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Experiencing the Blessing of Family- Lessons from Abraham & Sarah

(Genesis 11:26-12:9)

The effect of Adam and Eve’s sin of disobedience is that every human being is born with a sinful nature. We also saw how God redeemed the institution of marriage through the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross. If anyone repents from sin and accepts Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour, they are delivered from the control of their sinful nature and given the nature of God through the Holy Spirit that indwells them. So, for anyone to experience the blessing of family, they need to be born again as well as be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Living a Spirit-filled or Spirit-controlled life requires knowing and obeying the Word of God. What can we learn from Abraham and Sarah about how to experience the blessing of family?

In the first place, there must be a commitment to companionship. Abram and Sarai were inseparable from the moment they got married. When God called Abram out of the Ur of the Chaldees, he took Sarai along (Gen. 12:5). When they had to go to Egypt because of famine in the land of Canaan, they went together (Gen. 12:10-11).


Second, there must be joint acceptance of responsibility to dependents. Abram and Sarah jointly accepted responsibility for his aged father, who was possibly widowed at the time and for Lot, his nephew. Abram took them along with him on his journey to Canaan.

Third, there must a joint commitment to the worship of God (Gen. 12:7-8; 13:2-4, 18). Also, a couple must have the same loyalty to God. Abram gave a tithe of all that he gained from the battle with the kings that abducted his nephew, Lot, and refused to benefit personally from the spoils of war (Gen. 14:17, 21-15:1).

Fourth, marriage partners should not expose each other to the risk of being hurt or injured or the risk of taking ill-advised actions. Abram allowed his fear for his own life to expose his wife to danger and risk of being defiled (Gen. 12:10-17). Abram’s failure to deal with his disappointment with his childlessness and Sarah’s desperation to have a child may have pushed Sarai to advise him to father a child through her maid (Gen. 16:1-5).

Fifth, the Word of God must be revered by a couple and they must share the same understanding of it. After Abram rejected the offer made to him by the king of Sodom, God said to him, “I am your shield, your very great reward” (Gen. 15:1). But Abram, who was concerned that after ten years of being in the land of Canaan, he remained childless (Gen. 15:2-3), despite God’s promise to him and Sarai, replied to God, “Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus” (Gen. 15:2). God, therefore, replied to Abram, “This man (Eliezer of Damascus) shall not be your heir; your son shall be your heir” (Gen. 15:4). But who will be the mother of the child? It should have been clear to both Abram and Sarai that since God recognises monogamy as the ideal state of marriage, and Sarai would be the mother of the child. Unfortunately, they lived in a culture that permitted a barren woman to raise a child through her maid, therefore, they reasoned that Hagar could be the mother of the child that God promised them. A couple must be careful about the advice they give each other, and make sure they are based on the Word of God. Adam sinned because he listened to his wife, and considered what she said to be more important than what God had said. Abram also sinned because he listened to Sarai. When something is not clear, a couple should prayerfully search the Word of God for better understanding, clarification or confirmation. Even though the wife has to submit to her husband, when it is very clear that the husband is wrong, he should submit to the wife (Gen. 21:8-13).


Sixth, a couple must understand how the minds of human beings, particularly those closest to them, like their household servants, work and exercise godly wisdom in dealing with them (Gen. 16:4). “He (Abram) slept with Hagar, and she conceived. When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress” (John 2:24–25). “But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person. Sarai certainly did not know that it is not natural for a woman to conceive a child in her womb, carry that child for nine months and, after the birth of the child, hand the child over to another woman to call her own. They may belong to two different classes, economically, and one may be the servant and the other the mistress; nonetheless, they are both women with the same emotional and psychological makeup. There is nothing that the mistress has that the slave woman does not have except the opportunity to be married to your spouse, and once they are given that opportunity, you cannot predict their reaction to your generous or ill-advised offer (Prov. 30:21–24; Gen. 16:15). Do not give your maid or manservant any room to start comparing herself or himself to you. A wife should know how to do every household chore better than her maid (Gen. 18:1–8). No husband or wife should ever compare their spouse to their household servant, or anybody else for that matter. A maid is in the family to help the wife manage the home by doing household chores. She should have the primary responsibility for the discipline of her maids Gen. 16:6).

Seventh, couples and family members must avoid hurting one another but when an offence is committed, they must learn to forgive one another. Forgiveness of a wrong done to us may be very difficult but we just have to offer it if we would enjoy the blessing of family. Sarah’s insistence that Abraham should eject Hagar and Ishmael from the family did not go down well with Abraham, but God asked him to do as Sarah demanded for the sake of peace (Genesis 21).

Eighth, parents have the responsibility to guide their children to settle down into their own homes and put structures in place that will guarantee the peaceful coexistence of their descendants after their own demise.

After the death of Sarah, Abraham sent his servant to get a wife for his son, Isaac, who must have been severely affected by the death of his mother, being an only child (Gen. 24). Abraham married another wife, Keturah (Gen. 25:1-4); he left everything he owned to Isaac and gave it to the sons of his concubines (Hagar and Keturah) and sent them away from his son Isaac to the land of the east.


Your eternal salvation and spiritual well-being are our concerns. If you wish to receive Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour, you can pray the following prayer to God: “Dear God, I thank you for sending Jesus into the world to die for my sins. I repent of my sins right now and invite Him into my life to be my Lord and Saviour. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

If you offered this prayer to God, please write to let us know at the address below. You are also invited to join us in worshipping the Lord every Sunday in Yoruba language at 7.20 a.m. and in English language at 9.00 a.m.

Good News Baptist Church,

47/49, Olufemi Road, Off Ogunlana Drive,


P. O. Box 3781, Surulere, Lagos.

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