The Haircut That Cost His Life
Imagine a very strong warrior. If you’re married to a soldier that shouldn’t be difficult.
This particular soldier defeated every enemy he ever came across and led his men in victory after victory. His strength was so great it had been promised to him before birth.
An angel had appeared to his mother to let her know that she would become pregnant soon and that her son would “take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines” (Judges 13:5). There was one condition—that no razor should ever touch his head. Like Hercules and his Achilles Heel, this warrior named Sampson had a weakness.
But Sampson’s weakness wasn’t just his hair. His true weakness was women.
There are some qualities to Sampson that were not so great, he was a complex man. He had a weakness for the women of his enemies and he was boastful. In summary, he was a party boy who couldn’t keep his mouth closed or his libido in check. But he was also a great war hero and leader.
The Philistines (Sampson’s enemies) studied Sampson and discovered these weaknesses. But his strength was so great that any attack must be thoughtfully and skillfully executed. They could not overpower him. This Soldier with the jawbone of a donkey had killed a thousand men! (see Judges 15).
When he visited a prostitute in their town they lay in wait for him in great numbers, but only to fail as he “took hold of the doors of the gate of the city and the two gateposts, pulled them up, bar and all, put them on his shoulders, and carried them to the top of the hill (16:3).”
This man was untouchable.
Until Delilah won Sampson’s heart.
Though we do not know if she was a Philistine we do know that she was not from his people, that the Philistines learned of her and presented an offer she did not refuse. Whether Delilah had feelings for Sampson or not we do not know. We do know that she used her skillful powers of manipulation to learn his greatest weakness.
Over the course of time Delilah manipulated Sampson in to revealing the source of his strength. And because he loved her he eventually entrusted her with the truth, his hair had never been cut. Upon learning this Delilah told the Philistines and one night when Sampson was asleep, his head resting on her lap, she had them cut his hair and overtake him. The great leader of Israel was captured and stashed away in a dungeon. His people were without their war hero and his life of victory was over. It wasn’t until much later, when his hair had regrown, that he was able to exact his revenge though it cost him his life. You can read more about Sampson in Judges 13-16.
Like Delilah we hold both our soldier’s heart and safety in our hands. But does our selfish desire to know details and dates outweigh our desire for our soldier’s safety?
By practicing OPSEC and PERSEC we are safe guarding our soldiers.
What is OPSEC
OPSEC is Operational Security. Certain information is only on a need-to-know basis and the majority of the time spouses are not included in that group. If your soldier shares this information with you it should not pass your lips. Information like deployment and homecoming dates; training details of how, why and when; numbers of soldiers and types of equipment; and any troop movement of mission details or change of location should not be shared.
The military provides an interactive web-based course that provides OPSEC awareness for military members, government employees, contractors and dependents = http://cdsetrain.dtic.mil/opsec/index.htm
What is PERSEC
PERSEC is personal security. It is about protecting your own person. You need to protect certain things like your address, social security number, the fact that your spouse is deployed and you are home alone, your daily schedule, if maintenance hasn’t fixed the lock on your back door yet (yes I actually saw that on facebook once)… you know basic things you wouldn’t want a serial killer to know about you. Keep it of the internet.
This can sometimes be difficult as a blogger. Let me give you a little hint as to how I handle this. I do not share major life events as they happen. The posts I shared about our time at St. Jude I wrote while there, I did not post them until well after we got back. Pieces I’ve written about deployment, What does an Army Wife and 10 Virgins have in common?, are shared after my husband returned. Some sit waiting for well over a year before I hit publish. Safety is far more important to me then how many hits I get on my blog.
Here’s a question for you. Where was I last Friday 8.8.14 and who was with me? If you know the answer, how did you find it? Did I practice PERSEC? If not how did I go wrong? Feel free to share in the comments.
Here are 2 quick easy ways to promote your soldier’s safety
1. Shhhhhhh…. That’s it. If you don’t know if you should say it, don’t.
2. Spread the word. As a result of tweeting or posting this article you may be saving your own soldier. You will be spreading awareness and educating those in your circle.
About the Author
Hope N. Griffin has been married to her soldier for 10+ years, has 3 beautiful children, and loves connecting with other military spouses. Her purpose is to find joy in the everyday and to help others do the same.
Find her here:www.HopeNGriffin.com @HopeNGriffin facebook.com/hope.griffin18 The thoughts and opinions posted here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of AAFMAA.