Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said. (Genesis 16:1-2)
The story of Sarah leading Hagar to Abraham is even more disconcerting when it is illustrated in full colour don’t you think?
Yet I think we would be wise to meditate on this image when discussing Christian family values online. Here we have a man and woman of faith acting quite faithlessly. Trying to force the hand of God in their impatience to have children. Yet does God give up on them? No. How then might God’s response to Abraham, Sarah and Hagar inform our debates over other marrital arrangements that are difficult to reconcile with scripture?