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Parenting 101 (Manoah and His Wife)

Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.

Judges 14:3

READ Judges 13-14.

Manoah and his wife had prayed for a child for some time. No doubt, when the angel of the Lord came to confirm her pregnancy, they rushed into preparation. This child came with a number of needs - a special diet and hair care routine. There was much to be done to make sure that they kept track of Samson’s development and ensured that he adhered to all of the rules and regulations as outlined by God. 

So what happened between the first and second chapter of Samson’s story. In Judges 13, Manoah and his wife are eagerly anticipating their first and only son’s birth. By the next chapter, they are exasperated with trying to find ways to meet his insatiable desire for everything that was NOT good. He wanted a wife from the wrong clan. He ate food from the wrong places. He even teased the male relatives of his new wife. By the end of the chapter, he gave her to someone else. And so began the saga of a pretty sad Lifetime movie.

Any parent can relate to Manoah and his wife’s parenting dilemma. You do the best for your child. You place them in the best schools, connect them with the best friends, live in the best communities - everything and anything for your child to grow successfully. Then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, so it seems, your promised child goes rogue. Even the best intentions in parenting meet surprises along the way.

What is the answer? Go back to the One who made the promise. When the Angel came to Manoah and his wife, they sacrificed, communed, and worshipped. But sometime later, they lost sight of the Giver blinded by the gift. What about you? Are you so consumed by the unexpected troubles and wayward lifestyle choices that you have forgotten the One who gave you charge over this child in the first place? The first rule of Parenting 101 - acknowledge that before he or she was ever yours, they belonged to God. Seek God for guidance in raising His child - he knows best. Then trust the journey. Although Samson’s story has a sad ending, we can be assured that he finally embraced his calling and acknowledged the Source of his strength.

Thought Questions

  • How are you doing with the first rule of Parenting 101? What steps are you taking to make sure you trust God first with your child’s development?
  • Whether a parent or not, what is something that God has given you that you have placed before Him? How can you reset your focus and trust Him to work everything out for your good?

Life Lessons

  • It is human nature to want to be in control, and it seems like God gives us children to remind us that we are anything but in control. Let go and let God isn’t just a cliche in these instances - it is a requirement. 
  • Always remember that the Giver is the most important part of a gift. The gift is just extra. 

Further Study

Read Romans 8:28. The Bible assures us that God is always working things out for our good. Why is it so difficult to trust God when we cannot see what He is doing?