A lot of times when I consider the man Abraham, I marvel at the strong bond between him and God. This was a man that God would say of in Genesis 18:17 that “shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?” But in all of Abraham’s believe and walk with God, his life as a married man leaves a lot to be desired of.
In Genesis 15:2-6, Abraham petitioned God for a son, he didn’t want a servant in his household becoming his heir and to that end, he did nothing wrong. Immediately he made that request, God promised Abraham a son and even sons as many as the sands of the seashore and as the stars in the sky and we are told that Abraham believed and it was credited to him as righteousness.
But in the next chapter (Genesis 16), we read that Abraham’s wife had borne him no children, but she had an Egyptian maidservant. She told Abraham to take the maidservant Hagar and sleep with her and have children with her and Abraham agreed.
Now reading this on the surface, everyone will blame Sarah for taking such a call. And bad as it may look, I would rather blame Abraham for agreeing to such a call. Remember he is the husband, the head of the home and the leader of the family, he bears the responsibility of that decision far more than Sarah his wife. He had spoken with God received God's promise on his request, so what went wrong?
The second puzzle that came to my mind on this matter is that; what would make Sarah consider giving her maidservant to her husband to be his wife? I am trying to put myself into Sarah’s shoes and imagine what will make me marry another woman for my husband because I can bear him no child. It's not just about Abraham not having children, it’s about Sarah also not having children. And this gives me so much respect for the person of Sarah at how much she was willing to sacrifice for the happiness of her husband even when it hurts her deep inside.
No woman in her right mind would be willing to make such an offer except for the level of the sacrificial heart such as Sarah had. We remember that in Genesis 12:10-20, she made one of such big sacrifices for the peace of her marriage based on her trust in God. Again, here we see Sarah making another of such sacrifices. As far as she was concerned her husband’s happiness was of big importance to her. But did Abraham feel the same way towards his wife? Was he willing to sacrifice as much for the happiness of Sarah his wife? That much we might never know as it was not stated in the scriptures, but all that we know is that Abraham agreed to Sarah’s offer and took Hagar the maidservant as wife, slept with her and she conceived for him. But if you ask me, I will say that Abraham was been insensitive to the feelings of his wife by agreeing to her offer.
The beautiful aspect of this story is that even though Abraham did to see and appreciate the sacrifices of Sarah, God did and that is why there remained a promise-child that could only come from the womb of Sarah. That child Isaac was the only child God reckoned as Abraham’s child and all of God’s promises and the covenants God made with Abraham was made manifest through that one child Isaac.
So, as wives, we take our learnings again from the life of Sarah. What sacrifices do you need to make for the peace and progress of your marriage that you are not making yet? Are you holding your husband’s attitude and negativity as a reason for your own failures as a wife? If Sarah didn’t do that, then you shouldn’t. I know and acknowledge that it can be tough been a sacrificial wife to a none appreciative husband but your validation does not reside in your husband, it rests in God. What your husband fails to see, God sees them all and the harvest of the sacrifices you sow in your marriage is far bigger when it is God watching over your seed to bring about a harvest than the acknowledgment of your husband.
As a wife, if you have not started sowing those sacrificial seeds in your marriage, then start now because it is only those who sow that expects a harvest. And if you have been sowing please don’t stop and seeds need time to grow. But your harvest is sure and far bigger than the weight of the sacrifices you have made and are making. Just keep trusting God and keep on sowing those seeds. I have been there before and so I know.