Judges 16-18; 1 Corinthians 13
It is important to know your standards as you date. So many young people (especially ladies) settle for someone because they simply don't want to be alone forever. Yet marrying someone who doesn't line up with the same beliefs as you in Christ will leave you alone forever anyways. The only true One Who can fulfill your heart and the hole in it is Christ. You can find the most ideal man, the best career, achieve the greatest reward, and you'll still be lonely without Christ in your life at the front. There is much we can learn from today's readings.
Samson was most definitely a fool for love. He found a prostitute to fall in love with, and she didn't honestly want his love, but the money that she was given for getting the secret of his strength out of him. Even though Samson worked hard to keep it hidden, he still budged in the end and found himself in a harsh situation as Delilah had betrayed him and he was being tormented and mocked by his captors. Samson finally came back around at the end of his desperation and summoned God to grant him strength one more time, and as a result, he had made a bigger impact in his own death than he had in his life.
Samson fell into the trap of putting an immoral woman ahead of his relationship with God. Even if you are a strong, fervent follower of Christ, you can still find yourself putting an earthly relationship ahead of Him, easily. Even though Samson had messed up, however, he still cries out to God as he prepares for the end of his life and does one last impact for Christ - the biggest he had done in his life. Even if you have fallen into the trap of putting someone ahead of your relationship with God, He is still waiting for you to come back to Him. Be careful when you start getting so wrapped up in a person (or in searching for a person), that you forget to make God the center of it, laying it in His hands first and foremost.
Another form of leaving God behind was the instance of idol worship, as we read about with Micah and the tribe of Dan. The Israelites had gone without a leader for sometime and they just aimlessly did what they thought was best for themselves. In the process, they worshiped idols and became mindless towards things of this world, rather than focusing on the plans of a sovereign Lord. This is yet another easy trap to fall into as we wander this earth. So many things can steal God's place in our lives - sports, work, things, sleep, etc. We fail to put God in the front because we desire more of the other things. Be careful that you don't wander from His perfect plan for you in thinking things of this earth feel more right.
If you have ever been to a wedding, the words of 1 Corinthians 13 probably ring a bell to you. However, these words go far beyond simply a love relationship between a married couple. They actually can go a long ways in the way you lead and walk about this world. If you are leading people in love, they are more likely to follow. In fact, when a person knows they belong in your life or in your church, they are much more apt to join you and get on board with church. Lead in patience, kindness, not in jealousy or boastfulness. Lead not in pride or rudeness. Don't lead, demanding your way. Don't lead irritably or keeping record or rights or wrongs. Don't lead, rejoicing in injustices, but lead, rejoicing when the truth wins. Lead, not giving up, never losing faith, always hoping, and enduring all circumstances. Imagine the followers God could have if His people roamed this world with these traits. Remember that people won't care what you have to tell them unless they feel loved by you. Love will remain. It is what they will remember from you - how you treated them.
Choosing to love wisely always puts God first. Don't compromise your relationship with God by shoving Him out of the forefront of your life for a person or searching for a person. Make Him the center of your world and He will provide. Lead in love and be someone who loves others because you love God. Imagine the testimony that comes from simply treating people with love and kindness. People want to know you love them before they feel like they can believe what you believe. Choose love and truth will follow.