Connect Recap Notes: November 4, 2018
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "A Mother's Role in the Smart Home"
Text: 1 Samuel 1Path
A mother's love is great—it sets the standard of unconditional love. God has done—and continues to do—great things through women. The Bible records numerous faithful and spiritually fruitful women, such as Jochebed (Moses' mother), Ruth, Esther, Elizabeth, and Mary. In 1 Samuel we meet Hannah, a woman whose faith modeled three powerful truths about mothers.
- Mothers Have Great Problems
- Mothers Keep Great Priorities
- Mothers Make Great Plans
Mothers Have Great Problems
- Hannah was infertile, as were many prominent women in the Bible: Sarah, Rebecca, Leah, Rachel, and Elizabeth. Infertility was a significant issue both in biblical times and today. In the United States today, one out of every eight couples is infertile.
- A woman's value to God is not based on her ability to reproduce. God loves you because you are His daughter, made in His image.
- To offer some comfort to women struggling to or unable to have children, consider these possible reasons:
- God may still be preparing you to be a mother. He may be saying, Not now, not, Not ever.
- God might be preparing you to be a foster or adoptive parent.
- He may want you to be available for a specific work that would be difficult or impossible if you had the responsibility and commitment of motherhood.
Mothers Keep Great Priorities
- Hannah knew her priorities: God first, spouse second, children third.
- Hannah developed a strong relationship with God. She worshipped Him regularly and prayed to Him earnestly.
- Hannah took her great sorrow to the Lord (see 1 Samuel 1:11).
- She addressed God as the Lord of hosts, the Master-Commander of heaven's armies.
- She appealed to God based on His authority.
- She prayed continually.
- Hannah's second priority was her husband, Elkanah. He loved her with great affection, and they clearly had a good relationship (see vv. 5, 8).
- Hannah promised God that if He gave her a child, she would raise him to know and serve the Lord (see v. 11).
Mothers Make Great Plans
PracticeConnect Up: In the Bible, many attributes and descriptions of God are masculine, however some are feminine. Look up the following verses and discuss how God is both fatherly and motherly: Deuteronomy 32:18, Psalm 17:8, Proverbs 4:13, Isaiah 42:14, Hosea 11:1-4. Discuss how the following typically feminine characteristics reflect a nurturing God: forgiveness (see Psalm 103:12), gentleness (see Isaiah 40:11), kindness (see Jeremiah 31:3), compassion (see Matthew 8:1-17), patience (see 2 Peter 3:9).
- Hannah fulfilled her promise and planned to return her child to the Lord (see vv. 24-28). She had made a vow to dedicate her son to God and kept it.
- Before she lent Samuel to God's service, Hannah first wanted to wean him (see vv. 22-23).
- At this time and in this culture, weaning took between five and seven years.
- Wean (gamal in Hebrew) means to deal fully with. It included physical and spiritual training (see 2 Timothy 3:15)
- Paul wrote to Timothy about the legacy of a mother (see 2 Timothy 1:3-7); he recognized that godly motherhood has immeasurable value.
- Once Samuel had been dedicated and taught, Hannah sent him for service to the Lord.
- In the Hebrew Bible, the book of 1 Samuel comes after the book of Judges. During Judges, Israel was at its lowest point spiritually, a time of total moral relativism (see Judges 21:25). At just the right time, God's chose Samuel to enter into Israel's desperate situation as a prophet.
- Godly mothers matter. Whether you have your own children or are a spiritual mother to other children, draw close to God, then love them by teaching them about Him by His Word and your model.
Connect In: Pastor Skip mentioned the importance of women to God; He did create them, after all. In what ways can a church reach out to women? What types of ministries do women care for and are concerned with? If you attend she Ministries, discuss how she helps equip and sustain a woman to be a Proverbs 31 leader, considering these virtues: faith, marriage, motherhood, health, service, homemaking, and time. What more does Proverbs 31 have to say about womanhood?
Connect Out: Pastor Skip mentioned that many women face infertility problems. How can Christians reach out to those struggling with barrenness? Baby Center recommends, "Realize and accept that you will have some ups and (most likely) many downs as you deal with your fertility problem. Reflect on your commitment to becoming a parent, and read our top coping strategies to help you get through this trying time. Consider joining a support group if you decide to go ahead with treatment, and connect online with others."1 What more would you add?
1 Baby Center, "The Emotional Impact of Fertility Problems," February, 2017, https://www.babycenter.com/0_the-emotional-impact-of-fertility-problems_3933.bc
, accessed 11/4/18.