One way to deal with lust is to redirect our thoughts and redraw pictures in our mind's eye so that they no longer look good to us. Interesting that Proverbs encourages us to do just that.
We live in a time when women are not taught modesty according to biblical standards. It is difficult to be a man who desires to keep his eyes pure in this present world. We are assaulted daily with images from the world that present women in a way that promotes sexual immorality. The number of images that we face in an average day may shock us if we ever counted them - which I don't encourage any man to do. How do we deal with this pictoral minefield?
Proverbs does it with a picture. It is not a pretty picture though - and it is meant to disgust us. God depicts a beautiful woman who lacks discretion in a way that will turn our stomachs if we think long enough about it - and that is what I would encourage any man to do when he is confronted with images that tempt him to lust.
Like a ring of gold . . . there is something desirable and something beautiful. Consider a ring of 24 karat gold before you. It is designed flawlessly and is a work of sheer beauty. This could be an ornament that would enhance the beauty of any woman who wears it. The problem is a woman is not wearing it in this passage. This beautiful ring of gold is pierced through a swine's snout. When you think about this - it is a truly disgusting picture. Consider a large pig that has just come from rooting its snout in a trough of swill. As you focus on the beautiful ring - you see it is pierced through the snout of this pig. The ring itself is dripping with the refuse of all the spoiled rotten food that was in the trough. In addition to this it is also dripping with the mucus from the pig's nose. Not a pretty picture, huh?
Now first of all I want to thank you for bearing with me as I took you through a very disgusting picture. But there is method to my madness. Consider for a moment whether you would be tempted to stare at this ring - desring to take it and put it on as an ornament. Your rightful response would be to say, "NO! Not in the slightest would I want anything to do with that disgusting piece of jewelry."
This is why God describes this beautiful woman in this way. If we focused simply upon her beauty, we would be drawn in to her. But, when we see the heart, we are introduced to something vile and disgusting. She may be beautiful, but she is lacking in any godliness or heart that seeks to honor God. She takes her beauty and uses it to lure attention to herself. She wants attention from men - and seeks to get it in all the wrong ways. She is encouraging sin in men and that is odious in God's sight. The Lord encourages her to clothe herself in righteousness and in godly good works. Instead she clothes herself in lustful outfits that draw men's attention to her figure rather than her face and character. This is not a beautiful woman - any more than the gold ring in the swine's snout is beautiful. We just need to look at things from God's perspective rather than our own.
A picture is worth a thousand words - and a picture that encourages us to righteousness is worth a thousand fortunes. In a sexually super-charged world like ours - it would be wise to take this picture and use it daily.