The strong man Samson fought with many men. We may not be able to relate to those great fights, but we can understand a battle he had at home. Samson fell in love with a Philistine woman and asked for his parents’ approval. They disagreed with his choice in women. His father and mother couldn’t understand why their son seemed determined to marry a Gentile instead of an Israelite. Samson refused to listen to them because she made him happy and that was all that mattered to him (Judg. 14:1-3). He was strong against men but weak before women who were not of the best character.
Parents today can appreciate Samson’s mother and father because they have had similar concerns about their son or daughter’s choice in a mate. Marriages then were different in that they were arranged between both sets of parents, but as this case shows they were not forced. One thing that does remain the same is that now like then parents usually have better judgment about this matter. Samson’s parents said his choice in women was not good. Time proved them to be right.
Most people marry to be happy more than for any other reason. There is nothing wrong with wanting a happy marriage. That is how it should be (Prov. 5:18). The problem is that people often put their idea of happiness above everything else. Like Samson, they know their love pleases them but they are not concerned about what is best or even in some cases about what is right. Like the mighty judge of Israel they learn that a marriage that begins in bliss can end in misery.
There is a bigger picture to the story of Samson’s relationships that would startle some. From a human point of view, a good marriage is beneficial in God’s plan and a bad marriage serves no useful purpose before Him. Samson’s parents saw only the hurt their son was causing himself. God had a plan, however, and He worked out that aim through Samson’s weakness.
But his father and mother knew not that it was of the Lord, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines. Judg. 14:4
Because of Samson’s relationship with a Philistine woman, he killed many of this enemy nation. Later he fell in love with another Philistine woman, Delilah, who betrayed him. He lost his eyes because he couldn’t see through her. In the end with a final surge of strength he killed many more of the enemy (Judg. 16). God accomplished His will through a bad marriage! Who except God can foresee such things? Who else but God can bring such good results out of a bad situation?
This is no excuse to throw caution to the wind and choose a bad relationship. It is a reminder that our personal happiness is not the only or the most important factor in God’s plans. It is an encouragement to good people in bad situations. Above all, it is a humbling and comforting lesson in trusting in the all-seeing benevolent Creator.