The book of Proverbs contains the instructions of a father to his son. Repeatedly, the writer urges his son to listen to the wisdom and instruction of his father and mother. In several of the early chapters, the father warns his son of the dangers which an evil woman presents (2:16-19; 5:1-23; 6:24-35; 9:13-18). His repeated warnings remind us of what a danger sexual sin is for young people. Although the Proverbs are written from the point of view of a father warning his son of the dangers of an immoral woman, the lesson are just as applicable when understood from the point of view of a mother warning her daughter of the dangers of an immoral man.
1. An immoral woman uses flattery. “For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil” (Prov. 5:3) She “flatters with her words” (Prov. 2:16 cf; 6:24). “With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him” (7:21). An evil woman who is seeking to seduce a man and an evil man which is trying to seduce a maiden uses flattery and smooth, sweet talk to lure the victim.
2. She flirts with her eyes. The wise man warned the young man not to allow the evil woman to “take thee with her eyelids” (6:25). Without a word being spoken, a young woman can indicate her willingness to participate through “body language.”
3. She draws attention to her body by her dress. The wise man warned the young man not to “lust after her beauty in thine heart” (6:25) and indicated that she would wear the “attire of an harlot” (7:10).
4. She is forward and bold. The evil woman has laid aside the reserved demeanor characteristic of a godly woman who has shame facedness and modesty. “She is loud and stubborn” (7:11). “So she caught him, and kissed him, and with impudent face said . . . . ” (7:13). Notice the bold, unreserved and forward character displayed by the immoral woman.
5. She has no commitment to her marriage bond. She is ready to “forsake the guide of her youth, and forgets the covenant of her God” (2:17). The “guide of her youth” is her husband; the “covenant of her God” is the marriage covenant. The fact that an immoral woman is married means nothing to her. If she desires to have an affair with another man, she is willing to turn her back on her previous commitment in favor of another man.
Reasons To Avoid The Evil Woman
Having described the conduct of the immoral woman, the wise man listed a number of reasons why the young man should avoid her. Here are some of them:
1. It is difficult to quit practicing the sin. “None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life” (2:19). Those who have tasted the forbidden fruit will return to it again and again. To bring the adulterer and fornicator to repentance is nearly impossible. “His own iniquities entrap the wicked man, and he is caught in the cords of his sin” (5:22).
2. The end result of this conduct is bitter. “For her house inclines unto death, and her paths unto the dead . . . . But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell” (2:18; 5:4-5). What seemed like pleasure at the beginning ends up in anguish, bitterness and sorrow. Laying aside the eternal aspects of the sin, the temporal aspects of a relationship with an immoral woman are enough reason to avoid her. She will be no more faithful to one man than another. She will dump you just as quickly as she dumped another to be with you.
3. One gives his honor, strength, and wealth to strangers. “Remove your way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house: lest you give your honor unto others, and your years unto the cruel: lest strangers be filled with your wealth; and your labors be in the house of a stranger” (5:8-10). “The meaning of the verse is that a life of impurity transfers the profligate’s substance, his wealth and possessions, to others, who will be satiated at his expense, and, being strangers, are indifferent to his ruin.” The clothes, jewelry, and money which are given to an immoral woman are thrown away. She has no loyalty to her benefactor. She will dump you and keep your substance.
4. He contacts social diseases. “And you mourn at the last, when your flesh and thy body are consumed” (5:11). Associating with the ungodly, immoral woman will bring social diseases which will destroy the body.
5. He will have mental anguish as he remembers his rejection of divine instruction. As the ungodly sits with his head in his hand reaping his harvest after sowing to the flesh, he will remember the warnings given to him “and say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; and have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!” (5:12-13).
6. He will suffer the problems of jealousy. When a man commits adultery with another’s wife or girl friend, he must deal with the rage of an offended person. “For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance. He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou gives many gifts” (6:34-35). Those who run with the immoral frequently find themselves dealing with an enraged boy friend who wants to settle the score.
Having described the temporal results of sexual immorality, let us also be reminded that sexual immorality has eternal results. “For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he ponders all his goings” (5:21). “Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned? So he that goes in to his neighbor’s wife; whosoever touches her shall not be innocent” (6:27-29). Fornication is one of the sins which keeps a person out of heaven (Gal. 5:19-21).
Conclusion: This article is not written only for the young but for all ages, young and old alike. It is just as easy for an old man or woman to fall into the hands of immorality as it is for the young. The young are consumed by their strong lusts of the flesh, while the aged are consumed by their loneliness and desire for companionship. Whatever attitude our society might develop toward sexual activity does not change God’s law on the matter. Sexual activity outside the lawful marriage bed is sinful, a violation of God’s eternal law (Heb 13:4). If all of the world decides that homosexuality is a legitimate alternative life style, premarital sexual activity is acceptable and prepares one for marriage, and extra-martial sexual activity might help a marriage, Christians must realize that they are not going to be judged on the basis of what the world thinks, but rather on the basis of what God’s Word says! God’s Word says all such shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven (1 Cor 6:9,10). Let those who respect God and His word be careful to avoid (flee) becoming involved in all sexual sins (1 Cor 6:18).