Abraham & Sarah: Through Thick and Thin

Marriage lessons from couples in the Bible- Abraham & Sarah: Through Thick and Thin

Photo by Katherine Hanlon on Unsplash

Abraham had to learn a lesson that every Jamaican knows from birth: “wifey and matey can’t be friends“. The promised son was nowhere to be seen and they were getting old. Instead of crying out to God in their doubt and fear, they decided to help Him out. Enter Hagar the Egyptian handmaiden.

In Genesis 16:2-3, we are told that Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham to be his second wife so that the children born of that union would be credited to Sarah. This broke all kinds of rules:

  • Monogamy – which is God’s ideal
  • Marrying and having children with a person from a heathen nation
  • Displaying a lack of faith in God’s word

Sometimes the consequences of a bad decision don’t show up right away. For a time there was peace in the home as Abraham and his two wives lived in seemingly married bliss. But we know:

Abraham’s Affair

Everything was fine until Hagar actually got pregnant. Then things got bad really fast.

  • Becoming pregnant made Hagar haughty and she started lording it over Sarah. Maybe she had previously been sympathetic towards Sarah because of the lack of children. But now that she was pregnant, she began to feel superior.
  • Sarah got mad. Maybe she didn’t really think Hagar would get pregnant. Or maybe it was Hagar’s attitude when she did. Whatever it was that triggered it, the Bible tells us in Genesis 16:6  that Sarah treated Hagar so harshly that she ran away.
  • Abraham got blamed for following the instructions given by Sarah (Genesis 16:5).

In today’s society where “open relationships” are the norm, it’s easy to forget that God never intended for man to have more than one wife. In fact, what God intended for humanity is often the furthest away from our minds. We are becoming more and more like the Israelites with each person “doing what is right in their own eyes.”

But here’s the thing: as children of the Most High God, we are called to distinguish ourselves from the world. We can’t be in the middle of Babylon, living a Babylonian lifestyle and expect the riches of heaven. If we want our reward we have to differentiate ourselves. We have to go by the standard that God has set, regardless of what the world may think.

Let’s Pray

Father, sometimes it seems as though everyone around me is living as they see fit. It is sometimes difficult for me to hold on to the standards You have set for me. But I ask You today Lord, not my will but through Your strength. Help me to do those things that You say are right. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Let’s Chat

Some men in the Bible who had multiple wives, what would you say to those persons who claim that God allowed polygamy?

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