Heroes and Villains: Delilah
Delilah's story is one that leaves me shaking my head. I simply don't understand her. I imagine this drama of trying to determine the source of Samson's strength, but when it's all said and done and his eyes have been gouged out, the drama is over, and this man is no longer in her life, I really question if she found the money, the hard work, and the pain she inflicted on Samson to be worth it? Could she have been as heartless as the words in Judges 16 make her out to be?
Read Judges 16
We know that there was a relationship between Samson and Delilah prior to the Philistine's bribe. I only mention this because it mentions that Samson loved Delilah. I would think that to love her, he'd have to know her a little bit.... right?
But then this bribe comes and Delilah is entirely persistent and motivated to learn the source of Samson's strength. She uses his love for her against him. She manipulates him. She nags him. She wears him down until he finally tells her his secret. She accomplishes what she set out to do. I think the story is pretty sad, don't you? Then I have to wonder, did she think that all this effort was worth it?
What we learn from Delilah:
We learn the severe consequences of nagging. Nagging is one of those words AND actions that often leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. Proverbs talks a lot about the destructive power of a nagging wife. Nagging destroys confidence, destroys trust, and destroys joy. Nagging says, "I don't trust you." Nagging is a form of manipulation and no one enjoys being manipulated.
Manipulation is the opposite of love. Delilah used Samson's love for her against him. She turned that love around and sought to destroy him with it. She manipulated him into telling her his secret. She manipulated him with the intention of capturing and killing him. Manipulation in any relationship is never positive. It's destructive! Manipulation is selfish. When we only think of what we can get out of a relationship, that isn't love.
We learn that as a spouse, we have a lot of influence on the emotional well-being of our beloved spouse. We can inspire them to make excellent decisions or we can inspire them to unwise and compromising choices. What kind of spouse do I want to be? Do I want to be one who basically plots my husband's destruction? Or do I want to be the spouse that does what I can to see that my spouse has the best things in life? I want my husband to pursue God. I want my husband to pursue his calling. I want my husband to pursue his dreams. I want to be the wife that pushes my husband to be the best that he can be (in a way that isn't nagging or manipulative). I want the best for my husband and the best way to accomplish this is simply to pray for my husband and to encourage him. There's a lot of power in encouragement, don't you think?