Monday, August 29, 2011

Marriage Mondays ~ Mrs. Adulteress

Women/girls are pursuing men/boys with a new boldness, a 21st century kind of boldness. I know, because I have a teenage son! The cultural "new normal" among females intensifies temptation for men to succumb to impure relationships. Tomorrow I'm posting at Scripture Dig on what Proverbs has to say about Adultery & Sexuality. Today my teammate Stephanie is posting about wisdom from Proverbs about the Wife Your Marriage Deserves. 

As I studied fatherly warnings to a son regarding adultery, I landed in Proverbs chapter 7, where I noted words describing the alluring seductress:  dressed immodestly, wily heart, loud, wayward, doesn't stay home, waiting on purpose, assertive, physically bold, eager, intentional, seductive, smooth, compelling. 

I expected all of that (except for wily ... not a word I often use ;) It means crafts.), but I did NOT remember noticing the words of verse 19. WHOA!  Check the version. Get out the concordance. Drink some real coffee. Did I just read what I thought I read???? 

"... with bold face she says to him ... (v.19) For my husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey..."

HUSBAND!?!?!? The seductress the father is warning his son to avoid is a married woman. She's in my classification. I'm in "her club." I have something in common with her. She promised to be faithful to another man ... just like I did. Probably just like you did.

How does a married woman become an adulteress?

  • She had the wrong heart - image of purity, but religion without a relationship (v14)
  • She had the wrong habits - secrecy, outside of her husband's knowledge (vv19-20)
  • She had the wrong house - using her own house to entertain sin (vv17-19)

Mrs. Prov. 7 had religion, but no relationship, and it showed up in her marriage. This gal even offered her sacrifices and paid her vows, but she didn't do it to know God and walk in His ways.  Her image when the sun was shining may've earned her a spot on a ministry team, but "in the twilight, in the evening, at the time of night and darkness" her real heart called out to satisfy her lust. She rejected God's gift of marital intimacy. What does the physical intimacy in your marriage say about your heart?

She was practicing the wrong habits, even preparing her bed with the best linens and spices to arouse him. She planned to invite her lover in and went out where she could check out the options and invite him in. In modern language, she was picking her "hottest" profile picture, in case her college flame happened by. She was clicking on the "Meet Singles in Your Area" option next to her email, because she tells herself it's harmless. While her husband was away on business, she didn't plan for his return home; she planned to maximize her time by self-indulgence. Her habits were leading her straight on "the way to Sheol, going down to the chambers of death," (7:27) death of the blessings God intended for her.  Do you welcome or resist your husband's knowledge of the details of your days?

The matron of Proverbs 7 lived in a house she had not made her "theirs." In fact, "her feet do not stay at home," (12) because she was busy pursuing what she wanted. She didn't have time for "menial things" like fixing dinner and changing the sheets and texting her husband a quick "I love you today." She hadn't yielded her life to become one, instead of two, and she hadn't devoted herself to making a home to nurture and satisfy her husband. How can you focus on satisfying someone else, when you're busy satisfying yourself? Are you using your house to entertain sin?

The married gal of Proverbs 7 would've spent a lot of time and money primping from head to toe. Where would she be if she lived in your town? God tells us that He values a different beauty focus, and that's the emphasis that satisfies a husband and brings joy to a wife: 

"Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God."  1 Peter 3:3-4

No doubt that the wife of Proverbs 7 left her husband in her heart long before she welcomed a stranger into her bed. Only God can take a sinful heart, make it pure, sanctify it, and transform it to want to think and do holy things. Our sin nature urges us to give in to our selfish side, our prideful side, our brash side, our attention seeking side ... our adulterous side. Oh, God give us a daily desire to be married women who have a heart for You, who pursue You with our habits, and who honor You in our homes. 

7 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Mary@The Calm of His Presence said...

Wow Julie, excellent post! I've read Proverbs 7:19 before but honestly glanced over it. Thank you for the words of warning. Oh that we may delve into God's Word and listen to the warnings He gives.

e-Mom said...

Such an important message! That Prov 31 passage doesn't pull any punches, does it? We tend to think that the men are culprits in adulterous affairs, but women are just as vulnerable to temptation, especially when their marriage is struggling. Seeking pro help is always a good choice.

Thanks for hosting!

e-Mom @ Chrysalis

Kristi Stephens said...

Powerful and well said. I've been thinking about this song the past couple of days:

Julie_Sanders said...

I think this is the first time it really hit me this way, too. Very challenging to me not to become careless with how I care for my marriage and home. I know I need God's grace and His power daily to keep me on His path as a wife.

Julie Sanders


Julie_Sanders said...

What a powerful song, Kristi. I had not heard that before, but it's so appropriate!

Julie Sanders


Mrs Mary Joy Pershing said...

Excellent article, Julie!  A very important warning that we all need to heed!  I LOVE the book of Proverbs!  Learn so much from each chapter!

Julie_Sanders said...

I'm loving it with you, Mary Joy. Such practical wisdom for everyday, isn't it?
Julie Sanders