Relationship Lessons from Elkanah and Hannah
In every godly relationship, one tough issue for both partners to agree on or make a compromise on is the question: "What if I can't have children?"
Children are regarded as a blessing of marriage and a significance that such marriage has blossomed and that both the wife and husband has performed their duty right. In countries like Nigeria, having children is a big deal to most people and parents often look forward to getting to meet and nurture their grandchildren before the call from the Creator. Some families have issues and are going through a hard time these days with the issue of not having children. Pressures from in-laws, the society and even from within leaves a woman broken at heart, emotionally disturbed, and could affect some women's performance in their day to day activities. Lack of children causes issues sometimes between the couples and fights, disagreements, shouts and pleas for patience is often heard in such homes. Blame games are always on and the truth never comes out till tests are taken (and it's discovered that it's the man that can't actually have children).
Marriage vows are deeper than what we just see on the surface, some people take these vows with no intention to keep them. When you promise that special someone to always be with such person for better for worse, in sickness and in health, in riches and in lack, the gravity of those words come to play when real life situations occur. Thus, this vows should be taken with the conciousness that those times where things ain't rousy will come. Might not be a delay in child birth, it could be anyother thing. The question is, would you still see that special someone as "special" when life throws big issues at you? Therefore, don't go into marriage because you are being forced or because everyone around you is getting married. Vows are made to be thought about deeply and to be kept sacredly.
Today, we are looking into the lives of a couple who was faced with one of life's challenges as regards to marriage. Although, Elkanah had a polygamous home, he had a wife (Pelinah) who gave birth to children for him, but Hannah His beloved didn't have children. And just like typical rivals, Pelinah was a thorn in Hannah's delicate flesh, delibrately stepping on her toes where it hurt most up to the point the Hannah broke down and couldn't eat (and i can imagine one of Pelinahs children innocently asking Hannah if she wasn't interested in her meal so he or she could devour it). Elkanah loved Hannah so much and although he couldn't give Hannah as much as he gave Pelinah (cos she needed it more), he wanted Hannah to be happy, he even asked her if he wasn't more valuable than ten sons. Although, Elkanah loved Hannah so much, it didn't dispute the fact that the voices of young babes would fill the void Hannah felt deep within her.
Elkanah could have as well added to Hannah's sorrows by concentrating on Pelinah the mother of his children but he didn't.
The truth is marriage is never a bed of roses and having a great marriage takes a whole lot of hard work which starts from courtship. Conflicts would arise but it depends on if we are ready to stay put with the person we claim to love so much or if we decide to run at the slightest show of conflict. Love isn't enough but it goes a long way in making things work especially if it is true, unconditional and without boundaries. We can't always run from conflicts and challenges therefore whatever we are going through, (relationship wise, academics, finances, looking for jobs, admission issues, whatever) lets ask for strength from God to scale through the challenge and let's ask that God opens our eyes to lessons we are to learn. God wouldn't have promised us His strength when we are weak if He wasn't ready to help us and He wouldn't have promised us His Spirit if He wanted us to walk through life alone.
Lastly, let's remember that delay doesn't necessarily mean denial. Hannah was delayed only to give birth to a prophet who was known and is still known throughout the history of Israel. He was used by God greatly and I'm sure his parents were proud of him.
Think about it: of all Pelinahs children, who among them did half the things Samuel did? Did any of their names come up in the bible at all?