We’re wrapping up Valentine’s week here at The Christian Nerd by looking at the dark side of love. Not every couple can be as heroic as Cyclops and Jean Grey or as committed to each other like Carl and Ellie Fredricksen. Unfortunately, some of the worst couples can be found in God’s word. Here are some examples.
Ahab and Jezebel
Ahab and Jezebel would be near the top a list counting down history’s most terrible couples. The Bible says that Ahab was worse than any of the kings who had come before him, and all the kings who had come before him were super creative in how they could disobey God. Together Ahab and Jezebel led the nation of Israel astray, pushing them to worship Baal and Asherah. They also murdered God’s prophets and killed an innocent man because they wanted his vineyard for a vegetable garden. You and your significant other may not always see eye-to-eye, but at least your not murdering God’s people and leading an entire nation astray.
Abraham and Sarah
One of my favorite ministries in which I ever participated was Caraway Street. It was the Christian version of Sesame Street that we performed every weekend at church. I got to perform different puppets and different upfront characters. It was amazing. Fairly frequently we would take a break in the action and sing the song “Father Abraham.” It was a fun song with a lot of hand motions, but Abraham and Sarah’s story really isn’t one for children. Instead of trusting in God to get pregnant, Sarah tells Abraham to have sex with her maid; shockingly, that doesn’t go well. That’s like your personal trainer telling you to eat cheesecake or your boss suggesting you play games on your phone instead of working. The extra-marital action led to some tension in Abraham and Sarah’s marriage, which I think they should have seen coming. They were both almost a century old; perhaps age doesn’t necessarily lead to wisdom.
Ananias and Sapphira
Marriages are built on trust. I implicitly trust Alycia and have no reason to doubt her. If either of us ever did anything to damage that trust, it would be really difficult to keep pressing forward in our relationship. Perhaps Ananias and Sapphira could trust each other, but nobody else should have. When they sold a piece of property to share the proceeds with the gathered believers, they withheld some of the money for themselves. When asked about it independently, both of them lied. For that they both dropped dead. I love having Alycia in my life, because she’s there to keep me on track if I ever start to veer off. If I suggested that we withhold some of our tithe and lie about it, she would probably roll her eyes at me and walk away. She definitely wouldn’t be complicit in such behavior. We should all have relationships with people who will hold us accountable.
Hopefully none of your relationships have been as dysfunctional and destructive as these. Unfortunately the Bible is filled with stories about real people and real people have messy lives. Thankfully we serve a God who takes messy things and makes them beautiful.
What are some of your favorite bad biblical couples?