Read Proverbs 5
This message is rated PG. That’s because it contains guidance for parents and because some parents may have some explaining to do to their children that read or hear this message.
The Bible tells us that we will have temptation. God does not tempt us, but we are not going to live very long without encountering some forms of temptation. It just seems unavoidable to live a life free of temptation.
But wisdom says there are some things that scream out, “Steer clear of me.”
The adulteress, temptress, and seductress fall into that category. Only five chapters into the Proverbs and this is the second time that we have ventured into romantic or sexual vulnerability discussed under the umbrella of wisdom. There are a lot of proverbs with wise counsel but this topic will come up again and again.
I live on the edge of town with pastures and wheat fields adjacent to me. The influx of mice is continuous. We set traps, sticky traps, and put out poison. I feed my cats too much so they probably only get one in ten of these pesky rodents. The body count is pretty high each year.
You think that even with a mouse sized brain they could figure out that death awaits these tiny creatures in my house. But there is the lure of warmth, and perhaps a cookie or loaf of bread left on the counter or maybe a scrap of food that dropped to the floor that was missed during cleanup. The temptation is sweet as honey and sometimes these rodents live large for a week or two until they are stuck to a trap screaming for help which will not come. OK, sometimes help comes and on those days we get two mice per trap.
You think they would learn.
But her lips drip honey and her speech is smoother than oil.
The counsel here is generally for young, inexperienced men. When older men and women venture outside the boundaries of marriage, they know exactly what they are doing. Remember that Paul counseled Timothy to flee the passions of his youth.
The counsel here is for those venturing out into the world and tempted by worldly things, and among the most tempting of those things is a woman experienced in sexual encounters.
Young men generally have a very healthy dose of libido and the counsel to them is that there will be some women out that that say, “I’ve got an app for that.”
And continuing in the lexicon of the current century, that app is going to appear like it’s a free download but it is going to come with viruses that will crash your hard drive.
Up to this point the counsel of the father to the son is to be on the lookout for women of bad reputation, not so they can partake, but so that they can steer clear, for surely these women have more experience in their trade than young men have self discipline.
The best way to avoid giving in to temptation is to be on alert for it and reroute when it is this sort of temptation.
One upon a time in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on the night before we were going to pull out of port, the colonel asked some of us if we wanted to go window shopping. Now, this had been a good port call so far. Some of us found a golf course. We reduced the quantity of Heineken in the city with some distinction and had even averted some off color establishments in the process. On one occasion, we were considering going into this one club. We were a little short on cash so I thought I would put the cover charge on my credit card. That is until I looked at the name of the establishment on the front door. It was the Rotterdam Sex Club.
That’s when I realized that I probably didn’t need to be in there in the first place and there was no way I was going to try to explain that charge on my credit card. So we decided that we had seen enough of the night life and went back to the ship.
So back to the window shopping. The colonel said, “Let’s go window shopping.” Five of us, all captains, just looked at each other until the colonel said, “We are just going to look.”
So we went. It was an experience. Women of all shapes and sizes and manner of dress were displayed in windows. Their bodies and services were for sale.
The counsel of wisdom says that you will pay when you give into your lustful desires with someone who is really not in love with you.
This early counsel is a warning against getting involved with the wrong sort of woman, and those women are seldom on display in glass windows. Their tactics was indirect but effective. The counsel becomes generalized later in this proverb and extends to what we might call sewing wild oats.
The author uses the imagery of fountains and cisterns to introduce the value of marital fidelity. Are you going to pour out your water for everyone or save it for “the one” who is special to you?
Let your fountain be blessed. Rejoice in the wife of your youth.
A loving doe, a graceful deer—
may her breasts satisfy you always,
may you ever be intoxicated with her love.
Guys, ladies, you are supposed to satisfy those desires that God equipped you with. They were not a mistake. The devil didn’t sneak them in. They were in the original blueprints.
But unlike those stunts that you see on television that are qualified with “Don’t try this at home,” these desires are labeled, “Try only with the one who waits for you at home.”
Most of the post marital counseling that I do is a last ditch effort for people who are already ready to throw in the towel on their marriage. Most just stop by for one or two sessions so they can say, “Yeah, we tried that.” Over half of those who come to see me at this point indicate that they are in a second marriage in which that relationship began while the first marriage was still underway.
Christ was not a part of either marriage and both were enroute to or already engaged in relationships with other people. When you put asunder that which God has made holy, there is going to be a price to pay.
And so the counsel to our sons and to our own relationships is this. Don’t even look elsewhere. The way that you overcome this temptation is to avoid these dangerous intersections. And the second part is that the marriage bed should be a sacred place and a very rewarding place.
Many just skip over the parts of the Bible that talk about sex and adultery and the romantic type of love. Some warn against enjoying sexual pleasures, but wisdom says love the husband—love the wife—of your youth. Satisfy each other so there is no reason to look elsewhere.
And so, don’t look elsewhere.
We should not only live this, but teach this wisdom to our children for surely our society is teaching something else.