1 My son, be attentive to my Wisdom [godly Wisdom learned by actual and costly experience], and incline your ear to my understanding [of what is becoming and prudent for you],
2 That you may exercise proper discrimination and discretion and your lips may guard and keep knowledge and the wise answer [to temptation].
3 For the lips of a loose woman drip honey as a honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil;
4 But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged and devouring sword. –Proverbs 5:1-4 (AMP)
Reading these verses in the Amplified Bible really put this in perspective for me. You don’t have to be so much wise in yourself as long as you are discerning about others’ experiences and the wisdom they share with you.
Before the adulteress comes (which can be a man or a woman, by the way), you need an answer to temptation–a wise answer. You need to guard and keep that knowledge close and ready.
I’ve heard that affairs normally start, not because that person of the opposite sex is just so amazingly attractive, but simply because there’s opportunity. It’s sort of the reason I don’t keep Dr. Pepper or other sugary drinks in the house. I’d be tempted over and over to drink it.
Adultery starts with flattery.
Hopefully, you understand the devil isn’t always as blatant as we’d like him to be. The adulteress doesn’t always look like the prostitute or street walker you see on TV. Sometimes it’s that man or woman who listens and seems to “get” you so easily.
Sweet words and admiring speech. If you don’t have a wise answer to the temptation, you may be sunk. That’s why everyone has to deal with that craving to be adored and lauded at all times. Obviously, it’s stronger in some than others (and there are various reasons why), but you probably have dealt with it before.
Your wife seems unsupportive compared to her. Your husband seems so emotionally disconnected compared to him. You entertain the thoughts, even reluctantly, and your emotions play into the physical attraction until there’s opportunity to act.
It’s all a trap.
That adulteress is standing at your door smiling with a big sword behind her. In fact, it’s a two-edged sword, which is powerful and precise.
Hebrews 4:12 compares the word of God to a double-edged sword that can divide soul and spirit, bone from marrow. But while the sword of His Spirit wounds and heals, the sword of adultery only wounds.
It divides not only spouses, but families and friends. It opens the door for the enemy to prey on those involved and their kids. Giving into temptation could very well cost you everything you hold dear as it devours and devours. And even though this has been the case for a thousand generation, somehow people still come to the faulty conclusion, “That was them. It’ll be different for me.”
Can I throw in here that I’m not standing in judgment of anyone who’s had an affair or succumbed to temptation? You may not even have been a Christian at the time, but either way, you can move forward into a new grace. If you’ve confessed your sin and repented, you are absolutely forgiven. No exceptions.
For anyone else, let’s learn from others’ experiences and listen to Teacher, the author of Proverbs, who advises us to have our answer ready. Wisdom doesn’t have to come from your own past. Recognize what’s happening and follow the Holy Spirit.
Sticky topic, I know, but what are your thoughts on this? Do you believe it’s possible to have an answer ready before the temptation comes?
Another in a series of posts where I go through Proverbs a verse (or more) at a time and share what the Holy Spirit impresses on me (click here for more verse by verse posts).