How can he be so bad if he makes me feel so good?
“… and Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, for she pleases me well.”” Judges 14:3
Many of us are familiar with the story of Samson; in this text the parents of Samson are trying to convince him not to marry a Philistine woman. The question they ask is whether there are no good girls in Israel or in the church? There are many reasons that could have been advanced on why he shouldn’t marry a Philistine woman. The two nations where always at war with each other, they had different religions, they had different cultures and customs, etc.
Now, Samson’s answer does not address all of those issues. To him, it didn’t matter who she was, what her background was, whether she was a witch or not, whether she went to church or not, all that didn’t matter at all. What mattered to him was how she made him feel – he said “she pleases me well” I don’t actually know what he meant, maybe she had a great sense of humour, may she a good kisser, good in bed, etc. Whatever it was, she made him feel like a million dollars, and that’s all that mattered to him.
The question is what should be the criteria we use when choosing a spouse? Do we study and analyse someone character, lifestyle, background, personality, etc.? Do we use the information that we have gathered from others? Or do we use our own personal experience with that particular person. For most of us we use the latter. It is how I have experienced the person, how much I enjoyed his/her company, how he/she made me feel. The view is that if he/she makes me feel good, he/she must be good.
The problem with this way of thinking is that an abuser, a prostitute, a witch, a gangster, a murder, etc. can make a man/woman to feel good, very good. Does that make the person to be a good person?
Many of us have found themselves in the situation where you have a close relative who is going out with some person of a dubious character. Unfortunately, as much as you try to show your relative how bad the person is they fail to see it. In fact, if you insist you will soon be listed as the number one enemy. The reason why they can’t hear you is that you are missing each other. Whilst you might be looking at the other person’s character, they are looking at their own feelings, the experience they have had, how the other person made them feel. And from their point of view, you must be wrong, mistaken, or looking at his/her past, because their experience tells a different story.
This challenge is not only found among those who are unmarried, it is also found among those who are married. Many adulterous affairs follow the same chain of thought. There are people who are both married who then decide to have an affair, and in the process of time end up believing that theirs is the true love. The question is how can they become so deceived? I am confining myself to those who claim to be guided by Christian principles. Now, objective reasoning will tell you that someone who is unfaithful to his spouse and come to share his/her affection with you can only be a deceiver. In this case whatever it is they called “love” can only be lust (which will not last). Unfortunately, just like in the example above, the people don’t really care about the character defects, but only focuses on their experience, how the person makes them feel. We must remember that feelings have zero IQ, they have no intelligence, yet many will be prepared to lose all in order to follow their feelings.
If it is bad when both of them are married, it is worse when one is married and the other is single, for example a married man is going out with a single woman. The single woman can get so carried away that she thinks she is more loved than the other woman. Now, the man might even promise the single woman that he will divorce his wife and marry her. Now, objective reasoning should make the woman aware that no matter how he makes her feel, this man can’t be “good” person. For if he was, he wouldn’t be hurting his wife in order to please her. On the other hand, if the married man was sober he was also going to see that the single woman is an agent of evil responsible for breaking a family, and leaving the other woman hurt and her children confused and sometimes destroyed.
Yes, He can be bad even if he makes you feel good. She can be very bad even if she makes you feel very good. Never rely on feelings to make life’s decisions, listen to the Word of God.