In the last installment of Marital Moments I begin a series based on I Samuel chapter one entitled the "Qualities Of A Good Husband". I pointed out that Elkanah, Hannah's husband, was a loving husband, a talking husband, and an understanding husband. This session will focus on three important thoughts from the life of Hannah and Elkanah: A good husband is a Leading Husband, a Dis-cerning Husband, and a Concerned Husband. In fact he exemplifies for everyone exactly what a husband should be and do. Let's begin by pointing out that Elkanah was (1) A Leading Husband. I Samuel 1:3 states that, "this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the Lord of hosts in Shiloh". A further reading will point out that Elkanah took his family with him to worship God. He lead his family in the most important area: family worship. Sadly, too many husbands have totally left off the spiritual training of their family or they have delegated this responsibility to the wife, the pastor, or the Church. The greatest mark of leadership in the home is a husband and a father leading his family in devotion and spiritual training. God has given the husband the leadership of the home. In Ephesians 5:22 the Bible points out that the husband is to provide loving servant leadership and the wife is to follow that leadership. God will hold the husband responsible for the leadership of the home, especially the spiritual leader-ship. This is difficult work for the husband. It is easier to be lazy, to let the wife lead and set back and do nothing to lead your home. Happy is the home and blessed is the wife and children where the husband and father is involved in leadership. Not only is he a leading husband but he is also (2) A Discerning Husband. I Samuel 1:6-7 the Bible says that, "Her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the Lord had shut up her womb. And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat". Elkanah is discerning enough to recognize Hannah's enemy. Hannah's enemy was Peninnah, the second wife in this relation-ship (This was always against God's will and it always created more problems than it solved) who made fun of her because she could not have children. Elkanah knew that Hannah was having a difficult time with the inability to produce children. Happy is the wife and the home where there is a discerning hus-band. Today's wife is confronted with many enemies. The glamour industry depicts the perfect woman in the movies, TV programs, and magazines of today. She is constantly bombarded with the ideal beauty and in her eyes she seldom measures up to the perfection she sees being portrayed there. The work place, daily pressures, the chores at home, and the constant work load combine to be-come an enemy to her. The problems of life, the temptations of life, and the pain of life all create for her a difficult adversary. Combine that with disrespectful children and a lazy husband and she has a huge adversary confronting her. She needs a discerning husband who will become involved in her life to assure her that she is beautiful, that she is number one, that she is respected and loved, and that he will always be there for her in life. (3) Elkanah is a Concerned Husband. In I Samuel 1:8 we read that, "Elkanah her husband said to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?" This verse points out for us three important truths for our consideration. (a) Elkanah is concerned about her emotional needs. "Why weepest thou." The concerned husband recognizes that his wife is geared up different emotionally. Things that seldom if ever bother the husband actually do bother the wife. She sees things differently than her husband. (b) Elkanah is concerned about her physical needs. "Why eatest thou not." The concerned hus-band closely watches his wife to see if her busy schedule overloads her. Is she taking care of herself? Does she need help? A break? A night away from the children and the hectic work load of the home. (c) Elkanah is concerned about solving the problem if possible. "Why is thou heart grieved?" He just doesn't deal with the symptoms (weeping and not eating), but he seeks out the problem and if he can, he solves it. What is at the core of her problems? Hannah has a broken heart. Elkanah recognizes this and does everything he possibly can to remove the problem. This takes deep love, commitment, patience, and understanding. He is concerned about her needs, pain, problems, and pressures of life. Every wife needs to have a wise and a concerned husband. Remember, the "Qualities Of A Good Husband" include a leading husband, a discerning husband, and a concerned husband.
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