Be Faithful to Your Spouse

Proverbs 5

Present postmodern culture operates on the level of feelings – think about it: if there are no metanarratives, no universal truths or absolutes, what is true for you can be diametrically opposed to what is true for me, where is there any place for reason and logic?

I feel that… – Listen to your heart – Pursue your dreams – If it feels good, do it – Say what you feel. Even Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

Not a new “problem” – remember Eve; she was deceived/tempted/seduced by the Serpent and made a choice based on desire (Gen. 3:6) instead of reason.

Laying the foundation vv. 1-2

Highly emotional & subjective topic – boy/girl relationships of the right kind and wrong. If God would open any area of life up to feelings as a basis for choices, this would be it. Yet what are the essential guiding elements Solomon emphasizes? Wisdom, understanding, discretion and knowledge.

A. Seduction is only “skin deep” v.3-6

promises always contain some measure of deception – NOT WYSIWYG v.3-4

makeup airbrushing camera angles Botox/cosmetic surgery

Controversy regarding advertising using models that targets teen and younger girls: proposed legislation (England and France) to require disclaimer or outright ban – images have been retouched. Thank you, PhotoShop for my Size 2 appearance – enhanced this, removed that, etc., etc. Ralph Lauren ad 10/2009 (supposedly published by mistake) with model’s waist smaller than head.

Seduction capitalizes on perverse idea that desires = needs, yet never satisfies the desire. If the goal is to satisfy desire, it will never be met; it’s only when we delight in the Lord that our desires will truly be met, by HIM – Psalm 37:4.

seductress and “target” have competing goals

seduction is never a servant; ALWAYS self-serving. The one who seduces does not have the other person’s needs in view, only their desires. External appeal masks internal motive to meet own needs, what the “target” has in mind also; not a surprise, it’s human nature

apparent desirability is merely the bait on the trap

the lie: what you get will be more valuable than what you give. Each expects the other to give in far greater measure than they are willing to do themselves.

seduction leads to destruction v.5-6

the irony: both seducer and seduced have the same end. Seducer anticipates the destruction of the other, not themselves. Seduced anticipates satisfaction not destruction.

seducer is staggering down the path to destruction and does not even realize; no consideration for where results of sinful lifestyle will lead

saddest irony: that which promises to serve self the best is most self-destructive. WCF I.1 – man’s chief end: glorify God and enjoy him; because of God’s design, that will bring greatest satisfaction. Perverse living has opposite effect.

B. Unfaithfulness costs v.7-14

See Augustine,Confessions, II.2.i

a life of dissipation has costs that can never be recovered

only one way to avoid payment: don’t get sucked in at the start

follow your head, not your heart – reason not passion v.7

plan your journey – choose a path that avoids/minimize temptation v.8

avoid those channels – block them if necessary

use a different checkout

swap seats at the restaurant

take a different route or time-of-day for the daily constitutional or trip home from ….

the costs

physical

best years (honor/vigor), prime of life v.9

life lived out (spent) with nothing to show v.11

what life there is will be shortened, more difficult, less rewarding, perhaps including serious disease

end of life will be one of regrets v.12-13

financial

your earnings will support someone outside your own home v.10

your labor will benefit another

think blackmail – if you don’t do/give, I’ll tell…./I’ll leave

or divorce decrees – who has custody,who pays

or 900 #’s, or bar tabs, or trips to Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun

and who profits

spiritual

the one determined to satisfy desire will not be restrained by public notice, not even by the church

will come to total and complete ruin v.14

particularly when unfaithfulness becomes public – ruined reputation, fortune

C. Faithfulness rewards v.15-23

be content with the blessing God has already given v.15

“quench your thirst” at home – don’t seek to satisfy desire outside of what God designed and provided

don’t squander the treasure v.16-17

God gave wife and family for enjoyment

blessings are given first for meeting personal need, then family, then broader faith community

God’s gifts are for our enjoyment 1 Tim. 6:17

God’s boundaries guarantee the right kind of pleasure v.18

same as boundaries in Garden of Eden

placed there for man’s good, to “guarantee” his true pleasure, satisfaction

world-think is perverse, upside down, e.g.,

real pleasure comes at a risk

gotta push the limits, take a chance to have real enjoyment

adrenaline rush won’t come without breaking the rules

cherish the gift v.19-20

proper thinking about God’s blessing brings it’s own rush

consider what God’s gift really represents

the best the infinitely wise God could provide for us

God intended desire to be satisfied properly and fully only within bounds of marriage

why even consider straying??

how can you possibly do better than God has done to satisfy your needs and desires? DUH!!

failure to honor boundaries brings disaster v.21-23

violating Edenic boundary resulted in disaster, not pleasure (cp. David & Bathsheba, following generations)

also true whenever we seek any kind of pleasure in places outside what God has designed

Obedience always brings blessing.

John Newton writing to his wife Polly:

It is no wonder if so many years, so many endearments, so many obligations have produced such an uncommon effect, that by long habit, it is almost impossible for me to draw a breath, in which you are not involved.

Try to capsulize marriage better than that!

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