An Example of a Good Mother


“An Example For Mothers”
I Samuel 1:1-3


  • 1 Samuel 1:1…Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite: 2) And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. 3) And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the LORD of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the LORD, were there.
  • A man having more than one wife is a “polygamist.”
  • Many men of the Old Testament had two or more wives. Many of them were great men of God.
  • Polygamy (having more than one wife) was not God’s plan for marriage, but God did tolerate it.
  • God never endorsed it in Israel (Deut. 21:15-17).
  • It is assumed that Elkanah married Hannah first and after finding out she was  unable to bare children, then he married Peninnah.
  • Hannah means “grace,” while Peninnah means ruby.
  • Just to name a few men of the Bible who have had more than one wife is … Abijah (14 wives), Abraham (3 wives), David who was a man after God’s own heart (Had 2 wives and took on more wives and concubines in II Samuel 5:13.) Solomon (700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines/whores)
  • My point for bringing out polygamy on Mother’s Day is this… A lot of these wives of Godly men in the Bible (some not Godly too), who had children being mothers who had to share a husband, and all the children who had to share a father. It brings chaos and confusion, and God said I am not the author of confusion.
  • An article on the website of the Pew Research Center…American motherhood has changed in many ways since Mother’s Day was first celebrated more than 100 years ago. Today’s moms are more educated than ever before. A majority of women with a young child are in the labor force, and more mothers are serving as their family’s sole or primary “breadwinner.” At the same time, the share of mothers who are stay-at-home moms has held steady in recent decades after falling precipitously in the 1970s and 1980s.
  • This morning let us look at Hannah who became a mother by “FAITH.”
  • Mothers today are going through just as much pain and just as much stress or problems as they did bac in Hannah’s time. They were just different issues.
  • Let us look to one of many great examples for a mother… Hannah.

I.  Hannah was Devoted to God

A) A Good reason for crying and fasting

  • We men understand one thing about women… We do not understand them at all!
  • Sometimes women cry and we do not know why they are crying. They cry at the drop of an hat. Men are taught to suck it up and not be a cry baby.
  • Some women also diet regularly for different reasons. Mostly I believe they diet to keep a girlish figure that makes them attractive.
  • Letts look at Hannah this morning who was NOT A MOTHER…yet. 
  • I  Samuel 1:3… And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the LORD of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the LORD, were there. 4) And when the time was that Elkanah (Hannah’s husband) offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions: 5) But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut up her womb.
  • All Israelite men were required to attend 3 annual feasts at the central sanctuary (Deut. 16:1-17).
  • Elkanah went up as he does every year to what is believed to be the feast of the Tabernacles (September/October).
  • I believe it is important to note here that Hannah’s husband gave more food to her than he gave to Peninnah (2nd wife) and her sons.
  • Note also that Samuel wrote “…for he loved Hannah:” Did he not love his 2nd wife, the mother to his children?
  • A woman who is able to bear children are truly blessed. But it doesn’t mean that a woman not able to bear children are not blessed of God. 
  •  Note also in verse 5 “…but the LORD had shut up her womb.” This was not a punishment but Divine providence as was the case in Sarah and Rachel’s case (Gen. 16:2 and Gen. 30:2).

B) Hannah crying and fasting

  • Look at verse 6) And her adversary (2nd wife, Peninnah) also provoked her (Hannah) sore, for to make her fret, because the LORD had shut up her womb. 7) And as he (Elkanah, husband of both) did so year by year, when she (2nd wife Peninnah) went up to the house of the LORD, so she (Peninnah) provoked her (Hannah); therefore she (Hannah) wept, and did not eat.
  • Why do you suppose Peninnah (a mother) would tease and ridicule Hannah about not having children?
  • I believe that Peninnah teased Hannah about being barren because she was jealous of Elkanah’s love for Hannah being more pronounced over his love for Peninnah.
  • I do not believe that Peninnah was a good example of a mother or a wife.
  • Being a mother is very burdensome, tiring, and continual sacrificing of self.
  • A Godly mother works hard at pleasing the children’s father, cooking meals, doing laundry, keeping house, planning activities, overseeing the children’s schooling, and health care, nursing, etc. On top of all that a Godly mother must also be a disciplinary making sure the children are well behaved, mannered and are obedient to God.
  • Notice the kindness and care of Elkanah for Hannah…Verse 8…Then said Elkanah her husband 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?
  • Hannah fasted/diet also.  When you are upset about something or are really focused on results and satisfaction of a decision made you will fast.
  • Fasting is a way for God’s children to show true seriousness about a Godly decision in your life.
  • Hannah was devoted to God.
  • She was not crying or fasting because of what Peninnah had done to her, but rather because of what God would do for her.
  • Peninnah was interested in giving sons to her husband while Hannah was interested in giving her God a son.
  • Many mothers are focused on child bearing for the wrong reasons.    

II.  Hannah was Devoted to Her Husband

A) Bitter in her soul

  • Verses 9…So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the LORD. 10) And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore.
  • Why did Hannah “wept sore” (cry long and hard)? She wanted a son for her husband to get Peninnah off her back and mostly to give a son to her God. She couldn’t do either so it made her bitter.
  • When we do not see God working, when we do not see a future that we have painted in our minds…we become bitter. Human nature kicks in.

B) Hannah makes a promise to God

  • If a woman marries a Godly man and wishes to please him and God, she must do her best to please both and be a “help meet” to her husband.
  • When a mother pleases her husband, she pleases God also.
  • Look into verse 11) And she vowed a vow (Made a promise), and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head. 12) And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli marked her mouth. 13) Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken. 14) And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee. 15) And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD. 16) Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto. 17) Then Eli (The priest) answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him. 18) And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman (Hannah) went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad.
  • Eli the priest witnessed her reason for wanting a child and he was also her witness to asking God for a child that will serve God.
  • Hannah ran to her husband and more than likely told him of her prayer and her relief in knowing God will grant her heart’s desire.
  • Hannah was devoted to her husband.

III.  Hannah was Devoted to Her Home

A) Elkanah Knew Hannah

  • Verses 19…And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the LORD, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the LORD remembered her.
  • Hannah did not do as Sarah did to Abraham. Hannah was devoted to her husband and went to him trusting that God would do as she had asked.
  • We must note that our Bibles says “…Elkanah knew Hannah his wife.This means they had conceived a child, had sex, made love, were intimate.
  • The key to this intimacy was “…the LORD remembered herGod remembers all of us. of course God remembered her. What it actually means tis that the Lord remembered her request.
  • The LORD remembered her heart being so devoted to God and to her husband and knew that she would be devoted to her home also. 
  • God sees a relationship between married couples whether they are Godly mothers and fathers. God is not blind.


  • Charles Stanley of In Touch Ministries gave 10 characteristics of a Godly mother…
  • A godly mother prays and reads the Word of God. 
  • She is a mother who has learned to trust God for every need. 
  • A godly mother is generous.
  • She is obedient to God. 
  • A mother who’s godly is forgiving. 
  • A godly mother has an attitude of persistence. 
  • A godly mother is a servant.
  • She lives an orderly life. 
  • A godly mother is an encourager.
  • A godly mother loves unconditionally. 
  • A Godly mother should be rewarded, praised and honored by all her husband and children.
  • Proverbs 12:4 …A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.

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