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November 30, 2009

Chapter-a-Day Judges 16

Love is revealed in deed and truth. She said, "How can you say 'I love you' when you won't even trust me? Three times now you've toyed with me, like a cat with a mouse, refusing to tell me the secret of your great strength." She kept at it day after day, nagging and tormenting him. Finally, he was fed up—he couldn't take another minute of it. He spilled it. Judges 16:15-16 (MSG)

The use of 'love' as a means to selfish ends is as old as mankind. Looking back, I can recall being on both ends of this manipulative tactic. I can't point my finger without three fingers pointing back at me. Still, I like to think I've learned my lesson. 

I am always wary of phrases that begin: "If you love me, you will...?" or "How can you say you love me when you...?" For the true object of the question is usually the person asking, and the motivation is typically self-centered.

As I read the account of Samson and Delilah it struck me that, while they spoke of 'loving' each other, I found nothing in the text that illustrated love as God's message describes it:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. I Cor 13:4-7

Red flags always go up whenever I hear a person using love as a bargaining chip.


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I have a good marriage...no...I have a great marriage. My bride and I have been together 21 years this Friday (our first date), married for 17. One of the keys has been honest communication. It sounds easy enough. It's not. It pains me when I observe bumped and bruised relationships that are in that state only because one of the two was deceptive. It takes years sometimes to repair one small incident of broken trust. My honesty comes with a price though guys. I couldn't fool my wife with deception if I tried. She knows me too well. I couldn't ask for anything more at this stage of my life. My kids witness honesty and communication without yelling at each other (I have been known to raise my voice to them however). This story today, while familiar, reminds me how damaging deception can be. God, help me to always tell the truth. Remember, the truth will set you free.

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