25 Do not desire her beauty in your heart,
and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes;
26 for the price of a prostitute is only a loaf of bread,
but a married woman hunts down a precious life. 27 Can a man carry fire next to his chest
and his clothes not be burned?
28 Or can one walk on hot coals
and his feet not be scorched?
29 So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife;
none who touches her will go unpunished.
30 People do not despise a thief if he steals
to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry,
31 but if he is caught, he will pay sevenfold;
he will give all the goods of his house.
32 He who commits adultery lacks sense;
he who does it destroys himself.
33 Wounds and dishonor will he get,
and his disgrace will not be wiped away.
34 For jealousy makes a man furious,
and he will not spare when he takes revenge.
35 He will accept no compensation;
he will refuse though you multiply gifts.
The key verse is 32 – He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself. Sex makes fools of us, and illicit sex sends us to our destruction. How else can we explain the actions of both men and women who sacrifice marriages – good marriages – and families, and who ruin their reputations and careers because of the wink of eyelashes and a few words spoken?
There is some logic to the actions of a thief, even of a liar. But to commit adultery with a married woman or with a married man? Again, there is some empathy for a person yielding to sexual impulses, but what is the instinct for adultery with a married person? Why do women latch on to married men who either will not make a commitment to them or must destroy their marriages to do so? Do these women believe they can then trust these men to be faithful to them? Why do men yield to the charms of a married woman? If she is willing to make a fool of her husband, is she not willing to make fools of them?
Desperate Housewives may be fun for TV, but its topic is devastating in the real world. People’s hearts are broken; their lives are ruined; children suffer and all because someone cannot control his or her sexual impulses. Why do you suppose so much space is given in Proverbs on this subject of illicit sex? Is it not because the temptation is so strong and the consequences so devastating? All the more then stay away. Be faithful to your spouse. If you are single, be chaste. However difficult you may think your situation is or your desires so strong, you will rue the day you yield. Do not carry fire next to your chest, but stay away from sexual allures.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2023 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org