~by Elizabeth Lapp
“'What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard...'” Genesis 21:17
Self-pity is a pitfall for anyone in a crisis. At first it feels like a cozy blanket,...
“...I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.” Isaiah 1:2
An angel appeared to Mrs. Manoah, the mother of Samson, to bring her a message. She was going to have a baby! When Mrs. Manoah told her husband the good news, he prayed for the angel to return and tell them how to raise the child. The parents were concerned about the responsibility that comes with parenting and they wanted to make the right choices.
When Samson grew older, he visited the Philistine village Timnath. There he saw a woman that pleased him, so he returned to his parents with his request: “I have found a daughter of the Philistines that pleaseth me. Get her for me to wife.”
As an Israelite, Samson was forbidden to marry heathen women. His father and mother pleaded with him, saying, “Can't you find a woman among our people? Must you marry an uncircumcised Philistine?” But Samson insisted. His parents did all that parents can do when a child makes a wrong choice concerning marriage: they warned and they prayed.
Samson could have spared himself a lot of heartache had he taken the advice of his parents. Samson's wife turned traitor. She cried. She accused him of not loving her when she didn't get her own way. She nagged him for information. Finally Samson left her. When he returned to reconcile, her father had all ready given her to another man. Later she wormed out of Samson the source of his power and then turned him over to the Philistines. The Philistines captured him, put out his eyes, and forced him to do hard labor.
How disappointed Mr. and Mrs. Manoah must have been with the son they sought to raise for God! He consistently chose a heathen woman. He was lustful, and he did not learn from his mistakes. Sometimes parents experience disappointment; they may be rejected or disgraced by their children. But be encouraged! Isaiah 1:2 says, “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.”
God, the perfect parent, had rebellious children.
We teach and train and disciple our children; then God uses them to teach and train and disciple us so that we remain humble and grow more like Him.