The Good Man Syndrome
At the end of one of Bishop Jakes’ sermons, Scandalous Grace, he said that he wanted to pray for Bathsheba. That’s because during his teaching he discussed her scandalous relationship and how he wished he could pray for her to do as David did which was to wash her face and get on with her life after the death of the son she’d conceived during their affair. But it was in that moment that I began to see her differently.
So many times, when we hear about their entanglement, we tend to focus on David’s unfaithfulness and lust for a beautiful woman while at the same time only seeing Bathsheba as the victim. As if she had no choice but to be with the king. But their affair wasn’t forced because if it was, we would then have to accuse David of rape. And clearly, we know that’s not the case which means Bathsheba wasn’t as innocent as we’d previously presumed.
Bathsheba was a married woman so I can understand that when the king summoned her to his palace that she assumed it was about business. What I can’t understand is that when the kings advances were perfectly clear and she knew that it wasn’t about business but that she’d been summoned to be on the kings business, I can’t understand why she stayed. The other thing I don’t understand is how, as a married woman, she had consensual sex on the first date. But maybe there’s nothing to understand. Maybe Bathsheba actually liked the king. I say that only because after their entanglement, she went home and said nothing. She kept her affair secret. If it were a one-time thing, she would have confessed her indiscretion, but she didn’t which again leads me to believe that this was no accident. But what do I mean by that?
Her tryst wasn’t something that just happened. She’d been thinking about unfaithfulness for a long time. She just didn’t happen to have consensual sex with David. It was something she’d been thinking about. Not necessarily saying that she thought about having an affair with the king, but she’d been entertaining adulterous thoughts for quite some time. So much so, that a situation was created – by the enemy – for her to act on it. And here’s where it gets worse.
She only had those thoughts because she had a good man. Bathsheba struggled with what I call ‘the good man syndrome.’ Good man syndrome is when a woman mistreats, disrespects, and/or has an affair on a good man because she’s never been misused and/or physically, verbally, emotionally, sexually, or financially abused by a bad man. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had my fair share of bad men in my life that if a good one were to come along, I’d know how to treat him. Uriah was a good man, but he wasn’t as powerful, influential, or as wealthy as David. And though he was a soldier and lived off a soldier’s salary, he made a decent living. He must have done well for himself because he and Bathsheba lived a stone’s throw away from the king’s palace. How else would David have seen her sunbathing on her patio. Therefore, the two probably lived in a gated community. But yet and still Bathsheba was unfaithful.
But not only was Uriah a good, hardworking man but he was a faithful one on top of that. How do I know? Because when David commanded him to go home and be with his wife, he ‘slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house.’ When asked why he didn’t return home to Bathsheba, he said, “The ark and Israel and Judah are dwelling in tents, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are encamped in the open fields. Shall I then go to my house to eat and drink, and to lie with my wife?” (2 Samuel 11:8-11) Thus proving his faithfulness but not only in service but that had to be reflected in his marriage. But that’s not all.