There are many women in the Bible who impress me because of their twin loves - their first love, Yahweh, and their second love, their husbands. Abigail, second wife of David, has always been one of my favourites because she first and foremost recognised Yahweh as sovereign in her life, much before than of her profligate husband, Nabal.
Today I came across another one - a woman with a diffrent kind of courage - the courage to place Yahweh so high in her affections that when her husband was taken from her after only 7 years of marriage, rather than remarry, she chose to make her own body the exclusive vessel of the Holy Spirit by devoting her life to its antetype, the temple. It is written:
"There was also a prophet(ess) named Chanah Bat-P'nu'el (Hannah the daughter of Penuel), of the tribe of Asher. She was a very old woman - she had lived with her husband seven years after marriage and had remained a widow ever since; now she was 84. She never left the Temple grounds but worshipped there night and day, fasting and praying. She came by at that moment and began thanking Elohim (God) and speaking about the child [Yah'shua/Jesus] to everyone who was waiting for Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) to be liberated" (Luke 2:36-38, JNT).
Is this not impressive? To have such a love for the Most High that she could not separate herself from His House. She had fulfilled her marriage obligations, presumably with equal joy, but found reconcilliation after it had been ended after a mere 7 years, in the House of Prayer.
Listening to some of the 'patriarchal' groups around who declare single women to be living in sin and under an obligation to marry one wonders if they have ever read the Scriptures, let alone been touched by the dedication of such women as Chanah (Hannah)? Who could fault her? Perhaps if there were more men willing to likewise live their lives in dedication to Yahweh instead of snorting like bulls on heat after more wives, or collecting more wives for prestige amongst other patriarchs, this movement might finally be purged of all the impurity that is contaminating it.