Wednesday, March 18, 2009

No Sight Seeking...

Oh the misery of a messed up marriage between mismatched men and women. Sadly, I've known couples who are now divorced because they gave up trying to make it work when they found it too difficult to hang in there since they were unequally yoked.

Unequally what? Egg sandwich anyone? The word "yoked" has nothing to do with eggs in this case. A yoke is actually a bar or frame that joins two "work" animals together so that they bear equal portions of a load. In scripture, we are warned not to be unequally yoked, and while 2 Corinthians 6:14 is not necessarily dealing with the marriage relationship, Paul's warning to us regarding the difficulties associated with being in close or subservient relationships with those outside the Christian faith can (and should) be considered when we are thinking about marriage.

In today's scriptures, Judges 12 and 13 explain that the Philistines oppressed Israel for 40 years because of their return to disobedient living after their last rescue. At that time, a childless couple from Israel was visited by an angel of the Lord and told they'd have a baby boy who was to be dedicated to God as a Nazarite. This strictly required adherence to some very specific guidelines that were not asked by God of "regular" people, but God had plans to use this special child to rescue Israel from the Philistines.

In the span of just two chapters, Samson is born, grows up, demands that his parents get him a Philistine wife (because she looks good to him) breaks his Nazarite vows and makes a bet with some of the Philistine men at his bachelor party.

The story of Samson up to the time he succumbed to his first Philistine wife's nagging and ultimately suffered a broken relationship with her reminds us that love at first sight, especially when one's affection is for an "unbeliever," is a dangerous thing.

In addition, we learn that Samson was supernaturally empowered by God. Here is another reminder that one can be gifted by The Holy Spirit, yet disobedient and immature in their decision making. In the 70's, there was a song that said, "If loving you is wrong, I don't wanta be right...". Samson apparently shared this sentiment.

God doesn't make requirements or give us guidelines in order to rob us of life's good things. Oh the price paid by many who have married mates who don't share their faith. Love is blind for those who choose not to see, but those who seek first God's kingdom and his righteousness are promised everything they need. (Matthew 6:33).

Samson sought first what his eyes saw and liked, and the price for doing so was high. My hope and prayer for you is that you are willing to "pay the price" up front by seeking God's will and righteousness FIRST, because that price is very small when you consider the blessing and benefit of receiving HIS best for your life as a result.

Father, your Word is so honest, so relevant and so convicting. Often, I've wanted what my eyes see, but you've been so merciful to show me that seeking you first always serves to bless me beyond what I could ever imagine deserving. Thank you. I am amazed by your good gifts and I thank you for my precious marriage to a man who loves you first and most.

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