Chapter 7 of Proverbs is another discourse on the life of an adulterous woman. In this chapter we can gain insight into the actual way a woman’s mind functions when she chooses to break her covenant and join herself to another man. In chapter six we saw the parent’s instruction to the man which focused on his heart and mind being caught by the beauty of the woman. Now here in this chapter we see the woman’s tactics in seducing a man.
Warn your sons about the adulteress
Every young boy should be schooled carefully in what to watch out for in regard to an adulterous woman. As much as the Lord speaks to this subject it certainly reveals how serious he is that his people be trained thoroughly in the dangers of this lifestyle. They key verse to this section is found in verse 4 through 5. The Bible says, “say to wisdom, ‘you are my sister,’ and call insight your intimate friend, to keep you from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words.”
Get wisdom, my son
A woman will sometimes break her union with her man due to a myriad of reasons and thus no one size warning will cover every situation. Thus, God says that for a person to escape the evil path of an evil woman who wants to secretly desert her man through forming another conjugal union to another man the method to avoid that comes through being skilled in wisdom. Wisdom is the art and skill of being able to discern the motives and intentions of another as well as being able to apply biblical truth to actual real life scenarios. It takes wisdom to avoid the situations that often lead to adultery.
The parent must instruct the child to not be caught up in the power of the adulteress and to not be caught in that he must not place himself around her when alone. This is the point of verses 8-10. This means that a man must be able to identify the traits of the adulterous and when he senses this through wisdom he must not place himself around her in contexts that make it easy to give in to her advances. Verse 9 says, “in the twilight, in the evening, at the time of night and darkness,” and this seems to be a figurative symbolic way of even pointing to the darkness that is about to befall the man who drifts into this dark and disastrous domain.
Characteristics of the adulteress
Verses 10 through 20 give us insight into the very mind and actions of an unfaithful and evil woman who will break her union from her man to form another union with another man. We see that she will dress in such a way to please the eye of the man (vs. 10). She is not a reserved and gentle woman but she is loud. She is a woman who loves to be noticed and heard (vs. 11a). She is also a woman who is not content with her home life (vs. 11b). The woman is quick and easy with her passionate advances as she is self-centered and eager to get what she wants as in her heart she seeks to be in control and does not respect submission to God or her current union under her man’s headship (vs. 13). Too this type of woman is often religious and covers her seductive and sadistic heart with religiosity. She will use her religion and faith as a way to abuse the grace of the Lord (vs. 14-15).
Additionally, she is one who has premeditated her fling. Most adulterous actions are not spur of the moment events. Normally the plot has been planned for some time for this moment of sin (vs. 16-18). In this case the woman planned to make her move when her man had gone away on trip and was away for a period of time (vs. 19-20). An unfaithful woman who is not honest enough to deal with her issues with her covenant head will plot to make her moves at times like these. With these mental plans and actions put to those plans a woman is often able through her “seductive speech” (vs. 21) to gain control over the “young man lacking sense” (vs. 7). She “persuades” (vs. 21) the man who is “simple” minded (vs. 7) and who lacks wisdom. The simple man, who is without wisdom, “follows her as an ox goes to slaughter,” and he “does not know that it will cost him his life” (vs. 22, 23). Physical and spiritual death looms on the horizon for those in this sin (vs. 27).
Adultery rarely if ever happens just on the spur of the moment. Granted in today’s culture there are places where in the adult entertainment world that such things like that can indeed happen quickly. But many women, especially the religious woman who is outwardly seeking to be decent in the eyes of society while still submitting to her inward rebellion impulses, will build bonds with another man besides her covenant head and then slip into this immoral lifestyle with someone she can control and manipulate to succumb to her advances. As a parent it is your duty to train your boy how to be a man and how to notice the signs of an adulterous woman. Train your child in wisdom. Teach him to notice the signs of an unfaithful woman so he is not caught in the evil snare that could utterly ruin him and his family. Pray your son and/or daughter will escape this sin!
Dr. Keith Sherlin