I’m certain that none of the men reading this would ever make the mistake of saying that our wives are somehow honored just to have us as their husbands… How can I be so certain of this? It’s really quite simple. You see, such wise decisions account for most of us men even being alive still – and I know for sure I would personally only get one shot at a mistake like that… I mean, really, at the very most we might very secretly “believe” that to be true – but we would never be so foolish as to voice that sentiment out loud. Right?
When my wife is hurting though, or struggling with some problem in her life, I love to fix that. Often, even though I think I’m being very clever and not manifesting anything “out loud” – what I am actually doing on a very basic level is showing her how I am the solution to all her woes. Whether it be my great ideas that spill forth from the keen intellect housed within, or even just the physical prowess that I might demonstrate as I “man-handle” something into place that will surely solve everything.
Unfortunately, while I’m so caught up in what I believe to be quite amazing repairs to everything that comes along – I am not honoring her at all, because I am not helping her to see the power of God working in her life. He is the only one who can truly cure our woes, and the only one deserving of honor and glory. If I am not helping my wife, a sister in the body of Christ, to embrace God’s will and let Him exercise complete dominion in our lives, or in our marriage – if I am not giving God the glory and acknowledging Him in His rightful place – then I am not honoring my wife at all.
There may be some reading this who can relate to what I struggle with, but even if there is not a single person out there – I can at least take some small measure of satisfaction in knowing that there have been others (well, at least one) throughout time.
The situation – a wife in distress:
1 Samuel 1
 There was a man from Ramathaim-zophim in the hill country of Ephraim. His name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.  He had two wives, the first named Hannah and the second Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah was childless.  This man would go up from his town every year to worship and to sacrifice to the LORD of Hosts at Shiloh, where Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were the LORD’s priests.  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, for he loved her even though the LORD had kept her from conceiving.  Her rival would taunt her severely just to provoke her, because the LORD had kept Hannah from conceiving.  Whenever she went up to the LORD’s house, her rival taunted her in this way every year. Hannah wept and would not eat.
Yep, OK, this is the classic scenario, my wife is clearly in distress, and here I come to save the day…
 “Hannah, why are you crying?” her husband Elkanah asked. “Why won’t you eat? Why are you troubled? Am I not better to you than 10 sons?”
What did I just do? Well, I solved her problem – that’s what. I reminded her of how lucky she is to have me. How can there be any issues as long as I am here? Whoa! Stop right there Nathan! (You see, I even have to step outside and actually address myself in the third-person in order to throw on the brakes here and truly stop myself from making an already horrible mistake even worse.) Isn’t that exactly what we said I should NOT do? Oh, yeah… right.
Well, that was certainly not a great example for us men – but take a look at what Hannah does, and the strength of character she displays in her next actions:
 Hannah got up after they ate and drank at Shiloh. Eli the priest was sitting on a chair by the doorpost of the LORD’s tabernacle.  Deeply hurt, Hannah prayed to the LORD and wept with many tears.
She doesn’t lose sight of her priorities. Instead, she keeps right on track and goes straight to her source of strength. Notice the honesty she shows, and the total baring of her soul to God.
 While she continued praying in the LORD’s presence, Eli watched her lips.  Hannah was praying silently, and though her lips were moving, her voice could not be heard. Eli thought she was drunk  and scolded her, “How long are you going to be drunk? Get rid of your wine!”  “No, my lord,” Hannah replied. “I am a woman with a broken heart. I haven’t had any wine or beer; I’ve been pouring out my heart before the LORD.  Don’t think of me as a wicked woman; I’ve been praying from the depth of my anguish and resentment.”
Then, when she has finished praying, look at her behavior and the expectant faith she displays in her demeanor.
 Eli responded, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant the petition you’ve requested from Him.”  “May your servant find favor with you,” she replied. Then Hannah went on her way; she ate and no longer looked despondent.
…and now – the rest of the story.
It is important to note that it wasn’t all doom and gloom for Elkanah. There are constant references to his spiritual leadership, getting up early to bow in worship before the Lord (v.19) and regularly going up to sacrifice (v. 3, 4, 21).
When Hannah explained how she would fulfill her oath to the Lord (v. 22) what was his reaction? He really honors her and shows deference to God’s role in their lives, by his answer:
 Her husband Elkanah replied, “Do what you think is best, and stay here until you’ve weaned him. May the LORD confirm your word.”
So, we do have a great example of how such a conversation or situation should go, and we know without a doubt that the Lord is faithful and able to work in our lives. He is the creator, and only He knows what is best for us.
1 Samuel 2
 The LORD paid attention to Hannah’s need, and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the LORD.