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Marital Moments

 Today  I will begin a  new series on  "The Qualities Of A Good Husband".  The scripture text will  be found in  I Samuel chapter one. The Biblical character will be Elkanah,  the husband of Hannah.   Elkanah exemplifies for us the model husband. However,  Elkanah had one very difficult problem that I will look at before I begin the lesson.  He was the husband of two women: Peninnah and Hannah.  Wherever you find multiple marriages in the Bible you will find that there is always a problem associated  with them.  I will in no  wise excuse or defend his behavior,  but  I  will point out  a possible  explanation.  I tend to believe that  Hannah was his  first wife and  she could not have children  and they simple followed the practice of their day in that the  husband took  another wife  in  order  to  produce offspring.  This  was done by  both Abraham  and  Jacob.  God's will has  always been for one man and one  woman  to  be  united  in  holy  matrimony  until  death  separates  the  union. Nevertheless, Elkanah paints for us a picture of a devoted husband to Hannah.   In this Marital Moment I will point out three of the nine qualities that I see in Elkanah that makes him a model husband.  (1)Elkanah is a loving husband.  I Samuel 1:5 states that,  "He loved Hannah".   No doubt he  expressed his love  so often  to her that  God took notice and recorded it in  His word.   He not only spoke of his  love but he  reinforced his  words by the  gifts that he gave.   Verse five  also points out that,  "Unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion".  True love is known, not only by it words, but also  by its deeds.  He bestowed  this gift  in a public  place as  if  to re-inforce the  thought that  she was special and very dear to him.  He did this in front of  all those that were present.  He  set her  on a pedestal for all to see that she was deeply  loved and highly  respected.  Love that is  only verbalized is great, but love that is both spoken and backed up with deeds is more appreciated.  (2)Elkanah  is a  talking  husband.   In verses eight and  twenty three  the text says,  "Then said Elkanah her husband to her".   One of the things Hannah and every wife  desires is that her  husband communicate  with her.   Talking  does wonders for the wife.   It says I  care deeply  about you.  It solves  many  problems in the home  because no one is  in the dark  about anything.  It settles many doubts that may arise by simply expressing  them  before  they  become  huge  dilemmas.   It  says that  you  are so important  and  valuable to me that I want to share  everything in my life with you. One  of the greatest gifts a  husband can give his wife is the gift of communication. (3)He  is  an  understanding  husband.   Hannah  had  prayed  unto  God  (verse eleven) and  promised  Him that if He would give her a son that she would give the child back unto God all the days of his life. God answered her pray and in verse 23 you  find her doing  exactly  as she promised.   But that was Elkanah's son as well. What  does he  think  about it?   You  will find  that  he  is  very  sympathetic  and understanding  with  Hannah's  desires.   Elkanah could  have  disapproved  of  her promise unto  the Lord.   As her  husband he  had the  right to say  no  to her  vow and  God would  have  released her  from her obligation to pay (Numbers 30:6-8).  However,  he is understanding  and  patient with her  and  graciously  allows her to fulfill  her vow  unto the Lord.   Elkanah  understood that she  was wise enough to make  choices and  decisions  of her own.  He gave her the  freedom to do so.  He instinctively  realized that  women are  different and that they  often see things in a much  different  light than men.   In fact  women  seem  to have a  better grasp  of intuition  than  men.  Therefore,  Elkanah gave her  his full  understanding and  his complete  permission  to  do  the  will  of  God  for  her  life.  Remember,  a  good husband  possess the  qualities  of love,  communication,  and  understanding.

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