Friday, October 23, 2015

THE SAD, SAD SILENCE OF SAMSON'S MOTHER... AND FATHER.

(ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE THE PARENT OF AN ADULT CHILD... I PRAY YOU WILL READ THIS TO THE END.)  
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 you son and daughter's life should be in order to life 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.  
This is too long already. I may write about this again. I know I'll get comments about this. PLEASE comment.

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.
XO,
Mrs. Older.





5 comments:

  1. Mrs Older,
    I like the message of this post and I did not realize the back story of Samson. I was very intrigued to know of his parents involvement in the story. I must confess however that I am a child that has recently cut ties with my mother because of the WAY that she goes about crituqing my life choices. I would like to know what suggestions you have for parents to, as you put it "lovingly and firmly" relay their godly vision for their adult childs' life. I realize that there is a difference between that and saying "NO" to sinful acts, but not everyone realizes the difference. My mothers constant negative force in my life was becoming very problematic for myself, my husband, and my children. She was using the crutch that "that isn't Godly, This isn't Godly," constantly until we finally began to feel that we weren't worthy of GOD. Let me be clear on examples of how she was "critiquing," She was upset about my work as a full time nurse. She was upset about me furthering my education, she was upset about how my kids acted at times, we USED to attend the same church and she kept count on how much we missed until we finally stopped attending. I am not a perfect follower, but I know that I am worthy of Gods goodness, and that he has made a blessed life for me. I am happy, my children are happy and I have been married now for 15 years. While I sin daily - I finally came to the conclusion through much prayer and thought, that I would find more peace and happiness without mom's presence in my life, and it has worked well for 2 years now. I would like to hear your personal thoughts on BOUNDARIES for parents.
    I really enjoy your blog
    Thanks!

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    1. Candace,
      Thank you for your comments and questions and for saying you like the message of this post. In this example, Samson's parents were enabling him to compromise what THEY KNEW was going against what GOD HAD TOLD THEM about HIS plans for Samson's life. Their compromise enabled Samson's compromise. My message in a nutshell was to parents who KNOW they are compromising and are AFRAID to say so to the child. Afraid they are going t' "lose" their child. So first and foremost the message of this post is to not back down when your adult child is demanding and expecting you, as a parent, to overlook and compromise what God's Standards are. The parents did what THEY KNEW WENT AGAINST GOD'S BEST FOR SAMSON.

      Also..it wasn't a question of Samson not being PERFECT.. no one is PERFECT.. but it was a situation where he blatantly DISOBEYED GOD - on a regular basis - and was DEMANDING that his parents utterly IGNORE God's CLEAR INSTRUCTIONS to them. So that's who this blog was geared to. THOSE parents. The ones who KNOW their children are making DESTRUCTIVE choices and never speak up.
      That is completely different than what you are describing with your mom.

      As a mother of younger children at the present time, you are doing all you can to help your children grow. You give them all you can. You just tell them what they can and cannot do. What you have not experienced yet is that at some moment in their future, someone somewhere flips a switch...(LOL) and what you did before.. and were called a great mom for doing... suddenly becomes the WRONG THING to do. Suddenly, telling your kid what to eat or not eat is being overbearing. Suddenly, telling them to wear a jacket because it's supposed to get cold later today is treating them like a baby. So.. sometimes some mothers don't get the memo. You know? Some mothers don't understand that when that child is MARRIED her days of controlling you are over. Done. Maybe your mother is one of THOSE mothers.

      Most moms (not ALL moms) offer advice because they TRULY BELIEVE it is necessary and good for their child to hear it. I'm not inferring you should let this matter to you BUT If she counts the times you are in church, it might be because HER OPINION is that your family needs to be in church every time the doors open. Follow me here. I'm not suggesting that you need to live your live to appease and please her. Maybe her standards of being a follower means being in church every time the doors open. IF that's what SHE BELIEVES.. then of course.. she believes it's being LOVING to point out to you that you've missed church. On the other hand, she may just be a control freak who wants to look good to her friends at church because her daughter attends every service.

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  2. Because I don't know you, your mother or the situation I have no way of knowing whether anything she told you was good advice or not. It seems ridiculous that she didn't want you to further your education... but.. obviously she thought she had GOOD REASON. And I have found that MOST younger MOTHERS (and older ones for that matter) do not appreciate ANYONE saying her kids are not acting right. So.. since I don't know you... I could say she was way out of bounds for saying that. On the other hand, I personally know young mothers whose moms TRY TO tell them that their kids are out of control.. because they are... they really, really are... and.. the get insulted rather than listening.

    The BOTTOM LINE is that whatever and however you have come to your decision to separate from your mom.... I am sure it still tugs at you. I'm sure you wonder... "Am I doing the right thing?" God is specific about the way we honor - or dishonor - our parents. It matters to Him.

    IF - for this season - you have peace in your home by distancing yourself from your mom, then that's what you should do.
    She would not respond, I don't think, to anyone telling her that she should have boundaries when it comes to you.

    I would pray that you can find a way to live this way and do it without ANGER and UNFORGIVE-NESS. I would pray that at some point you and your mother can find a Godly loving intermediary to help HER UNDERSTAND why you have made the choices you've made.
    I would pray that a mother like yours would hear YOUR HEART.
    And that you would HEAR hers.
    Please respond if you choose.
    LOVE YOU,

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  3. Mrs Older,
    I realize that If I didn't question the decision that I have made to distance from her I wouldn't even bother to blog about it. I sometimes try to convince myself that It doesn't tug at my heart, but at times like this one, it is obvious that it does. It is unfair of me to ask your advice when you don't know the details of it and the years of hurt that we have experienced in our mother daughter relationship. I have all but given up on my mother and I, but I have two of the most wonderful daughters that GOD has ever created and I am terrified that I will do to them what my grandmother did to my own mother, and what my mother has done to me. I responded to your blog more in an effort to break the chain (as I am ever determined to do) than to try and repair the damage. I thank you for your prayers - as I need them!

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    1. Ahhh Candice (Sorry I spelled your name incorrectly in my last reply)
      I know many many women whose mothers are and have been toxic and the right thing for them to do for their families is to create much, much distance. There is so much pain that we inflict on one another and I believe it breaks God's heart. So then let's deal with your fear that you will do what your grandmother did to your mother and your mother did to you. FEAR never comes from God. It seems like the reasonable thing to do.. to worry.. but it really isn't. The Bible says that GOD has NOT GIVEN US a spirit of FEAR but of LOVE, POWER and a SOUND MIND. IT doesn't say Candace has to EARN those things... but that your Heavenly Father GIVES you those things to replace fear. I don't know what your mother did.. but I know that the Bible says if anyone "is in Christ.. SHE is a NEW creature. Old things have passed away... ALL THINGS BECOME NEW." If you ask God to empower you through the Holy Spirit and His power to BREAK THAT CHAIN... sweet woman.. it is BROKEN. Jesus came to BREAK CHAINS and SET CAPTIVES FREE. I pray that Jesus is your Lord and that you are leaning on Him to do what you think you cannot. Please keep writing. Here. Or you may email me at: awordtothewives@gmail.com

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