Years ago, marriage arrangements were supervised, but in our culture it’s common for men and women to jump into relationships and make their own decisions regarding marriage without considering advice from friends and family. As a result, I often receive prayer requests for troubled marriages.
Marriage is the single most important contract and commitment we will ever make in life. Why enter without the consent and approval of those who know us best? Why risk the most important decision we will ever make to our own intellect?
Because love is blind. At least according to Shakespeare.
1 Corinthians 13:4 doesn’t say “love is patient, love is blind,” so I set out to search the scriptures for truths about love’s weaknesses. Is Shakespeare’s slogan grounded in truth or is it merely a romantic notion endorsed to excuse a lack of discernment?
When it came to love, Samson was blind…literally. But not at first. It took awhile for him to go completely blind. His first mistake was discounting the advice of his parents, but ultimately he failed in the marriage department because he was easily manipulated. Physically, Samson was the strongest man alive, and yet, in his soul he was weak and vulnerable. First he marries a Philistine lady, bribes his bride with a riddle in exchange for a new wardrobe, goes on a killing spree and then losses his wife to one of his groomsmen. Can’t blame her. Sounds like Samson needed an Anger Management course.
Next he falls in love with Delilah. From day one she begs him to disclose the secret of his strength. At first, Samson humors her with untruths. Judges 16:16 says, “she pressed him daily with her words and urged him, that his soul was vexed (annoyed) unto death.” Basically she nagged him until he finally gave in. Her pleas were so persistent that the incredible hulk was defeated by a woman’s persistent words.
Delilah means feeble. Interesting…that’s what Samson became. He lost his self-restraint. He let whatever guard he had over his heart completely evaporate. Consider James 1:14. “Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed.”
Enticed comes from the Greek word, exelkō, which means to draw out. It is used as a metaphor to describe how game is lured out of safety by hunters and fishers. Likewise, men and women are lured from the safety of self-restraint by seductive words.
Words are hard to resist, especially in romance. Charm can be deceitful (Proverbs 31:30). We are most vulnerable when we are not surrounded by the safety that a wise counsel of friends provides.
The old saying, “Love is blind,” really means that our discernment can be easily compromised in romantic relationships, but the way Shakespeare puts it makes it sound romantic. Being blindsided in romance is a dangerous place to be.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have you or someone else been blindsided by love? What caused your discernment to be compromised? At what point would you say Samson’s discernment was compromised?