Tam - posted on 06/14/2009 ( 3 moms have responded )
God created us as intimate beings, gave married couples this marvelous gift of physical love to draw near each other and Him spiritually and emotionally. Yet like all good things of God, Satan has taken this beautiful gift and perverted it.
We are carnal. And we live in a day and age when promiscuity is the norm, when pornography is so easily accessible and are being forced to accept forms of sexual perversion that the Bible specifically tells us are wrong.
Often, sexual sins for women involve the heart more than the physical act. While there are exceptions to every rule, the majority of women involved in adultery do not set out to cheat. Often it's a "friendship" that turns into something more, because instead of talking to their husbands of what is on their hearts, they tell someone else or they seek somewhere else for that intimacy. It begins innocently enough because they are looking for emotional intimacy they are not getting from their husband or their relationship with God. Women especially need to be aware of the dangers and stay clear of temptations.
And adultery was important enough that Solomon dedicated and entire chapter of Proverbs (5) to it. If we believe Christ, that to even look on another in lust is committing adultery in our hearts, then we would all be wise to heed the advice of Solomon. It's time the church takes back this sacred and precious gift as they guard their hearts and their bodies.
Proverbs 5 says:
1My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding: 2That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge. 3For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: 4But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. 5Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell. 6Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them. 7Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth. 8Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house: 9Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel: 10Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger; 11And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed, 12And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; 13And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me! 14I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly.15Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well. 16Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets. 17Let them be only thine own, and not strangers' with thee. 18Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. 19Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love. 20And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger? 21For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings. 22His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins. 23He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.
Once more, we are warned to listen so we can know and understand. Repeated warnings are often given because we are stubborn or we let our minds wander. But we must know what God's wisdom is so we can strive to follow His wisdom and not the world's.
Notice how there is one verse to describe the lure of sexual temptation and sin. I've often wondered about this because it's one of the most common sins, lust, and we all can fall prey to it if not careful and guard our hearts. I've wondered why only one to look for, but honestly, I think that it's given such short notice because not only does Solomon not want to glorify the sin (temptor/temptress) the lure only lasts a brief season. Think about it. A person who is "in love" with someone they shouldn't often is high on life for only a small bit of time before it all comes crashing down and they have to pick up the pieces. The process of devastation, and hopefully renewal, takes much longer. A man or woman who has an adulterous affair hurts not only themselves, but their spouses, children, even extended family and friends. A lot of people have been ruined by one night stands. (And we aren't even talking about the possibility of disease, just the emotional/spiritual effects of the physical sin.)
Verses four and five give us the end result of such affairs and tells us to stay away from the door! And that's it. When we are where we shouldn't be, we approach that door.
Look at David, here was a man after God's own heart. Most people think that his major sin was in being adulterous with Bathsheba, or the fact that he had her husband murdered. Yet it started with a "small" sin. A passive sin that let his guard down.
II Samuel 11:1 tells us, "Then it happened in the spring, AT A TIME WHEN KINGS GO OUT TO BATTLE, that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the sons of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. BUT DAVID STAYED AT JERUSALEM." (Caps for emphasis)
In the grand scheme of themes, it doesn't seem like much, but because David was not vigilant, because he was not where he was supposed to be (at war, like Kings of that day) he was restless, listless and that's when he spied Bathsheba and lust was borne in his heart for her. In relaxing his guard, he put himself at the door of the temptress (adultery).
We can learn that lesson by realizing, if we are where we are supposed to be (and not at lunch with a co-worker of the opposite sex, spilling all our troubles, emotionally intimate), we won't be in temptation's doorway.
Notice how Solomon uses words like "bitter, wormwood, two-edged sword, death, and even, "hell". Doesn't sound very pleasant for someone who dripped honey from their lips a bit back. Yet the reality is that affairs (even of the heart or mind) can cripple a person emotionally and also kill them spiritually. We were created to love and worship one God, the True God (Alpha & Omega) and if it's in His design, one other heart, our spouse. Genesis 2:24 tells us that the two shall become one flesh, in that we are one in God's eyes, staying with the other, two parts of a whole. We choose to forsake all others and remain faithful to our spouse. When we wander from that plan, we are thrust into a hell of our own making because we have sinned and must deal with the aftermath.
So, let's look at the aftermath Proverbs 5 describes...
Personal Loss & Wasted Lives. Verse 9 describes the loss of your reputation and willingly giving it until those cruel ones who would gladly ruin your reputation. Very few people in days past who've committed adultery were "praised" for it. Yet today, in this day and age, it is nothing. In fact, based on television shows, movies and more, it seems that adultery is being "approved" if not quite praised. In the world of self-first and "do what feels good" adultery is yet another lure to catch unaware people into a devastating trap. Oddly enough, the solution is to provide our children with clinics to help them treat diseases or give them implements of sex rather than being encouraged to save themselves for marriage. While loss of reputation may not be a stigma and lowering, STD rates and unplanned pregnancies (and abortions) are on the rise. Obviously the world's wisdom to teach people "sexual responsibility" is foolish and not working. Why? It was not God's designed plan! Yet without the fear of reproach, there is little to no accountability. Reputations are not as honorable as they once were. To those who still value reputations and hurt by adulterous relationships they begin to question everything in their lives, trust becomes difficult for that person and confusion (by the enemy) sets in, taking their focus off God.
Financial. Verse 1 talks about losing your money to an adulterous relationship. Now, this could be taken many ways. For one a person in two relationships will spend money on both, losing even more money than he/she would if they remained faithful. But also, there is the aspect of blackmail. The adulterous party could extort money to keep the secret. We also need to look at the historical aspect (which still happens today), sometimes a woman (prostitute) would lure a man in for sex then she or a gang of men would harm the man and steal his money. Then we have the fact of the financial devastation should a divorce result from an affair. Court costs aside, there is the fact that you now have a single mom (in most cases) trying to raise children on limited income with child support. Finances are strained for both parties more so than if they remained together, faithful. The basic note of importance here is that an affair will cost you greatly (and not just financially). We are accountable to God for our actions and we need to ask ourselves, is this worth it?
Morality. It's easy to look back and see the mistakes we made and how we erred to begin with. Perhaps agreeing to go for a walk seemed harmless at the time, but it was the first step in many that can lead to an affair, at least an emotional affair. When we don't listen to the instruction of our fathers, mothers, teachers, preachers, we are destined to be like the verses above (11-14) and think of the ruin our actions caused ourselves and others. Especially in cases of adultery. We lose our morality, but it happens gradually. Most people don't wake up and decide to suddenly cheat. That's why we need to pray every day for God to help us guard our hearts against any temptation and if the Spirit nudges you that something doesn't feel right, heed it!
That section tells us the long-term affects of adultery, but our God is wonderful and gave Solomon words to grant his son and shared with us in Proverbs. He guides us in God's direction. When he mentions drinking from one's own cistern, that means that we should stay with out spouse, not go wandering. This whole chapter is about picking the right woman (or, in our case, man) and mostly who to avoid so we can avoid a life of guilt, shame, etc. So, we should choose wisely and then stick with our decision by being faithful and loving each other as instructed.
In verses 16, springs is meant for sexual urges or longings. Solomon asks if his son should go seeking others (or more bluntly, sexual release with others, or even emotional/initmacy) instead of the mate he chose. And could go even a step further by meaning that children could be born of other relationships, not the covenant relationship. This breaks up the marriage and family as God intended. I think this verse was put in question form (this is just me thinking aloud) because Solomon really wanted his son to think on this, not just let it go in one ear and out the other. When presented with a question, the mind will stop and ponder it. Solomon wanted his son to understand the problems that could result if he went out and had affairs.
Verses 17 - 19 once more recall the wisdom in choosing a good mate, in fact these verses command that we find our joy in our spouse and no other. When we cleave to our spouse, we are blessed. Our marriage and family is enriched with an intimacy that only those who share everything with each other can be. There will be periods in your relationship that are not as intense as that first blush of love, but we are commanded to "be thou ravished always with her (in our case, his) love." We can choose to make the most of our precious time together in a lot of our attitude.
Sexual sin is often started in the mind, the heart. And remember, as we discussed, Love is an action. We choose to love or not. We are commanded to choose love over and over in the Bible and Verse 19 is just another example of how we are to love our spouse always! God blesses our faithfulness and if we but seek Him during those times of "my husband is getting on my nerves," He will grant us the love to maintain that precious balance and health of marriage and not the need to seek satisfaction elsewhere--be it physical or emotional.
The last verses of this chapter (20-23) remind us of the the dangers of allowing adultery to creep into our marriages and lives. The Lord knows our hearts, He sees all that we do and think. If nothing else should keep us from adultery it should be (first and least) that our God is with us always and the act of adultery in no way glorifies Him. It goes against His very plan for man and wife.
No matter how the world glamorizes or tells us adultery is okay, God has told us it's not. Remember, the wisdom of the world is foolishness in His eyes. We should pray for His guidance each and every day and His protection from the temptations that seem as nothing at first but can create angst in the heart.
Lord, please move in our hearts and souls. Give us a greater love for You and and our spouses. We are weak beings, flesh and sensual. You've gifted us with free will and we thank You for the gift of marriage and our special mate. We praise you for the design You had in mind when You created man. Please help us discern any moments that might lead us down a path of sexual temptation and help us remove our feet from that path. If we find ourselves disappointed or disgruntled with our husbands, please give us a renewed covenant love with them so we can glorify You through our love of him. If our marriages have difficult times, teach us to use these moments to cleave to You and our husbands so we can grow stronger in love. Each day give us Your love to show to our husbands, give us pure hearts toward our husbands. We praise You for Your mercy and love and gentle patience in teaching us what it means to be pure both in mind and body. Thank You, Lord God Almighty for the encouragement to love as You have taught us and the wisdom to make choices for You. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.