The story of Samson and Delilah is the kind of story people make movies about. Sadly, the focus of the story of Samson and all his Delilah's is on what happened to a man who flirted with disaster and... eventually... disaster won. Sure, the end of his life ended with him defeating some Philistines with one great big victory. But don't forget that this was AFTER he had his eyes gouged out and was living as a prisoner/slave to the very people God had created him to overcome.
His destiny was to defeat the people who were oppressing God's people. He was created because God had compassion on the people who had so disobeyed Him that He allowed the Philistines to conquer them. In Judges 13, we see that God speaks to a couple - Samson's parents - about the son they are about to conceive and his LIFE'S PURPOSE. An angel of the Lord gives incredible news, "He will begin to rescue Israel from the Philistines." Judges 13:5
THE STORY OF SAMSON HAS BEEN SPINNING AROUND IN MY HEAD FOR THE PAST SEVERAL WEEKS.. BECAUSE...in the last several weeks, I have spoken with more than a few parents of adult children. These much loved children are not following the ways of the Lord. I can hear the anguish in the voices of the parents. All of them have said, in one way or another, "I know what my child is doing is wrong, but he/she is an adult and I DON'T WANT TO LOSE MY CHILD BY CONFRONTING THEM ABOUT SIN." Really? Really. It's been uncanny how this situation has presented itself to me in the last month or two. I prayed.. for them.. with them.. about them...and the story of Samson's parents came to my mind. So I read it. And re-read it. And saw some things clearly.
It wasn't SAMSON who spoke to an angel of the Lord, it was Samson's mother and father. It wasn't SAMSON who was told he wasn't to drink wine or cut his hair, it was Samson's mother and father. It wasn't SAMSON who knew that God had set him apart for a holy destiny, it was Samson's mother and father. So then God had entrusted the message of His plan for Samson's life to SAMSON'S MOTHER AND FATHER. AND EXPECTED THEM TO PASS IT ON TO SAMSON. And the Bible indicates that Samson led a set-apart life. It indicates his parents were diligent to tell him what the angel told them about his life on earth.
Samson was human - like the rest of us - and had his weaknesses - like the rest of us. Although he was a judge of Israel he was also a compromiser. He was not supposed to be interested in Philistine women. After all, he was set apart. He was called to be in the world but not of the world.
In Judges 14 we see a fork in the road for Samson. A fork that his parents allowed him to choose the wrong way. We see the beginning of the end for Samson. We see him telling his parents that a Philistine woman has "caught his eye." According to custom the parents had to arrange the marriage. Samson's parents asked him, "Isn't there even one woman among ALL THE ISRAELITES you can marry?" And that was the beginning of the end for their son... though they didn't recognize it.
Their question should have been a statement: "NO. You are NOT TO MARRY A PHILISTINE. NO. WE WILL NOT ARRANGE FOR YOU TO MARRY A PHILISTINE."
But evidently... they "didn't want to lose their son" so they did what he demanded. They let their son make a sinful choice. And by so doing... they damned him to the tragic loss of his eyesight.. and chains on the champion of the Lord... and being mocked by people who hated him. He lived a desperate end to a less-than-he-was-created-to-be LIFE.
The tragic part of Samson's story is that God intended a life of VICTORY and HONOR for Samson. God had a life of RULING with AUTHORITY for Samson.
And that's the life God has in mind for every child of every believer. GOD WANTS YOUR CHILD TO BE MORE THAN A CONQUEROR. You probably did not have an angel of the Lord appear to you giving you specific instructions about your child and his life and his choices. You don't need an angel to tell you what your son and daughter's life should be in order to live a life honoring God and His ways. You have the Bible.
I will quickly end this blog with just a few opinions and comments about things I hear people saying that I do not see a basis for in Scripture. They are:
- "He's eighteen years old." The law of the land tells us that an 18 year old is legally an adult. This is truth. However, the Bible never says that when a son is 18 or older, that he is no longer under the authority of... or the responsibility of... his parents. Does it? No. It NEVER tells a father, "O.K. You're done with your son. Don't get involved with your daughter. They are eighteen years old now." True, they leave home and make their own lives. TRUE, you cannot keep them from making unGodly choices. But there is not one Scripture which says "Well, she's an adult now. You cannot say anything to her about the way she lives her life." There IS a Scripture about a SON leaving his parents WHEN he takes a wife. But if your kid is unmarried, you might want to ask the Lord if HE told you you don't have a responsibility to keep them reminded about the Lord and His ways... or.. if Society has told you that. You can't control them... you have to let them grow.. but.. that isn't the same as standing by and watching them walk away from the Lord without saying something to them.
- "Silence is consent." I don't want to take space to list all the legal ramifications of that sentence. (Email me and I will give you the information). All through the legal systems of the world, it is understood that silence about a situation indicates consent. If you don't SPEAK UP about something.. you have.. by your silence consented to it. So a parent who believes their child is doing something that is against the LAW OF GOD and stays silent.. is consenting to the sin. Write me and I will give you Scriptures which describes how God views people who remain silent when His Law is being broken.
- "I don't want to lose my child. My grandchild." Someone.. somewhere.. has convinced scores of Christian parents of adult children that if they DARE utter ONE WORD about SIN.. their child will walk away forever and never return. REALLY? WHO TOLD YOU THAT? The other side of that story is maybe in your kid's heart, they KNOW you are afraid to lose them.. and would RESPECT YOU and YOUR WALK WITH THE LORD.. IF YOU CARED MORE ABOUT THEM LOSING THE LORD THAN YOU LOSING THEM. As a parent and a grandparent, I feel you. I know how you feel. So does the Lord. The Lord knows how weak we are. The Lord is filled with compassion on you in your present state of confusion. BUT REMEMBER that YOUR CHILD is HIS CHILD FIRST. How would you feel about someone you entrusted your children to, to watch them, and you let them wander away so that they are lost from you forever? God is counting on you to be sure that HIS CHILD doesn't get lost and away from Him. In your attempt to not lose your child HERE you may be deceived in to not remembering you could be losing him/her FOREVER.
- "Who am I to judge?" I could write ten million blogs about this whole "Don't judge others" misrepresentation of what that means. Only GOD is the JUDGE. The JUDGE is the one who HAS THE AUTHORITY TO PRONOUNCE and EXECUTE the PAYMENT FOR THE CRIME. None of us has that power. None of us. So then you are not JUDGING someone when you say, "Son, you are sleeping with your girlfriend and I want to remind you that this is sin in the eyes of the Lord." Secondly, if you feel guilty and unworthy to point out disobedience to your child just because you have disobedience in your past, then you don't understand the love of God. If you have confessed sin, God has forgotten it. IF GOD HAD TO WAIT FOR SOMEONE TO BE PERFECT BEFORE THEY COULD SPEAK GOD'S TRUTH TO ANOTHER PERSON.. THEN.. no one would ever be able to speak God's truth to anyone. He uses less-than-perfect vessels.
Dear Christian parent,
This is not about rejecting a kid because he's made a less than Godly choice. God never rejects anyone. His love and warnings are always about RESTORING people to HIM. Are you sure your words of truth are not what God is waiting for? Can you pray for your children to be reconciled to God - ask Him to do something - when your silence is deafening? Who is whispering the lie to you that if you make a stand you'll lose your kid? Is it God? Is God putting FEAR in to you? NO. He never gives a spirit of fear, but of love, power and sound mind. If it isn't GOD telling you to keep silent.. (and He isn't) then WHO IS?
Samson died a blind and defeated specimen because his parents didn't stick to the word God had given them. They failed to remind him of his HOLY DESTINY.
Instead of Samson defeating the Philistines - the Philistines defeated Samson.
Instead of your child being used as an instrument of God's Glory and Power and Light - he/she is living with the shadow of compromise.
Don't let your kid go through life blind and defeated because you have failed to remind him of HIS HOLY DESTINY. IN THE END.
YOU HAVE NO CONTROL OVER YOUR ADULT CHILD'S CHOICES. YOU DO HAVE CONTROL OVER THE MESSAGE YOU SEND CONCERNING THEM.YOU MAY BE SURPRISED HOW MUCH LIGHT A PARENT'S LOVING AND FIRM REMINDER OF GOD AND HIS WAYS WILL HAVE ON A CHILD WHO IS LOST AND IN DARKNESS.
You are not rejecting your kid because you remind him/her that eternity is real and so is separation from God.
It is love.
"God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him."
(John 3:17 New Living Translation)
Don't fool yourself in to thinking that saying nothing is saying nothing.
Your silence says consent.