Wednesday, May 5, 2010

When there are no exemptions

I was praying before my quiet time tonight and all geared up to continue reading in Matthew when I just felt that I really needed to begin my time in the word by reading today's proverb. (Proverbs 5, since it is the 5th day of May :) )

When I looked at the title I thought to myself...should I skip this one? The description of Proverbs 5 is "Warning Against Adultery." I think we all have times like these when we look at scripture and ask ourselves, in our pride/ignorance, does this part of scripture really apply to me? I mean, maybe it applies to "that" person or "him" or "her" but me? YES, it applies to me and all of you! 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us, "All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness." In other words, there are no exceptions and no exemptions for to whom the truths of scripture apply.

As I read Proverbs 5 I began to really question myself. What about adultery is important for me to be aware of as a younger woman/wife? The proverb is written to God's sons (Proverbs 5:1 "My son, pay attention to my wisdom, listen well to my words of insight") but what about us daughters? Do these cautions of those interested/entangled in adultery lust still apply to us as single women and wives? ABSOLUTELY! As wives we have committed ourselves to our husbands for life! We have stood before the Lord and committed our hearts affections to them through better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness in health, with gray hair or balding, in shape or out of shape, when they have a good day or bad day, when they romance us or don't! Marriage is the real deal, sticking by you forever commitment. The world tells us as married women and single women that fickleness is ok. It's okay to harmlessly flirt, it's okay to have a best friend who's a guy and have your husband, it's okay to go out with a man other then your husband or boyfriend and share in intimate conversation with them. The world today has even gone so far as to make "swingers" look like the acceptable answer to adding to a marriage and keeping spouses happy. What has happened?

As always the answer to what has happened is...SIN. Sin happens. It entices us to go against the commands God puts in place to protect us, not to make our lives boring as some would like to persuade you to think.

Let's take a look at a couple of the warnings Proverbs 5 has for us.

# 1 - Proverbs 5:3 "For the lips of an adulteress drip honey and her speech is smoother than oil"

Girls, Wives, Women - This is a double caution! 1) It's a caution to watch the words the boys/men in your life are saying to you. If you're married, be cautious of the flattery of other men besides your husband. Pray for protection that you will not look to the affirmation other men give you above the affirmation your husband gives to you. If you're not married, be cautious in how you let the words of guys you date or are interested in influence you. Watch their actions more than their words. Are they saying things just to romance you or because they mean it? Are they flattering you because they want something from you or because they are sincere?
2) Be cautious of what you say to men/guys. Are our words to men other than our husbands/guys you're dating or not dating in our lives full of flirtation? Do you say things to get attention from guys that lead them to have false hope? Are you displaying an interest in the words that you say that is different from the affections of your heart? Words invite emotion and we should use them lovingly. If we're married the conversations we have with other men should honor our husbands and guard the heart of the man we're speaking to by straying from any possible mixed message. If we are not married, the same is true! guard the hearts of other men in the things you say! Be loving by being cautious of how what you say can affect them.

Remember these words from Proverbs 7:21 "With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk."

#2- Proverbs 5:13 " I would not obey my teachers or listen to my instructors"

If there are godly people in your life (those who love you, love God and know his truth) who are telling you to be careful in your interactions with another man/guy in your life other than your husband/boyfriend or even someone who is just your friend, heed their counsel. Often people on the outside of a situation can see more then we can see from the inside out. Let God protect you from stumbling into lustful thoughts, adulterous thinking or even unloving actions by following the advice of others around you when they correct you. My freshmen year of college me and 4 of my other best girlfriends were called into a pow-wow with about 6 of our guy friends who told us that hanging out with us was turning out to be bad news for them. They pointed out that we constantly sent mixed messages, dressed in ways that made it difficult for them to look at us without lusting and confused them with our flirtatiousness and affection toward them (hugs hello/goodbye/cuddling). WOW... was that ever a shocker! We were so ignorant we never even considered how our actions were affecting them! We were more focused on the attention we were receiving (although I doubt we admitted it at the time) and acting how we wanted regardless of how it might have made them feel. It was difficult for us, but after they corrected us we sought to change. We were humbled. We wanted to love these guy friends we cared so much about.

So here are some questions for us all: Are you seeking attention from every guy (even if you're married?) Are you battling insecurity and finding attention in the wrong place/from the wrong person? Are you leading guys on or sending mixed messages that would grieve God, hurt your spouse/boyfriend or guy friends? Are you being a woman of Christ who is living out Phil. 2 by looking to the interests of others more than your own interests? Have you considered the way you dress and the message it sends? Why do you dress the way you do? If you are struggling, have you asked our ALL-POWERFUL God for help to be obedient? Have you asked Him to help you guard your heart and the hearts of others?

Proverbs 5 closes with these verses....

v.21-23 "For a man's ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all his paths. The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast. He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly."

Ask God tonight to correct you in his love. To lead you on the path that will guard your heart and bring Him the most glory. Please feel free to shoot me any questions :)

Love you all in Christ!

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