turn your ear to my words of insight,
2 that you may maintain discretion
and your lips may preserve knowledge.
In this chapter, the author tells the young man, presumably his son, about the dangers of sex. Of course, the same can be said for young women, daughters. This is the first of three poems in Proverbs that counsel about the “forbidden woman". Knowing King Solomon's history, it is from his own experience that he is warning his son. Some would take it to mean he has no moral ground for instructing and therefore his instructions should be ignored. How many young people have flung past indiscretions in the face of their parent and then gone off to ignore the parent's warning? But, if you were smart, you would take it to mean your parent experienced an unfortunate incident and is trying to keep you from making the same mistakes. Most parents love their children and would give them advice and warnings in order to keep them from making mistakes and having to deal with the consequences. Who better to warn than those who experienced the problems themselves? It would be better if we learned the easy way, but too often, we learned the hard way. We would spare our children from that if we could, so we give advice. It is our duty as parents to teach and train, to guide and give wisdom.
Of course, with immature teenagers, it doesn't matter if the parents had bad experiences or avoided making bad choices, the teen is going to justify their behavior.
"You don't know what it's like!"
"You did it, so why can't I?"
If they want to do something, they will look for a reason, any reason, no matter how illogical, to support their behavior. A teenager is biologically NOT an adult. They think they are, but you, as a parent, have to be the mature one and realize they are NOT an adult. Their brains still cannot function as an adult because they are not biologically there yet. Just like a toddler cannot understand the concept of time, a teenager cannot follow a thought through to logical conclusion. For instance, as mature adults, we know that smoking causes cancer and you can die a horrible death from smoking. A teenager will still choose to smoke because they cannot fathom themselves in the cancer wing of a hospital dying a horrible death from cancer caused by smoking. Their brains only go so far as to "look cool" with a cigarette hanging out of their mouths. And tobacco companies know this and it's why they target teenagers by promoting smoking in movies. They hope to get them hooked before they become adults with the ability to rationally make choices. As a parent, or guardian, it is our duty to impart wisdom.
Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of adults who don't show any maturity past their teenage years. I don't know why that is, but there are plenty of people who are adult age but have minds still stuck in their teenage years. They just don't seem to be able to reason and think logically. They don't have self control because they can't think a thought through to a conclusion. They basically live life on the surface with whatever initial thought comes to their mind. I call them flat thinkers. There is no depth and no ability to think deeply.
King Solomon had many wives and concubines (hundreds!). He could have been a sex addict based on those numbers. But then we don't know if he actually slept with that many wives or just kept them for political reasons. But, one thing is for sure, he did know what he was talking about. It was because of his many wives that he began compromising and then participating in idolatry, this despite being one of the wisest men. So his father/son talk about the dangers of sex came from personal experience.
Today, most don't listen to the godly wisdom given in the Bible about sex. Society has made up it's own rules to justify, and even "celebrate", sexual promiscuity and perversions. We are desperate to find ways to avoid the consequences of our sins. I.e., we want our sin but without the consequences. It's why condoms are big business, as are abortion, birth control, STD medical treatments. Why do you think it's so promoted in every TV show, advertisement, movie, book, magazine? Two reasons: it's what sinful people want and it makes big money. Alcohol sales alone are big money and alcohol lowers inhibitions which leads to more spending on drugs, condoms, and morning-after remedies like abortion, morning-after pills, trips to doctors, etc. We don't want any physical consequences to our choices to sin but we also spend a lot of money on sin. And that doesn't take into account the damage done to our souls and spirits. There is a lot of emotional baggage created by promiscuity and sexual perversions. And, as Christians, our born again spirit is affected by what we do with our bodies and emotions. The Bible says our bodies are temples for the Holy Spirit. We damage our relationship with God when we give in to sin and don't repent. (Thank God, we can always repent and ask for forgiveness!)
But this is not just a parent giving wisdom to a child. It's godly wisdom. God's wisdom given to His children about sex, sin and idolatry. The forbidden woman is not just a prostitute, a loose woman, but is a satanic lure to sin, any sin. Satan makes sin look awfully good but it leads to destruction. The advertisement to sin makes it look perfect and does not show the devastation and destruction it really causes.
King Solomon is saying we should learn the easy way, by godly wisdom. How do we learn godly wisdom? As a Christian, read the word, meditate on it, think on it, apply it and follow it. We have the option of choosing who we listen to. Use discretion as to who you listen to and whose advice you take.
Hosea 14:9 Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; Whoever is discerning, let him know them For the ways of the LORD are right, And the righteous will walk in them, But transgressors will stumble in them.
- To be continually learning from others, without being resentful, is a sign of maturity. Are you willing to learn? Are you benefitting from godly wisdom or resenting godly wisdom?
- Have you experienced things, good or bad, and thus would teach them to your children? Would you warn them against things you know are bad? Would you encourage them to do things that are good? Why?
- As God's children, God has given us a manual of life called the Bible. He gives plenty of examples of good and bad, with lot's of wisdom and He uses many teaching tools. Why? Why did God give us His Word?
- Can you think of a time where you used godly wisdom and were glad you did? Can you think of a time when you ignored godly wisdom and wished you hadn't?
- Did you think God was just a kill-joy who doesn't want us to have a good time?
- Can you see Him now as a Father who wants the best for His children?
For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.