Hannah: A Model for Motherhood
In a recent Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, Calvin is standing by his mother’s bed when he says, “Hey, Mom! Wake up. I made you a Mother’s Day card.” His mother was very pleased and started to read it out loud.
“I was going to buy a card with hearts of pink and red.
But then I thought I’d rather spend the money instead.
It’s awfully hard to buy things when one’s allowance is so small.
So I guess you’re plenty lucky I got you anything at all.
Happy Mother’s Day. There, I’ve said it. Now I’m done.
So how about getting out of bed and fixing breakfast for your son.”
It’s not easy to be a mom. A mother was talking to an old college friend and said, “I remember before I was married that I had three theories about raising children. Now I have three children and no theories.” Almost 90 years ago, by an act of Congress, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. He established the day as a time for “public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.” It’s certainly true that no nation is ever greater than its mothers, for they are the makers of the next generation.
As we look at the first two chapters of 1 Samuel, we’ll see 5 Defining Traits of a Woman of Faith. The first one may surprise you.
I. A Woman of Faith Exhibit Real Problems (1-8)
A. Longing for Children
B. Suffering Torment
C. Husband Couldn’t Solve
II. A Woman of Faith Express Vibrant Prayers (9-18)
A. Sought God with Zeal
B. God gave her Peace
III. A Woman of Faith Experience God’s Provision (19-20)
A. The Practice of Worship
B. God’s Need for a Prophet
IV. A Woman of Faith Excel at Keeping Her Promises (21-28)
A. Hannah Dedicated Herself
B. Hannah Dedicated Samuel
Verse 28 ends with a glimpse into young Samuel’s heart: “And he worshiped the LORD there.” Even at three-years-old, he was able to worship. How do you think he learned how to do this? Hannah no doubt took the exhortation of Deuteronomy 6:6-7 seriously: “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
Listen to the words of John Stiles:
“I have worshiped in churches and chapels. I have prayed in the busy street.
I have sought my God and have found him in the waves of His ocean beat.
I have knelt in the silent forest in the shade of some ancient tree
But the dearest of all my altars was at my mother’s knee.
God, make me the man of her vision and purge me of selfishness.
God, keep me true to her standards and help me to live to bless.
God, hallow the holy impress of the days that used to be
And keep me a pilgrim forever to the shrine at my mother’s knee.”
V. A Woman of Faith Explode With Praise (2:1-11)
A. The Giver not the Gift
B. Not the Living, but the “Life”
1. Women, you are of great worth in God’s sight whether or not you have a child. Lift up your head and realize that God loves you for who you are, not for what you do. He understands your sorrow and your pain and He’ll meet you right where you are.
2. Mothers, make it your mission to give your children to the Lord for a lifetime of dedicated service. There’s no greater purpose, and no higher honor, than to have your children give their lives in surrendered service to the Lord of Hosts.
If you were to continue reading through the book of 1 Samuel, you’d discover that Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phineas, were very evil and did some perversely detestable things. It’s very interesting that their mother is never mentioned anywhere. We don’t know if she died or if she was just not engaged as a parent. Samuel, on the other hand, was greatly impacted by his mother, and went on to become one of the most significant individuals in God’s redemptive history. Moms, you matter greatly to your kids and to the very future of our nation!
3. One of the lessons from the life of Hannah is that each of us needs to be growing in our own relationship with God. If you want your kids to learn about God, and to love Him with all they’ve got, it’s first got to be real in your life.
That reminds me of what happened one Sunday after a Child Dedication service. As a young family was driving away from church after the dedication of their baby, little Johnny, the older brother, cried all the way home in the back seat of the car. His mother asked him three times what was wrong. Finally, the boy replied, “That pastor said he wanted us to be brought up in a Christian home…and I want to stay with you guys!”
If you want your kids brought up in a Christian home, make sure that Christ is at home in your heart. If He is, then spend the rest of your life giving your children back to the Lord they belong to Him anyway.