The book of Proverbs abounds with warnings to watch out for “the strange woman,” the seductress who preys on naïve, short-sighted men who are willing to forsake long-term happiness for a brief moment of sultry passion. Three chapters in particular (5-7), as well as numerous references throughout the book, provide a description of this kind of woman and the measures that a husband must take to protect his marriage.
WHAT DOES AN ADULTERESS LOOK LIKE?
- She is a flatterer (Proverbs 5:3; 6:24; 2:16; 7:21).
- She preys on foolish, naïve men (Prov 7:6-9).
- She uses her eyes and her clothing to seduce men (Prov 6:25; 7:10).
- She is often boisterous (Prov 7:11).
- She is rarely at home (Prov 7:11).
- She aggressively pursues men (Prov 7:12-15).
- She is a master manipulator, deceiving even her own husband (Prov 7:16-20).
- She even ensnares men who think that they are strong (Prov 7:26).
- She leaves destruction in her path (Prov 7:22-25, 27).
HOW CAN A MAN SAFEGUARD HIS MARRIAGE FROM SUCH A LUSTFUL HOME-WRECKER?
- Nurture and delight in your own love relationship with your wife.
“Drink water from your own cistern, and fresh water from your own well. Should your springs be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be yours alone, and not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth. As a loving hind and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; be exhilarated always with her love. For why should you, my son, be exhilarated with an adulteress, and embrace the bosom of a foreigner? For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the LORD, and He watches all his paths. His own iniquities will capture the wicked, and he will be held with the cords of his sin. He will die for lack of instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he will go astray” (Proverbs 5: 15-23; emphasis added). Commenting on this passage, Melvin Efaw, my wife’s childhood pastor, wrote over 30 years ago:
There is nothing more beautiful than the exchange of marriage vows by a fine Christian man and woman. Friends look on and heaven listens in. In God’s sight they are holy and binding vows. They are not to be treated lightly. They are made to be kept. Yet today many young people plunge into marriage thinking that if it does not work out they can end the relationship and try again and again. God says that men and women have the right to enjoy only lawful pleasures. In Eastern countries the two sources of water supply were the well and the cistern of rainwater. Each house had its own well and its own cistern. So each man is to have his own wife and each woman is to have her own husband. They are to enjoy one another only. They are to be true to each other. Some sexologists say that a marriage that is becoming dull can be helped by ‘healthy adultery.’ God says there is no such thing. He teaches that marriages are happier when one man and one woman are faithful to each other, and that in the final analysis sin against His laws can only bring misery and judgment. [Practical Points from Proverbs]
- Flee lust in any, and every, form.
“Do not lust after her beauty” (6:25a; NKJ). Jesus confronted lust in no uncertain terms and advocated radical measures to eradicate it. “Everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matt. 5:27-28).
“If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell” (Matt 5:29).
“Now then, my sons, listen to me, and do not depart from the words of my mouth. Keep your way far from her [the adulteress], and do not go near the door of her house” (5:7-8).
But what do you do if you find yourself inadvertently trapped by a seductress? Learn from Joseph. When he found himself alone in a room with a powerful seductress who sought to overwhelm her prey, “he left his garment in her hand and fled, and went outside” (Genesis 39:12). Men, there is only one logical way to respond to the subtle, or not so subtle, advances of an adulteress: run for your life! “Flee immorality” (1 Corinthians 6:18).
Men, let us guard our marriages as if our very lives depended upon it…because they do.