A femme fatale is a woman who uses the powers of seduction to lure a man into a dangerous or compromising situation. One woman infamous for her influence was Mata Hari. At the turn of the twentieth century in Paris, Mata Hari created a fictitious persona and performed exotic Indian dances to great acclaim. Although her background was fabricated, Parisian society embraced her . . . and men were beguiled by her. Her sensuous dance seduced powerful men in influential positions. Many believe she used feminine guile to extract military secrets. Ultimately, the French tried Mata Hari and executed her as a double agent in World War I. At her trial she said, “Harlot, yes. But traitor? Never!”
In the Bible, we meet another woman who used her feminine allure to affect the destiny of a man. During the time of the judges, Delilah used her influence to discover the secrets of one of Israel’s judges, Samson. Three different times Delilah begged him to give her information about the source of his strength. Three times he resisted. Each time Delilah proved herself false, calling for the Philistines to subdue the strong man. More stunning is that Delilah used the same method over and over again . . . and Samson allowed himself to be tricked each time. Ultimately, Delilah discovered the truth about Samson’s strength and turned him over to her countrymen.
Delilah’s story shows how men can be swayed by women’s wiles and their own desires. Delilah used her sexual attraction and her cunning to bring a man down—for a price. She relentlessly manipulated Samson in order to get the information she needed. When he finally revealed the truth, she rushed to the Philistine rulers to gather her reward. In a heartbeat, Samson lost not just his strength, but the divine gift God had bestowed upon him.
We think it would be great to be able to get our husbands, boyfriends, coworkers, etc. to do what we want. And perhaps, sometimes, we do use feminine wiles, manipulation and nagging to get our way. But are such methods honest? Are they loving? Wouldn’t it be better to be the kind of woman others can trust? How much better to employ honesty, kindness and patience to build up the men we love, rather than trample them in the pursuit of our selfish desires
Have you ever nagged, manipulated or tricked a man in order to get your way?
How did it make you feel? How do you think it made him feel?
What words will you use to build up the men in your life?
Judges 16:15–16 Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when you won’t confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven’t told me the secret of your great strength.” With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it.