Digging in Deeper: Judges 16:4

“After this he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Sometimes God works through our strengths. Sometimes our weaknesses. In Samson’s case, the latter was most definitely the case. Samson has many weaknesses, but his near total inability to choose wisely when it came to women was very near the top of the list.

Matters of the heart are difficult to navigate. They require great care and discernment. If we give our hearts too soon to the wrong person we can find ourselves in more trouble than we’d care to know.

Samson gave himself to three different women (that we know of!), all of them Philistines. God warned the people of Israel over and over again not to get involved romantically with people of the various nations surrounding them. The reason was not that He was training them to be xenophobic. Rather, nations then were defined by worldviews. Each different nation had its own god, and each god came with its own view of the world and expectation of behavior. God knew that if one of His people got involved romantically with a person of a different worldview they would naturally move away from Him in their direction. And, not only would they leave, but their children would follow suit along with their grandchildren until suddenly a whole slice of the nation would be lost. Now, perhaps the other person might move in their direction instead, but He wasn’t willing to chance it.

Today, the same kind of thing still holds. As followers of Jesus, we’ve got to be careful when it comes to matters of the heart. God can work His good plans in spite of our unfaithfulness and bad decisions like He did with Samson, but how much better to not have to rely on that?

When it comes to choosing a partner, we’ve got to choose someone who shares our worldview. This goes for marriage, but it goes for dating too. When we give even a portion of our heart to another person, we begin to shape our views and understanding of the world in light of theirs. If they are not also committed followers of Jesus, their natural pull on our lives will be away from Him.

If we go to the length of marrying someone who does not share our worldview, we build our whole relationship on shaky ground because on some of the biggest issues of life we will not be able to stand together. They will be committed to one view of the world and us another. We will have to choose one path or the other. If we lean in their direction we will naturally be moving away from Jesus and why would we want to do that if we are endeavoring to follow Him?

Now, if you are already in such an ideologically unbalanced relationship as this, do not leave it on these grounds or any other if you can help it. Paul’s advice here is clear in 1 Corinthians 7. But, you will need to be intentional about seeking encouragement and help in your pursuit of the Lord. You will need to follow Peter’s advice in 1 Peter 3:1-7. Pray fervently for Jesus to do a work in the heart of your unbelieving partner.

If you are not there, though, don’t take this path. It’s just not worth it. Be patient and seek a partner who shares your worldview. In the meantime, work hard to become the kind of person the person you’re looking for is looking for. Trust the Lord you don’t want to leave behind to provide when the time is right. Hear well that this is not an easy path. Those who have walked it long know this well. But it does lead to good if we are willing to walk it patiently. Samson’s path is not set out as one to follow, but to avoid.

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