Hannah, the Childless One


As I was reading about Hannah in I Samuel, it took me back to the early days of being married to my late wife. We had been married a few years and began to try to get pregnant. I never thought that getting pregnant would be so difficult. After ten major and minor surguries to get pregnant, we were left with the same circumstances that we started out with. No pregnancy. No children. Childless.

It was painful to go to our young couples class and hear on a weekly basis that some couple had just become pregnant and were celebrating their great news. For us, it left a pit in our stomachs because we wanted a child so badly and couldn’t. It was painful. We had an empty feeling that nothing could fill. There were a lot of tears during those years of trying to get pregnant and never fulfilling that desire.

Hannah is one of two wives that Elkanah had in Israel. One (Peninnah) had children and one did not (Hannah). This had been going on for some years and we pick up the conflictual relationship between Peninnah and Hannah in verse 6. “Her (Hannah’s) rival would taunt her (Hannah) severely just to provoke her, because the Lord had kept Hannah from conceiving. Year after year, when she went up to the Lord’s house, her rival taunted her in this way. Hannah would weep and would not eat. “Hannah, why are you crying?” her husband, Elkanah, would ask. “Why won’t you eat? Why are you troubled? Am I not better to you than ten sons?””
‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭1:2, 6-8‬ ‭CSB‬‬

When you are in the situation of being childless, a husband who tells his wife to stop crying is not very sensitive to her present needs. He also compared himself to having a child and said that he was better than Han ten sons. I’m sorry, but no matter how wonderful Elkanah was, comparing himself with 10 sons is not very sensitive for a woman who had been taunted for years for not having a child. When in that situation of not having a child and wanting we could learn what not to say to our wife.

Fortunately for us, God provided over a period of 18 years three wonderful children through the adoption process to fill the emptiness in our hearts. For those reading this jlog who haven’t gotten that hole filled, I can understand your pain of wanting to have children and not being able to


When you want something so badly such as a child and can’t have what you want, it causes you to have great pain. The longer the situation goes on, the harder it becomes. On this journey of bringing children into this world, I’m here to tell you that the journey isn’t finished for you. As you read the rest of the story of Hannah, she sought the Lord during those many years of being childless and her prayers were finally answered. As were ours.

About James Gorton

I am happily married to Nadine, a person I've known for 20+ years. She and her late husband owned Airpark Auto Service where I took my car for years. Four years after my wife died we began dating and the rest is history. We have a blended family of 6 children between us and love visiting them across this country. We recently had our third grandchild between us. We love to hike, bike and ski. I am a psychologist and do relational life coaching for marriages and families primarily. I love what I do and never get tired of seeing marriages and families move to more healthy places in their lives. Five years ago my oldest daughter Deborah encouraged me to begin writing my thought into a blog I call my Jlog (Jim's log). I have become more and more passionate in connecting everyday experiences to spiritual truths. I hope that as you read my Jlog, you will gain insight into your personal life and experience true growth in your personal and relational life.
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1 Response to Hannah, the Childless One

  1. Mindy says:

    But sometimes the prayer goes unanswered. Not because God doesn’t hear/care. Not because we are needing to learn a lesson. Not because we did anything wrong or are unworthy for any reason. Life just does that sometimes.

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