By Mike Willis
One of the areas in which Christianity and heathen ethics is in conflict is with reference to sexual conduct. That heathen ethic is gaining a greater percentage of the population than Christianity is seen in what conduct is displayed on television and in the movies. Sexual activity is frequently portrayed on television. Nothing is too intimate to be barred from television; television producers and actor have no sense of shame. The sexual activity which is portrayed or intimated is most frequently fornication or adultery; rarely is sexual activity intimated within the legitimate family relationship of husband and wife.
The stance of heathen ethics is reflected by the direct statement of humanism. The Humanist Manifesto II stated:
In the area of sexuality, we believe that intolerant attitudes, often cultivated by orthodox religions and puritanical cultures, unduly repress sexual conduct. The right to birth control, abortion, and divorce should be recognized. While we do not approve of exploitive, denigrating forms of sexual expression(1), neither do we wish to prohibit, by law or social sanction, sexual behavior between consenting adults. The many varieties of sexual exploration should not in themselves be considered “evil.” Without countenancing mindless permissiveness or unbridled promiscuity, a civilized society should be a tolerant one (p. 18).
As this concept toward sexual activity becomes more widely accepted, th society in which we live will look with greater approval at fornication homosexuality, adultery, pornography, and prostitution. Christians will b, looked upon as prudes, out of touch and step with these modern times. Our children will be subjected to ridicule and temptation in this area with mor intensity than most of us faced as adolescents. We need to be reminded o the teachings of God’s word regarding sexual conduct.
The Conduct Of An Immoral Woman
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.(2) 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 “flattereth with her words” (Prov. 2:16; 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 shamefacedness 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 forgetteth the covenant of her God” (2:17). The “guide of her youth” is her husband; the “covenant of her God” is the marriage covenant.(3) 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. They “shall be holden with the cords of his sin” (5:22).
2. The end result of this conduct is bitter. “For her house inclineth 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 thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house: lest thou give thine honor unto others, and thy years unto the cruel: lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy 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.”(4) 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 thou mourn at the last, when thy 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 givest 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 pondereth 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 goeth in to his neighbor’s wife; whosoever toucheth 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).
Whatever attitude our society might develop toward sexual activity does not change God’s law on the matter. Sexual activity outside the marriage bed is sinful, a violation of God’s eternal law. 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 on the basis of what God says! Let those who respect God and His word be careful to avoid becoming involved in sexual sins.
1. Humanists state their opposition to exploitive, denigrating forms of sexual expression but do not explain why exploitive, denigrating forms of sexual expression are wrong. Is humanism manifesting an “intolerant attitude” when opposing exploitive, denigrating sexual expression! is humanism an “orthodox religion” or pan of a “puritanical culture” which unduly limits legitimate sexual expression when it opposes “exploitive, denigrating forms of sexual expression”? What one humanist labels “exploitive, denigrating” is just another humanists’ personal preference! Humanism is most inconsistent in this area.
2. What is happening among preachers, elders, deacons, Bible class teachers and others reminds us that the sin is not limited to the young people. Husbands and wives who have been married for 15-25 years are divorcing each other in order to seek another companion. Hence, the lesson of Proverbs are as applicable to us older sons and daughters as to younger sons and daughters.
3. Compare Jesus’ statement that God joins two together in marriage (Matt. 19:6).
4. W.J. Deane, The Pulpit Commentary, Vol. IX, p. 110.
Guardian of Truth XXVIII: 15, pp. 450, 471
August 2, 1984