A few years back I did a talk and then wrote an article about Samson’s dating life.  The article appeared in the local paper.  Thought some of you might like a refresher course:

Okay, so here’s some relationship advice with a twist.  Do you remember the biblical account of Samson?  He’s the burly brute with long hair who ripped apart lions and slaughtered people with donkey jawbones?  Did you know that besides being a famous strong-man, Samson was also a dispenser of timeless insight (eh-hem) concerning dating methods in this challenging world?  The world’s most extreme lion-tamer actually can offer us a few examples of alternative dating methods.  You will definitely bring your house down if you follow Samson’s lessons in getting to know the opposite sex.  [WARNING: If you want to have a good relationship, do NOT follow these instructions]:

  • Lesson #1: Get somebody to arrange a date. Samson told his parents, “I saw a woman in Timnah; get her for me as my wife.”  (Judges 14:3)
  • Lesson #2: Only date on a full stomach.  Samson scooped some of the honey (out of the lion’s carcass) and ate it along the way. (14:9)
  • Lesson #3: Play mind games on everyone.  Samson gave them this riddle, “From the eater came something to eat, from the strong came something sweet.” (14:14)
  • Lesson #4: The key to a good relationship is keeping secrets. So Samson’s bride turned on the tears, saying to him, “You hate me.  You don’t love me.  You won’t tell me the answer to the riddle.”  He said, “I haven’t told my own parents- so why should I tell you?” (14:16)
  • Lesson #5: Nagging is an effective tool. All seven days of the feast she was in tears.  On the last day, worn out by her nagging, Samson told her the answer. (14:17)
  • Lesson #6: Sometimes it’s not worth the effort. Absolutely furious, he went home to his house.  Samson’s bride became the wife of the best man at his wedding. (14:20)
  • Lesson #7: In-laws are strange.  The girl’s father said, “I thought you hated my daughter with a passion, so I gave her to your best man.” (15:2)
  • Lesson #8: It’s never your fault.  Samson said, “That’s it. This time I cannot be blamed for what I am going to do to your people.” (15:3)
  • Lesson #9: Ignite a spark in your relationship. Samson went out and caught three hundred foxes.  He tied their tails together and fastened a torch to each pair.  Then he lit the torches and let them loose in their fields of ripe grain.  Everything burned, both stacked and standing grain, vineyards and olive orchards- everything. (15:4-5)
  • Lesson #10: Arson is not the best way to save your relationship. The people were told that Samson did this.  So they burned the girl and her father to death. (15:6)
  • Lesson #11: Control your anger by taking it out on others. Samson then said, “Because you did this, I swear I’ll get even with you and I won’t stop until I’m satisfied!”  With that he tore into them, ripping them limb from limb. (15:7-8)
  • Lesson #12: Twist the truth to win your arguments.  When some men asked him shy he had done this, Samson replied, “I only did to them what they did to me.” (15:11)
  • Lesson #13: Chicks dig poetry. Samson said, “With a donkey’s jawbone I made heaps of donkeys of them.  With a donkey’s jawbone I killed a thousand men. (15:16)

Look, Samson had every opportunity to live a life blessed by God.  Instead, his habits, temptations and anger wrecked his life and relationships.  With humble honesty, the Bible reveals the messed-up dating life of Samson so that we would not repeat his folly.

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