Friday, October 5, 2012

Proverbs and Sex

I encouraged our men last Sunday to "Man Up!" and read a chapter of Proverbs every day for the month of October (there are 31 chapters in Proverbs to it works out great to read one chapter that corresponds with the date - ie. On October 6 you read Proverbs 6).

I have read Proverbs hundreds of times and have read it to and with my children many of those times. Every time I read through Proverbs I am struck at the emphasis on sex, lust and in particular how men should handle temptation. It is striking that after a long, passionate and repetative theme about getting wisdom (the first 4 chapters) that the first major theme in regards to wisdom is around the topic of sexual temptation. It is also striking how much time and energy that Proverbs gives to this topic. It does not offer a verse or two about it and then move on. Instead, it takes all of chapter 5, a good portion of chapter 6 and all of chapter 7. It seems to think this topic deserves primary attention and major emphasis when it comes to living a wise life.

Here are a few lessons I am taking away from my reading this morning:

1. The Bible is a real world book. It doesn't hide on topics just because they are uncomfortable. If you don't think this topic deserves your focused attention and emphasis in your own life then either you don't live in the real world and don't believe the Bible...or your headed for serious trouble.

2. The warnings include as emphatic and graphic language as the author can muster. Why? I think because the nature of temptation is to make us feel like it's not that big of a deal. That allows us to play around with it and convince ourselves it won't hurt very much. In order to counteract the human tendency to deceive ourselves we need to loudly and boldly declare the absolute horrors of falling into sexual sin.

3. The call to avoid sexual temptation also includes a long passage celebrating great sex. Part of the way to avoid sin is to celebrate and enjoy the real, true and godly version of whatever the devil is trying to get us to abuse. "Drink water from your own well - share your love only with your wife.  Why spill the water of your springs in the streets, having sex with just anyone? You should reserve it for yourselves. Never share it with strangers. Let your wife be a fountain of blessing to you...let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love. Why be captivated, my son, by an immoral woman, or fondle the breasts of a promiscuous woman?" (vs. 15-20)

4. The warnings emphasize the misery of lust and it's lying promise of happiness. Lust is a liar! If offers what it cannot give. It's promises are not only empty, they are full of poison.

May we all grow in wisdom. One of the primary ways to be wise is to be wise with our sexuality.