My son, give attention to my wisdom, incline your ear to my understanding
Solomon again emphasizes a crucial point to the man or woman who is willing to let him be their spiritual father. He has brought us various points of the wise life up to this point. Much of it has been positive in its orientation: honor the Lord; hang on to lovingkindness and truth, etc. But in this section of the proverb, Solomon – under the direction of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit – tells us one of the more difficult temptations that will come every man’s way: the temptation to live a fool’s life through illicit sexual activity. This particular temptation gets a lot of play in the Proverbs because it remains such a strong and lasting need and weak point – with men especially.
Men want and need physical intimacy. They also want and need emotional, mental, and spiritual intimacy. For many men, physical intimacy seems like the quickest path to have all of one’s needs met. This is not true, but it seems that way especially to young men. Fornication, adultery, pornography, etc., seem like a great way to meet their need; but in reality they are get-rich-quick schemes for their soul which will bring ruin and destruction to their relationships and their soul. One does not build a great life by pursuing easy sexual relations. One builds a great life by developing discipline and sexual control and by pursuing a woman in righteousness and encouragement.
God, through Solomon, screams at us: Get ready for this temptation! It will come strong and will come often throughout your life. You must be ready for it. You must expect that the pull of this fool’s pathway will seem like the right thing to do a number of times in your life. IT NEVER IS.
I have worked with a number of men and women who have committed adultery to try and meet some need in their life. It never does. It only seems like it will when you are under the cloud of emotion in the affair. Sexual foolishness and a lack of sexual discipline destroy relationships; it does not build up anyone.
God gives a whole section of the advice to young people to this temptation. He details what will be said. He details what you will feel. He details what you will feel like after it is over. He details the thinking of your unfaithful partner. All of this was written over 3,000 years ago, and it is dead-on accurate.
To pretend that this temptation will not come your way at some point in your life is naive. Get ready because it is coming. Realize just as there will be numerous schemes to separate us from our hard-earned income, so there will be schemes to separate us from faithfulness to our spouse.
It is important to say that even if one is not married – maybe never having been married – one needs to abstain from sexual unfaithfulness because you will be staying faithful to the Lord and potentially your future spouse. When you hold back from these temptations, you are demonstrating faith in God that He will find you a partner and that He has a superior life for you even if it does not include sexual relations at present
I have had the great privilege of performing a number of weddings in which the person who is getting married presents to their beloved a purity ring that represents a pledge to save themselves for this day.
Notice that Solomon says you need to lean over and look hard at the connections that go on in this temptation. You need to understand how sexuality reaches into all areas of life and connects with men and women, with you, and with those around you.
Are you ready for these temptations – especially in the light of our culture? Are you ready for a seductive tone directed in your direction? Are you ready for someone to express real interest in you whom you know you cannot marry or cannot spend time with restriction? Are you ready for increased pornography coming into your computer, coming across your path? How will you guard yourself against this?
* This material is copyrighted © by Gil Stieglitz who retains all rights to the material. The verses quoted are taken from the NASB Bible 1995 edition.