The Fine Art of Failure: Week 8 - Day 3

Opening Prayer: 

Father God, keep me keenly aware of how my choices, actions, attitudes and words affect others.  Guide me in Your wisdom.


Read: Judges 14:10-13, 15-17, 19-20 NIV

“Now his father went down to see the woman. And there Samson held a feast, as was customary for young men. When the people saw him, they chose thirty men to be his companions.  “Let me tell you a riddle,” Samson said to them. “If you can give me the answer within the seven days of the feast, I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty sets of clothes. If you can’t tell me the answer, you must give me thirty linen garments and thirty sets of clothes.”

“Tell us your riddle,” they said. “Let’s hear it.”

On the fourth day, they said to Samson’s wife, “Coax your husband into explaining the riddle for us, or we will burn you and your father’s household to death. Did you invite us here to steal our property?” Then Samson’s wife threw herself on him, sobbing, “You hate me! You don’t really love me. You’ve given my people a riddle, but you haven’t told me the answer.” “I haven’t even explained it to my father or mother,” he replied, “so why should I explain it to you?” She cried the whole seven days of the feast. So on the seventh day he finally told her, because she continued to press him. She in turn explained the riddle to her people.

 Then the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him. He went down to Ashkelon, struck down thirty of their men, stripped them of everything and gave their clothes to those who had explained the riddle. Burning with anger, he returned to his father’s home. And Samson’s wife was given to one of his companions who had attended him at the feast.”



Manipulation does not have a place in marriage.  Here we see Samson’s wife using it very effectively to get her way and he is frustrated.  After a week of her crying and whining, Samson tells his wife the answer to the riddle.  Samson’s no better than she is.  He creates the problem by making the wager for clothing through the use of a riddle.  He is continuing in his flawed and impetuous ways. 

 There are many problems in this scenario.  First, there was no reason for Samson to make the wager he did.  Secondly, his wife’s manipulation of Samson by crying and whining until she got her way brought grief to many. Lastly, Samson doesn’t take responsibility for his part in the whole fiasco but takes out his revenge on others.

 One lesson here is that there is no room for manipulation in a happy, successful marriage.  Respect, honesty and openness between both parties help to make a marriage last.  Also, there needs to be a healthy give and take with compromise where it is needed (but not on non-negotiable things).  We must mutually establish what things are negotiable and non-negotiable basing those guidelines on scripture early in the marriage.



Both parties in a marriage need to be aware of the health of their relationship and evaluate it.  Ask the question, “Are we treating each other with consideration and respect?”  There is no room for manipulation and selfishness.


Closing Prayer: 

Father God, guide me to overflow with the fruit of the Holy Spirit toward my mate and in all my relationships…..”Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness,  Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-control.”  (Galatians 5: 22-23)

Terry Schneider