The Fine Art of Failure: Week 8 - Day 1

Opening Prayer: 

Father God, You are our perfect parent.  Reveal to us how we should follow You in our daily relationships.

 

Read: Judges 14:1-3 NIV

“Samson went down to Timnah and saw there a young Philistine woman. When he returned, he said to his father and mother, “I have seen a Philistine woman in Timnah; now get her for me as my wife.” His father and mother replied, “Isn’t there an acceptable woman among your relatives or among all our people? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines to get a wife?” But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me. She’s the right one for me.’”

 

Reflect: 

Look back to the last two verses of chapter 13:

 “The woman gave birth to a son. They named him Samson. The boy grew and GOD blessed him. The Spirit of GOD began working in him while he was staying at a Danite camp between Zorah and Eshtaol.” Judges 13:24-25 MSG

We don’t know what happened between these two verses from chapter 13 and chapter 14 except Samson grew up to be an adult with a mind of his own.  As any parent of adult children will attest, parenting takes on a new and more difficult role when the child becomes 18.  You would like to tell them what they should do but legally there is nothing you can do.  You have to use your best coaching skills.  The times were a little different for Samson’s parents because technically, they had the right to veto his wishes, but they didn’t. 

 I can just imagine what went through their minds as they thought about their decision.  “Where did we go wrong that he would want to marry a woman of the uncircumcised Philistines?  What could we have said to him to help him understand he needs to marry a nice little Hebrew woman?”  We’ve all done that as we reviewed what we could have done better in raising our own children.  The “what if” thoughts can bring guilt and grief.

 Samson’s parents are in a difficult position.  They are caught between his desires and what they know is right for him.  Rather than lose their relationship with him they take the easy way out and set up the marriage with the Philistine woman.  The results of the compromise are disastrous. It is outside God’s will that Samson should be unequally yoked.  

 From this we learn that in the long run it is better to stay in God’s will and say no, regardless of what your heart tells you to do.  This is much easier to do with younger children than adult children, but as we see in this story of Samson, compromising is not worth the consequences.

 

Apply:  

This week as you are interacting with your children whether young or adult, think about the decisions you are guiding them through.  Ask yourself, “Am I following God’s will or taking the easy way out?”  The most critical thing any parent can do is to bathe them in prayer and model God’s Word for them.

 

Closing Prayer: 

Father, help us to love You with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and then to teach and model Your will as revealed in Scripture daily and at every opportunity.

Terry Schneider