was to manipulate things for her own good, she wouldn’t have told him at all.

I don’t know about you, but when I am mistreated I tend to retaliate. I can’t help but wonder just how well Abigail knew that God fights the battles for His people, she certainly was following the advice she was giving.

God, help us to do the same! If You are truly righteous you punish evil, and we don’t need to avenge ourselves. What a relief that is!


Catrina Welch is an image- and life-coach whose message is not as much “what not to wear” as it is, “Know Who You Are,” which is the title of her book of guidelines for your personal image identity. Catrina has also written a Bible study to help women overcome their confidence conflicts; it is titled Supreme MakeOver: a Rich and Refreshing Devotional Experience. Her other books include Footprints Through the Sand: a Consolidation of Life-altering stories about Loving and Loosing a Trisomy-18 Baby and Confident Beauty: Reflecting the One Who Made You with the Images in Your Mirror and Your Soul, which will be available in book stores this spring. All of these books are available now at

If you are interested in having Catrina come speak to your friends, colleagues or ministry you can contact her on facebook or by email at