Do you remember Hagar in the Old Testament? In Genesis, we learn she was Sarai’s handmaid. Hagar is not the typical role model for motherhood. In fact, she’s usually viewed as the spoiler in an otherwise epic Bible story of Abraham’s life. Yet her life offers three reminders parents can glean encouragement from, even in the toughest times. 

God’s place in our lives is paramount.

Raising children is the hardest job we’ll ever have. As parents, we sometimes question our decisions, especially when life doesn’t play out the way we planned. As a Christian, I couldn’t imagine life without God. 

Hagar had reached the end of herself. She had no say in her pregnancy or how the mistress of the house, Sarai, treated her. So Hagar fled into the wilderness before her son Ishmael was born. The Bible does not indicate if Hagar had a relationship with God before this. She likely knew of Him due to living in Abram’s household. Yet she recognized His sovereignty in her and her unborn child’s life.  

She [Hagar] gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” Genesis 16:13 

Obey God—despite our circumstances.

Even though she was an Egyptian and likely had been reared on idol worship, Hagar recognized the true God when He spoke to her. More importantly, she acknowledged and obeyed Him. She returned to Sarai and Abram and gave birth to Ishmael, even though Sarai’s attitude toward her didn’t change.

We often can’t change our circumstances. As mothers, we operate in many different situations, whether it’s the workplace, home, or school our children attend. We can be like mama bears and will fight on behalf of our children, but the reality is sometimes we can’t change the circumstances. As hard as it is to relinquish control, sometimes the best solution is to step back and give the problem to God. Actually, this should be the first step before we act anyway. We’d save ourselves a lot of sleepless nights and battles along the way if we did.

God keeps His promises.

In Genesis 21:14-21, we see that Hagar felt the world caving in around her. She was a single mom with no place to turn. Having exhausted all her resources, she sat down and cried. Can you relate? But remember, God had already promised in her earlier excursion into the desert to make Ishmael into a great nation (Genesis 16). Hagar couldn’t see past her circumstances to see how God’s promise could be possible. She only saw death as a possibility.


“…Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. God was with the boy as he grew up. Genesis 21:18-20 

When life is difficult and no easy solution is apparent—especially where our children are concerned—remember God’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11 that He has a plan for us. This includes our children’s lives. Look at examples in your own life of when God has come through for you and our children. Keep God at the head of your home and cling to His Word, no matter your circumstances. Listen for His direction, even when you think all is lost.  

Hagar did and the Bible says, “God was with the boy as he grew up.” Is there anything more we could want for our children than that?

Do you have a favorite Bible verse you use as a reminder of God’s goodness? Or maybe a time when God came through just at the right time for you or your child?
Join the conversation and leave a comment.


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About Laura Hodges Poole

Laura Hodges Poole is a Christian writer with dozens of articles, devotions, and short stories in publication. She is the author of four books and has contributed to two others, available on Amazon. She is the 2016 ACWC Badge of Honor winner, 2014 ACFW Genesis semi-finalist, and 2012 RWA Emily finalist. Laura is also a non-fiction ghostwriter/collaborator. As an editor with The Christian PEN, she loves to mentor other writers and help them polish their work. Her passion is encouraging others in their Christian walk through her blog, “A Word of Encouragement.” When she’s not writing, you might find her hiking, playing the piano, or being crafty. A mother of two, Laura lives in South Carolina with her husband. Website/blog: Email: Connect with Laura by clicking on the icons below.
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