“I saw among the simple, I noticed among the young men,
a youth who lacked judgment.”
Proverbs 7 is a tremendously visual proverb. Written from the perspective of a man watching from a window, it gives us a bird’s eye view of a young man being seduced by a married adulteress while infusing warnings and wisdom into the message.
I love this for several reasons, but a big reason is because it allows us to look at a painful and emotion-filled situation from an objective point of view. Solomon doesn’t put us in the middle of the mess he elevates us above it so we can see it from an unobstructed view.
At some point I will spend more time on this idea, but this is a very healthy and spiritually driven practice we all should adopt. It’s the choice to pull back the lens of our life far enough to look at things objectively. Removing emotion, conditions, and excuses from our reasoning so we can objectively look at the state of our life. I find that if we are able to do that, we can better see what needs to be addressed and we can put an action plan together before reentering into the ground level of the chaos.
Ok, that was the freebee. Here is what you paid to hear.
Most of the time when we hear about adultery (or cheating as it’s sugarcoated name has become) our eyes go directly to the person that cheated. In fact, in most cases this is the man and rightfully so it appears. In one study of 70,000 people, it found that 28% of the married men had cheated on their spouse and 68% of all the men in monogamous relationships admitted they desired to be with someone else. This compared to 18% of married woman cheating and 44% of woman in monogamous relationships having desires for other men.
It appears this is not a new trend since in the 5th Century BC Solomon writes about a “young man” choosing adultery. Let’s be brutally honest and not let him or any man off the hook. He may be young but he still is a man who could have said “no” to the advances of the temptress. At some point we have to grow up and do what the DARE program told us in elementary school…“Just Say No!”
However, there is another party in this sinful dance that gets less of a critique and easily slip into the shadows of the crowd. What about the temptress in this scene being played out? What wisdom can we gain from what Solomon tells us about her and how Christian women can avoid the pitfalls she creates?
In Part 2 of this look at Proverbs 7, we will look closer at this adulteress woman, but for now I want to leave you with these words from Paul.
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
No matter what lies you may tell yourself, God always provides a way out.
There are no victims when it comes to giving into temptation only guilty offenders.
You always have the option to say NO.