So she cried whenever she was with him and kept it up for the rest of the celebration. At last, on the seventh day he told her the answer because she was tormenting him with her nagging. Then she explained the riddle to the young men.
Relate: Did you have certain chores growing up? What were some of the tasks you were required to do in the family? Were there any specific tasks you hated more than others? For me, there was one task I loathed beyond reasonable comprehension. It was not because of the chore itself but because of the constant nagging that went along with it. I was responsible for keeping the downstairs bathroom and living room clean. In the Syracuse days, we had a garden and I had the responsibility of weeding it. I had to mow the lawn. I had to take out the trash. For a few summers, I had to move a certain amount of dirt before leaving the home until the sun came down. This required me grabbing a shovel and filling up two five gallon buckets. Then walking them to another spot in the backyard and unloading. Do this ten times and then I can go play.
None of these chores was the one I hated. No. That place of special loathing was reserved for kitchen duty. My sister and I rotated days. She had evens, I had odds. It wasn’t the chore itself as much as it was the nagging and the “injustice” of the task that turned this chore into a constant battleground between me and my mom. I learned very early on that there was no sense in doing the chore until the very last thing of the day. If I washed the dishes after dinner, but then everyone got a bowl of ice cream with the movie they watched, I would have to do it all again. If then someone woke up in the middle of the night and grabbed a snack, I would be responsible for doing it all the next day, my sister’s day, as well because I didn’t finish my task. If there was a speck of dirt under the radiator I did a poor job sweeping the kitchen and would be responsible for doing the kitchen the next day because “I need the practice”. If I… well, you get the idea.
So I would always do my level best to try and do the kitchen right before going to bed and not a moment sooner. The problem was, I would be reminded a hundred times before then that “it was my day”. I would walk in the front door coming home from school, “Hey mom.” Her response, “It’s your day.” My eyes roll. I’d be in my room doing my homework, a clatter in the kitchen would be followed with “BJ! There’s more dishes here for you.” Sigh. I’d be out in the front yard playing basketball with dad or pole soccer with the siblings. We would hear through the screen door, “Don’t forget it’s your day!” Ay de mi. Some days it would just get to be too much. For the sake of a little peace and quiet, I would end up going in and cleaning up the kitchen knowing that in another hour or two the counters would be a mess again, there’d be another dozen dishes in the sink, a spill in the fridge, and the floor will need to be swept again. But for the sake of a little peace and quiet, (or because dad stepped in and put his foot down) I caved in. I compromised my values.
React: Obviously, I am painting a very one-sided picture here. If my mom were to read and chose to comment you would get a very different story. But I can feel for Samson. I can imagine what it must have been like hearing his new bride, and later Delilah (Yes, he fell into the same trap at least twice), nagging and nagging and nagging day after day, hour after hour, minute after minute. He didn’t want to tell. But for the sake of a little peace and quiet.
I have heard certain preachers, or Sunday School teachers, or what not, pour it on thick when it comes to condemning Samson. “I can’t believe that he would give in and compromise like this.” My thought is always, “You’re a liar.” We have all been the victims, and probably the perpetrators if we are honest, of that constant drip of nagging. We have all had spouses, or siblings, or kids, or bosses who will get on us about a certain topic like a starving dog working over a well-picked bone. The question is, what lines are we willing to cross for the sake of a little peace and quiet? Am I willing to fudge the numbers to get that boss off my back? Will I spoil my child to stop their whining? What is my price for a little peace and quiet? Is it worth it or am I sacrificing a long-term essential to avoid a short-term headache?
As dangerous as it is to ask, please give me patience. Whether it is from another person, culture, or my own mind, help me to stand strong against the constant nagging and pressure to get me to cave on my convictions. Help me to stand true to what I know is right no matter how constant the pressure to fall. Give me the moral fortitude to walk away, turn off, or even break off influences from my life that will only lead me down. In all things let me stand strong for You no matter how loud the world around me becomes.