Sunday, June 2. Proverbs 5 – 8

“Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress? Why embrace the bosom of another man’s wife?”

Why indeed?

This morning’s “Ask Amy” section in our Washington Post contained a letter from a man whose wife had been cheating on him for two years. She wanted to hold the marriage together for a few more years “until the children were older.” Of course, she also wanted to continue to see her lover. Her husband had passed through the anger stage about the affair and was now in therapy and on medication.

A couple of observations are in order – all from Solomon.

First, sex (call it affection, physical intimacy, whatever, you get my drift) is powerful. In all its forms, men and women both require it. It is such a strong desire that must be fulfilled, Solomon likens it to “an ox going to the slaughter.” Once you head down that path, there is no turning back. Husbands and wives simply must see to each other’s needs in this area, and if they don’t, the needs will be met by someone else. It’s not an excuse – certainly not before God. But it is a reason and you are only stupidly deceiving yourself if you think you or your spouse is any different.

Second, there is no relationship in mankind more intimate, more life changing, more important, more influential (on your life and the lives of your family) than marriage. The breakup of a marriage never affects only the couple and is never inconsequential. Likewise, an unhealthy marriage never affects only the couple and is never inconsequential. It affects the children, the in-laws, and the personal friends as well and always negatively. How many men have ruined their lives, their reputations and their careers because they ruined their marriages with unfaithfulness?

Why be captivated by an adulteress (or an adulterer)? There are reasons, but none of them good, and an abundance of reasons for not doing it – not the least of which is yours and your community’s personal health, future and eternal destiny.

Saturday, June 2. Proverbs 7 – 10

    The prostitute stands for illicit sexual activity in Proverbs, but she is also a symbol of danger and foolishness.  And so, while she calls out to the simple, the young lacking judgment, another woman also calls out.  She is known as “wisdom.”

    When you take chapters 6-7 and 8-9 together, life is presented with two options: wisdom and foolishness.  Both call out.  Both have doors to their homes where men gather.  Both have fruit and delicacies to eat.  We each get to decide which road to take.  The problem is, there is some predisposition to one way or the other.  The “wise” take the wise road and become wiser.  The foolish . . . don’t.

    Wisdom is the way of kings; it’s why they have so many advisors.  The fool charts his own course.  I think there are two lessons in this contrast:

    First, what kind of person are you going to be?  Will you be wise or foolish?

    Second, how can you tell which you are?  The wise person seeks out wisdom.  It is not to be found among your contemporaries, those who share your own experience and age.  It is found among those outside your circle, those more successful, more experienced, whose walk with God plainly close, whose life is different from your own.  You cannot get to where the wise are by following your own path.  You must seek their direction, and follow it.

    The fool will do none of this, never asking for advice, resenting anyone giving it, and seldom taking it.  Life will be hard, but mercifully, short.