I comfort myself and other parents with an encouraging word when it comes to children – a godly home is no guarantee of a godly life if the spiritual influence is rejected by a child. One cannot put immediate blame the parents, but rather a spotlight is first on the child. God gave Samson a godly heritage, he was raised with an incredible calling to honour God. Falling in love turned him against his parents. How did he fall in love? He walked four miles into enemy territory, was captivated by a pretty face and decided to marry that pretty face.
Samson went down to Timnah. There in Timnah a woman caught his eye, a Philistine girl. He came back and told his father and mother, “I saw a woman in Timnah, a Philistine girl; get her for me as my wife.” – Joshua 14:1-2 MSG
I have stories to tell of such encounters. They happen far to often in the people I know, especially those who have been called into leadership. It reminds me of the warning – “You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else.”
They couldn’t figure it out. After three days they were still stumped. On the fourth day they said to Samson’s bride, “Worm the answer out of your husband or we’ll burn you and your father’s household. Have you invited us here to bankrupt us?”
So Samson’s bride turned on the tears, saying to him, “You hate me. You don’t love me. You’ve told a riddle to my people but you won’t even tell me the answer.”
He said, “I haven’t told my own parents—why would I tell you?”
But she turned on the tears all the seven days of the feast. On the seventh day, worn out by her nagging, he told her. Then she went and told it to her people.
The men of the town came to him on the seventh day, just before sunset and said,
What is sweeter than honey?
What is stronger than a lion?
And Samson said,
If you hadn’t plowed with my heifer,
You wouldn’t have found out my riddle.
Then the Spirit of God came powerfully on him. He went down to Ashkelon and killed thirty of their men, stripped them, and gave their clothing to those who had solved the riddle. Stalking out, smoking with anger, he went home to his father’s house. Samson’s bride became the wife of the best man at his wedding. – Judges 14:14-20 MSG
Samson’s self-will ironically yielded no satisfaction for him. By disregarding his God-given privileges he lost his bet with the Philistines, his wardrobe, his wife, and his honour. Samson’s basic problem was that he did not submit to God’s authority over his life. This authority problem manifested itself first in his refusal to submit to his parents’ authority. By giving his parents so little honour, he made room to give himself permission to pursue his own plans. That would be a red flag.
Father, do not allow red flags to go unnoticed in my life.