Five Lessons I Learned from Samson’s Mother

For context, please read the story in Judges here

Samson’s mother belongs to the “illustrious anonymous club”, composed of important people who remained unnamed in the Bible. Despite having been the mother of Samson, that strong, weak man, we only know her as “Manoah’s wife”. She appears briefly in her son’s story, and still she managed to leave us five precious lessons.

She wasn’t haughty

The angel spoke to her. When she told her husband, he prayed that the “man of God” would appear again. The angel could have appeared to Manoah, but he returned to speak to the woman once more, and she ran to get her husband. When the worried husband asked what they should do, the angel replied, “Everything I told the woman,” Judges 13:13. It was a perfect situation for the famous “didn’t I tell you?!” that ruins so many relationships. But she was silent and offered sacrifices beside her husband.

A mother’s influence begins at pregnancy

The angel warns her to have a different behavior even before pregnancy. “Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean,” was the Angel’s instruction. Studies confirm that the use of certain substances, and even the mother’s emotional state, harm the development of the fetus.

The child will be influenced for good or evil by the habits of the mother. She must be governed by principle, and practice temperance and self-denial if she wants the welfare of her child.

Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 561

We can’t give what we don’t have. So if we desire certain characteristics in our children, we must develop these traits in ourselves. An example is the best teacher.

She wasn’t overtaken by emotions

Upon realizing they had been in the presence of an angel, a holy being, Manoah despaired, thinking they were going to die. It’s common to intensify a situation by repetitive and negative thoughts, or by worrying about a future problem that may happen. But Manoah’s wife remained clear-headed, keeping in mind that in addition to answering their questions, the angel had accepted the offerings and the sacrifice. He had just come to tell them that they would be parents, life would be generated from them! Hence, they wouldn’t die.

Even when you do everything right, things can go wrong

Samson’s parents lived in a time of decadence in Israel, but they were faithful to the point that they were chosen to be the parents of a deliverer. They followed the angel’s advice, wholeheartedly, but their beloved son chose another way to live. They tried to show him other options, but he wanted to do as his heart desired, and although they didn’t agree, they accepted his decision. She understood that children are human beings gifted with “free will” by the Creator.  

She trusted God’s timing

We have no record that Manoah’s wife pleaded with God for children, as did Hannah or Rachel. It seems that she handed her case over to God and waited. And perhaps that’s the most important lesson, to trust God’s timing. She waited for the Angel to return for further guidance. And she waited for her son’s return, in the hope that he would be a judge in Israel according to the plan presented by the angel. This answer she never witnessed. Samson’s life didn’t come out as they had envisioned, as God had planned, but at the end of his life, Samson returned to the God of his fathers and delivered Israel. Imagine her joy at seeing Samson in Heaven, a hero of the faith!

If you’ve been waiting, calm your heart. God is working on your answer. In His time it will come.

2 thoughts on “Five Lessons I Learned from Samson’s Mother”

  1. Maria de Jesus Flores da Silva Eckert

    Linda as mensagens!
    Nos fortalece e nos anima !
    Deus seja louvado em cada dia de sua vida.
    Deus abençoe vc e sua família, minha irmã Lilian !

  2. Ellen Machado Feijó

    amém irmã Lilian, que bom que você e sua família estão aqui no Rio Grande do Sul, em Cachoeirinha, está sendo muito ter vocês com a gente.

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