Monday, April 11, 2011

the love story of Hannah and Elkanah

This is part 3 of the "Heart of Hannah" series. If this is your first time joining us, begin the journey here.

As we continue on our trek with Hannah, we have learned that Hannah had three great loves in her life... Heaven, her Husband and her Home.

She was the ultimate homemaker, bride and follower of God.

In her love for her husband, we have learned that she selflessly submitted to her husband despite her personal emotions and struggles. She took submission to the death of feminism... She said "Yes, my lord" and trusted the goodness of her Heavenly Bridegroom.

Today, I want to talk about the love story between Elkanah and Hannah.

Those two loved each other.

The few verses devoted to their mutual affection for one another carries a greater romance than any chick-flick I've seen... "The Notebook" has nothing on Hannah and Elkanah.

Let's just start at the beginning. I know what you're wondering... "Umm, Nicole, there's no way he loved her that much. He had another wife." Well, yes. He did. But remember that Hannah was barren. She was unable to have children and culturally speaking a man was without honor if he had no sons to carry out his name. So, technically speaking he didn't have a choice.

**I am by no means making an excuse for Elkanah in taking another wife. Personally, I'm not entirely sure polygamy is the way to go.**

However, regardless of that fact, Elkanah consistently showed Hannah his favor and his love. Even though Penninah consistently hurt and taunted Hannah, Elkanah showed his favor upon her by granting her double portions during the sacrifice (1Sam 1:4-5).

In this, I see that Elkanah prayed most for Hannah.

Although Penninah had children (many, in fact), Scripture shows us that he gave most to his barren bride. Because he loved her and she loved him back (she showed this by her submission).

Then, when Hannah had enough. When she'd had a break down and was crying hysterically over her misfortune and the lack of children, Elkanah spoke one of the most tender phrases in Scripture...

"Am I not better to you than ten sons?" (1Sam 1:8:b) In essence, Elkanah was saying...

"Baby, I know that your heart's desire hasn't been met. Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but I want to be your hope. I want to be your good thing. I love you for you not for the sons you may or may not give to me, I love you Hannah for you. Please let our love be enough."

Oh. My. Goodness. This is love. A true picture of God's heart for us. Sigh.

How easy it is to respond in submission for such a love. :)

And won't you know it... Hannah loved Elkanah right back.

"Hannah's love for her husband is the first key to understanding her profound influence as a mother. Contrary to popular opinion, the most important characteristic of a godly mother is not her relationship with her children. It is her love for her husband. The love between husband and wife is the real key to a thriving family. A healthy home environment cannot be built exclusively on the parents' love for their children. Furthermore, all parents need to heed this lesson: what you communicate to your children through your marital relationship will stay with them for the rest of their lives. By watching how mother and father treat one another, they will learn the most fundamental lessons of life: love, self-sacrifice, integrity, virtue, sin, sympathy, compassion, understanding, and forgiveness. Whatever you teach them about those things, right or wrong, is planted deep within their hearts."

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