Hannah -- a glimpse into a marvelous woman

Walk with me, if you will, though 1 Samuel 1 for a glimpse at what makes women tick.
There was a man...named Elkanah...and he had two wives…
Of course polygamy/bigamy is forbidden in the US and in most places around the world it isn't practiced -- men have wised up since the days of Solomon.  But there are a lot of things that men can be married to besides a woman.
A woman needs to know her man loves her above all others.  When a man spends long hours at work, at a hobby, working out, with "the boys" then there needs to be priority adjustment if the marriage is going to work.  When ...Elkanah sacrifices, he gave several shares of the meat to his wife Peninnah with all her sons and daughters; but, although he loved Hannah, he gave her only one share…
A husband needs to show his wife he loves her.  We are not told how Elkanah showed Hannah how much he loved her but he allowed her rival, Peninnah, to revile her and torment her because she had no children.  That doesn't show much love and allows conflict within the family.  No matter what the husband puts in place of his wife--hobby, children, work etc, this thing getting the attention the wife should have is reviling her and humiliating her.  It is torment to love someone and be treated as the "second" wife.  Year after year this happened...  It is worse when nothing changes.
Tears usually mean, "I need you to comfort me and show me how much I mean to you."  Once when she was in tears and would not eat, her husband said to her, "Hannah, why are you crying and eating nothing?  Why are you so miserable?  Am I not more to you than ten sons?"
In a word, Hannah said, “No.”
Why is that? Remember the song in Funny Girl, Sadie, Sadie, Married Lady? For a Jewish woman, getting married was what she was born for, and the next was having children, preferably boys with a few daughters sprinkled in for old age. It was everything. When a woman had no children, she was nothing and was made to feel to be nothing with hurtful, sly, and snide remarks from the other wives of the home and the village. It was always pointed out. “Oh, yes, you know Hannah. She’s the barren wife of Elkanah.” The barren one.
Today, we are not admonished in public. But, inside we wither just a bit with so much longing to have a baby. Women sometimes worry themselves sick which literally keeps them from getting pregnant. Is the husband more than ten sons? In a word, “No.” There is no comparison. A husband cannot replace a son, nor can a son replace a husband. It is a ridiculous thought and one I am sure earned Elkanah a withering glance through Hannah’s tears.
And Hannah rose up after eating and drinking. That word translated “rose up” or “rise up” is very interesting.  קוּם  qûm koom The meaning is full of action:  accomplish, confirm, continue, decree, make good, help, hold, (help to) lift up (again), make, X but newly, ordain, perform, pitch, raise (up), rear (up), remain, (a-) rise (up) (again, against), rouse up, set (up), (e-) stablish, (make to) stand (up), stir up, strengthen, succeed, (as-, make) sure (-ly), (be) up (-hold, -rising). Isn’t if fabulous the word UP is included. We all know Who is the Up-est of all Ups. She had decided to take some definitive action. She went to the Temple and made a vow.
This was one of the hardest things any woman could do. One has to wonder if she truly measured the cost of giving up her son after he was weaned. Samuel was around two or three when she grabbed his little hand and deposited him at Eli’s front door.
I imagine she probably wanted to say, “Here’s my drunken dream, Eli-man. What do you say to that?” But, I’m sure she didn’t. Can you imagine how difficult it would be to give up your son and only see him once a year? Can you imagine what it would be like to lovingly make clothes for him through out the year and then not see him wear them? To know he would out grow them? To love him, but not chat with him, or hear about the frogs and snakes he found? Nor ever to get a bouquet of wildflowers in a grubby little hand, or a hug that smelled of clean mud and a whiff of barn yard? Aching hearted, this woman gave up her rights of being Mother to give Israel a prophet who would anoint the kings of Israel. God must have settled her soul, and gave her comfort.
Women are resilient, persistent, hopeful, tolerant, prayer warriors. Those of us who put God first, know who has created us, given us our family, and who provides for us daily. There isn’t a man in the world who can fathom all the intricacies of women, or what makes them tick. So I am sorry if you clicked on this under false pretenses. The magnitude of a woman’s heart knows no boundaries, and the prayers of a righteous woman avails much.
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