With her many persuasions she entices him; With her flattering lips she seduces him. Proverbs 7:21
This is a summary statement of all that we've been looking at the past several days about overcoming sexual temptation - only in the reverse - learning from someone who did not overcome it - but succumbed to it instead.
Two things led to this fool's demise. First is that he allowed the adulteress to have the opportunity to have "many persuasions" in her time with him. This points to a simple, yet oft ignored, truth about the appropriateness of man/woman relationships outside of marriage. Too often as American's we scoff at other cultures who limit the amount of contact a man has with a woman. We tend to scoff at their emphasis on modesty in clothing too - for which we are double fools in this society. The fact is that there is an appropriate way for men and women to interact - and an inappropriate way. Let me explain.
Most affairs begin far from the bedroom. They start with the beginning of an inappropriate relationship between a man and a woman. These relationships almost always begin with one of the other starting to share the problems. With rapt attention the other listens - because usually they share a problem of intimacy with their mate. By intimacy I am not referring to their sexual relationship - but to the fact that they rarely talk any longer. This is due to the busy-ness of life or problems and barriers that have developed over the long-term of their marriage. Since neither of them are really working on this aspect of their marriages - they find someone willing to talk a wondeful thing. They do not intend on committing adultery during that first discussion - but nevertheless - they do enter into a man/woman relating to each other that is inappropriate. This builds as they share more and more - and reveal deeper and deeper levels of intimacy. At one point - sexual tension enters into their relationship. If they do not do a Barney Fife action (i.e. "Nip it in the bud!") they are now on a fast track to adultery. This is because it is not wise for a man to have a "best friend" that is a woman once he is married. In some ways this probably doesn't apply to long-term best friends of the past - although a wise man will shift this kind of friendship toward his wife. But to make a "new" best friend of a woman is never a wise thing to do.
There is another scenario here as well - and that is the fool who is already in trouble - who is kinda seeking another woman. This fool already has one foot in the grave - but he is quickly putting the other one in the longer he talks to the woman who is persuading him to have adultery. The wisest thing a man can do when a woman other than his wife makes any kind of remote advance is to run. The Scriptures tell us to "flee youthful lusts and pursue faith, righteousness, love, and peace with those who call upon the Lord with a pure heart." (2 Timothy 2:22). The next wisest thing he can do is to tell either an accountability partner of the advance - or honestly - tell his wife. The second is the wisest choice. It truly nips this thing in the bud - and it lets his wife know that she needs to watch this woman. Don't be a fool and ever allow a woman to give any more than one persuasion to entice you away from God and from your marriage vows.
The second thing we see in this passage is that this woman catches this man with her "flattering lips." As I've written in another post - men have this thing called an ego. When we are wise to allow only our wives to stroke our ego - or allow recognition from colleagues at work to do this - or our children - we are being discerning. When we do this for even a moment with another woman other than our wives - we are allowing pride and utter stupidity to drive our ego. Believe me when I say that we do not want these things working in our ego for even a moment unchecked. This adulteress takes the time to say nice things about the fool. She strokes his ego with her flattery - which to be honest is something that might be lacking at home. That is why men give in to this trap. Let me help you for a moment. If this woman marries you after your current marriage is destroyed - and then lives with you as long as your wife has - you've got to know that she probably won't be flattering your ego much either! That is why we MUST grasp that these "flatteries" are nothing more than lies. When you hear them think of the cheese on a mouse trap. Looks awfully inviting - except for that snapping bar that will break your neck as soon as you take a bite. Flattery from a strange woman might not break your neck instantly - but know that the bar is coming at some point - and your spiritual and marital neck will be broken - possibly beyond remedy.
Men . . . I know that your ego will tell you that it's kinda nice to know that someone still thinks your handsome - wonderful - even sexy. But that little spark you felt in your heart when that happened is prelude to a forrest fire that will destroy beyond imagination. It is a lie - and it is going to be very destructive if you don't see it for what it is. It is cheese, brothers! It is cheese on a trap set to catch and kill you! Don't ever think for even a moment that it is anything less - because when you do - you are one step closer to that bar breaking your neck.
Proverb a Day
Each day, we'll take a look at a verse from the chapter of Proverbs for the day. Our hope is to gain wisdom each day - and from that wisdom - to have understanding to make godly decisions in the throes of everyday life.
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