READ : Proverbs 2:11-22
“So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman.” (v. 16)
A woman in a Bible study I was teaching asked, “Why does Proverbs place all the blame at the feet of the ladies?” Good question. The frequent warning to young men to avoid sexual traps gives that impression, but if memory serves, I recall my high school buddies pretty actively looking for trouble.
If Proverbs seems lopsided in favor of men, Jesus gives a needed corrective. In the moving account in John’s Gospel (chapter 8), Jesus forgives the woman accused of adultery. Her stone-carrying, hypocritical male accusers slink away shame-faced into the shadows. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus warns men against the sin of lust, of turning women into adulterers by divorcing them for petty reasons. He gives no similar warning to women.
Years ago Charlie Shedd wrote a book called The Fat Is in Your Head. Meaning? We give ourselves mental permission to reach for that Twinkie. So too, with adultery. It’s between our ears that the tempting thoughts first appear, “Maybe I could . . .” These thoughts precede the acts of unfaithfulness.
If infidelity comes from thoughts before acts, then so does faithfulness. “Discretion will watch over you” (v. 11).
Faithful God, help me imitate your faithfulness in my marriage relationship. Amen.