15th July 2011

A Lesson From A Bigamist!

Whenever Elkanah offered a sacrifice, he always gave portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to each of her sons and daughters. But he gave a double portion to Hannah.”
1 Samuel 1:4-5 (HCSB)

Is caring for your spouse and family part of your worship of God? 

In the scripture above a bigamist called Elkanah provided for his wives and children whenever he sacrificed to God. 

At times Christians have felt a need to neglect their loved ones in their zeal to do what they feel God wants. An extreme example of this was the case of Warder Cresson, a nineteenth century American diplomat and evangelist. He felt driven to work for Christ in Jerusalem in order to hasten the Second Coming. He abandoned his wife and family to do this. “I left everything near and dear to me on earth in pursuit of truth”, he said. I have known many who have made similar statements. 

Does Jesus want us to sacrifice our family life for him? In following Jesus we are saying that, comparatively speaking, we commit to loving everything and everyone, including family and ourselves, less than Jesus (Luke 14:26). But does that mean that we should turn our backs on family connections? The Bible indicates no, we shouldn’t. 

Paul explains to husbands that they should love their wives and be willing to sacrifice themselves for them just as Christ died for us (Ephesians 5:25). Peter tells wives that putting their husbands first is a way of witnessing to the Lord (1 Peter 3:1). Paul also taught that “if anyone does not provide for his own relatives, and especially for his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8). 

Expressing love toward our spouses and family is part of our worship of God. 

Elkanah seemed to have had some understanding of that. He had problems though. One was the tension between his two wives. But that’s another story… 

Father, help me to express love toward my family and relatives as part of my worship of you. In Jesus’ name.

Study by James Henderson

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