When It’s Time to Leave a Relationship

Daily Devotional: Day 176

After this he [Samson] loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah . . . So Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me where your great strength lies, and how you might be bound, that one could subdue you” (Judges 16:4, 6, NKJV).

Yesterday, we heard a message about how the Lord heals the brokenhearted and binds their wounds. As the message went out, it seemed helpful to offer some Bible-based ideas on how to protect your heart from being broken. While Jesus can heal your broken or wounded heart, it is even better if you learn how to not have your heart broken in the first place. This can apply to different contexts. But today, let’s look at relationships between people of the opposite sex; specifically, people who are dating with the hope of marrying in the near future. This is important, because experience shows that many instances of broken heart occur within these types of relationships. Given the emotional investment (not counting the time, energy and money) people commit to these relationships, that is no surprise.

The purpose, therefore, of today’s message is to help people respond in a timely and decisive manner when they see warning signs in a relationship, before things get too far. Whether you’re currently in a relationship, married or celibate, you might find something of value in this message.

Samson was chosen by God from his mother’s womb and consecrated to Him as a Nazirite. He was a judge over Israel for twenty years. By the power of God, he accomplished mighty deeds on behalf of God’s people. In fact, in the Letter to the Hebrews, the Bible names him as one of the great men of faith whose life is worth emulating (cf. Hebrew 11:32).

At one point in his life, Samson fell in love with Delilah. But, unbeknownst to Samson, Delilah had other intentions: to betray him to the Philistines for 1,100 silver pieces. She began by asking Samson to share with him the secret of his strength and what could be done to subdue him. On three occasions, Samson refused to tell her. But after relentless nagging and emotional manipulation by Delilah, Samson finally opened up; and, that was the beginning of his end.

Notice that the first time Delilah demanded to know the secret behind Samson’s strength was a red flag, but Samson didn’t take it seriously. He underestimated Delilah, until he met his end. Lesson: If you see red flags in your relationship, it’s time to run. Don’t try to be a hero. You have only one heart and one life. Do the right thing. Act wisely, and quickly. Red flags are God’s way of telling you to escape before it’s too late. You can’t eliminate risk entirely from a relationship; there’s always a measure of risk one must assume. But when you see clear warning signs, count yourself blessed, and gather the courage to leave.

 Whether you’re a man or a woman, you can learn important lessons from Samson and Delilah’s relationship. Some people in your life may have a ‘Delilah spirit.’ Such people (men or women) have mastered the art of deception. They have little to no sense of loyalty. While they may give you the impression that they love you, in their eyes, you are disposable. If they get a better offer, they’ll dump you at the drop of a hat.

Unfortunately, when many people fall in love, they become blind to reality. Some even forget their God. By the time they wake up to reality, they discover that they’ve fallen on the wrong side of love. It remains a mystery, that under the spell of love, people are willing to surrender their freedom and peace of mind for momentary pleasure. In Proverbs 22:3, the Bible declares, “A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished” (emphasis added). You need godly foresight and clarity of mind to survive in today’s relationship environment. 

Learn from Samson and Delilah’s relationship. When in love, keep your eyes and ears wide open. Don’t ignore the evidence in front of you, especially the little things. Do love, but be safe.  

May the Lord bless you and keep you safe today. Amen.

For further study: Judges 16:4-22

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