1 Samuel 1:8-18
“Elkanah her husband would say to her, ‘Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?’ Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hanna stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on a chair by the doorpost of the Lord’s temple. In bitterness of soul, Hanna wept much and prayed to the Lord. And she made a vow, saying, ‘O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.
As she kept on praying to the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk and said to her, ‘How long will you keep on getting drunk? Get rid of your wine.’
‘Not so, my lord,’ Hanna replied, ‘I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.’
Eli answered, ‘Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.’ She said, ‘May your servant find favor in your eyes.’ Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.”
Whenever I think of a great mom; I think of Hannah. Some people may say: “Hannah?! No way! She abandoned Samuel in a temple with strangers, when he was just a kid!” And I will answer: “She made a vow to God and she delivered. Her decision was made out of pure love and gratefulness….and never selfishness.”
Let’s learn a little bit more about Hannah’s background and traits. She was not the only wife of Elkanah, he also had another wife: Peninnah. Peninnah had children but Hannah did not. In those times, it was very important for a woman to have children. Fertility was a big deal because having children was a blessing; it meant prosperity & the continual of the linage. That’s why Peninnah would provoke Hannah until she made her cry. Even though Elkanah loved Hannah, that was not enough for her. She wanted to be a mother.
There are a couple of ways to see this… Hannah may have wanted to be a mother because she also loved Elkanah and wanted to give him children too and make him proud with a sense of accomplishment as a man. She may also wanted to be a mother because she was sick of Peninnah’s provoking and wanted to gloat back at her for being such a nuisance. Whatever was true reason was….being sterile made a profound impact in her life. That situation was so heartbreaking for her; it made her lose her appetite and cry all the time. Meanwhile, Elkanah was unable to understand her.
You see, the love of a man cannot compare to the love of a child. I have to be really honest about this: you can change your husband but you can never change your child. Blood will always be thicker than water. A great mother knows and lives this truth. Loving a child is one of most purest and deepest feelings of all. It can never be substituted, exchanged nor it will end; not even with something as definite as death. The love for a husband can change or end. The road of romance is a bumpy one…but that’s another story. Now, let’s bullet Hannah’s great qualities so that we can acknowledge how a great mother should be:
- A great mom will always, first and foremost: honor the Lord.
- A great mom will bring her troubles to the Lord.
- A great mom will trust the Lord.
- A great mom will not be selfish; no matter what!!
- A great mom will honor the vows that she makes to the Lord.
- A great mom will be thankful to the Lord.
- A great mom will love her children and dedicate them to the Lord.
- A great mom will rejoice and acknowledge the works of the Lord in her life and her children’s.
- A great mom will also be a great wife and be kind to others.
- A great mom will testify of the great things the Lord has done to her and her loved ones.
Once Hannah honored her vows to God by giving up Samuel to serve Him; in exchange, God honored her. The best deals that you can make in your life, are the ones you make with God. You can never lose! From being a sterile wife, Hannah became a proud mother of six kids. She took the risk of giving up the only child she may have had, and decided to trust God and honor her vow in total blind gratefulness. Needless to say, God honored her unselfishness and rewarded her five times more. She only prayed for one child; but He gave her six! God wants to give us the best! All He asks of us is to be obedient and honor our vows….and even if we are disobedient and unfaithful, He will still love us. But we are the only ones who can stop the prosperous hand of God in our lives.
Meanwhile, Hannah’s unselfish choice affected the lives of the people of Israel. Her son Samuel became the last judge of Israel, he anointed the first and second kings of Israel and he was one of the most prominent servants of God in the Old Testament. Your decision as a mother will affect the lives of your children. Make the best choices for them and for you. Finally, let’s learn this lesson from Hannah and not be just a good mom; but a great one!
Happy Mother’s Day!!