A certain man of Zorah, named Manoah, from the clan of the Danites, had a wife who was childless, unable to give birth. The angel of the Lord appeared to her and said, “You are barren and childless, but you are going to become pregnant and give birth to a son.”
When our children were in grade school it seemed no one even wanted to know what my name was. Other parents would lament the same. We were always (insert child’s name)’s Mom or Dad. That was what we were called and what we answered to. Honestly, I did it too. It was really a lot easier than having to remember the names of my kids’ friends and their parents.
However, what that does is also associate you with your child’s behavior. If our children are stellar students who do what’s asked of them, we feel pretty good about ourselves and our parenting. If they struggle in any way for whatever reason, we question and doubt that what we did was “good enough.” I get it. I really do.
I bet Samson’s mom understood that, too. The Bible tells us both Manoah and his wife, Samson’s mom, sought after God. They knew Him and obeyed Him. They raised Samson as instructed – both in utero and after his birth. They raised him ‘right’ as my grandmother would say.
So how is it that when Samson decides on a wife, he demands his parents get him one from a tribe of non-believers? And demands like a spoiled brat! As scholars tell us, Samson was not the brightest candle on the lamp stand. And he made plenty of questionable decisions that led to terrible consequences for himself and by connection, those around him.
Samson went down to Timnah and saw there a young Philistine woman. 2 When he returned, he said to his father and mother, “I have seen a Philistine woman in Timnah; now get her for me as my wife.”
Now, some would say his parents should have raised him better. And I may or may not have been one of those people in the past. But from all we read in the Bible, Samson’s mom and dad did what was right. At least as right as they knew at the time. So what happened? How did he end up tied up in servitude with his eyes gouged out?
Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding grain in the prison.
I really hope you’re not looking for “the answer” here because all I have are more questions. What I do know is this; God can use anyone to carry out His plans. It doesn’t matter who they are or what they’ve done or how well or poorly they were raised.
Samson’s story proves that. And Samson’s mom and the rest of us mom’s of kids who do dumb things can rest in that. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, our kids make decisions that don’t reflect the Godly way they were raised. It is hard on our hearts and on our self esteem.
But God loves all our children and He has a plan for their lives. All of them! And if we parents keep pressing in to Him on their behalf, He will get the glory in the end.
So, to all the unnamed moms and dads out there, God sees you and you are not alone! He knows our name.
Photo by Sassy Mama Dubai