Been there… done that
When we see others going through struggles we have faced, we often feel empathy for them. I feel empathy for newer teachers just getting started, for wives working to build a stronger marriage one day at a time, and probably the strongest empathy I feel goes out to parents. Dealing with young children running here and there for practice, games, and diaper changes… been there, done that. Raising teens who think they know everything, have the occasional attitude (lol!), and are trying to figure out who they are? Been there, done that. Learning to let adult children go run their own lives? Been there, done that.
As I read Judges 13-14, it’s as if I can feel the roles reversed and Samson’s parents are empathizing with me and other parents. As if they were calling out- been there, done that and God was there all along.
In Judges 13, we see that God sent an angel to announce Samson’s coming. His godly parents raised him in the truths and love of the God and the Lord blessed Samson. Then the day came when Samson chose a wife. The kicker was that he selected a Philistine woman from among the pagan people who were oppressing the Hebrews.
Samson’s parents questioned his decision bringing up the many fine Hebrew women around. Samson though held firm. One verse keeps coming to my attention-
“But Samson said to his father, ‘Get her for me. She’s the right one for me.’(His parents did not know this was from the Lord, who was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines; for all that time they were ruling over Israel.)” – Judges 14: 3-4
The key point to me is the fact that he was making a decision his parents thought was a poor one.
As a parent, I’ve been so pleased by some of the decisions my children have made. Yet I’ve also been hurt, worried, and confused over others. God has been at work teaching me that the choices are theirs to make not mine. So I stand down and pray and find wisdom in the Word.
Though they questioned and probably worried over his decision they didn’t agree with, Samson’s parents supported him and worked to make the marriage work. Though not explicitly written in the Word, I believe we can read between the lines the fact that they trusted God even in this situation.
I feel like Samson’s parents are reaching through the centuries to reassure me. Telling me to do my best to raise my children in the truths of God, to let them make decisions with my support, and then to trust God has a plan for his glory no matter the direction they go.
Lord, thank you for the reminder that you are present in the lives of my children and that you have a plan. Sometimes I may question their decisions, but you can bring glory through any choice. Help me to place my children in your hands for you are more than capable! Amen!