Foolish Men and Unfaithful Wives

 Day 7 in Proverbs 

Proverbs 7: 9-12 “One of these young men turned the corner and was walking by the house of an unfaithful wife.  She was dressed fancy like a woman of the street with only one thing in mind.  She was one of those women who are loud and restless and never stay at home, who walk street after street, waiting to trap a man.”

Proverbs 7: 21-23 “And so, she tricked him with all of her sweet talk and her flattery.  Right away he followed her like an ox on the way to be slaughtered, or like a fool on the way to be punished and killed with arrows.  He was no more than a bird rushing into a trap, without knowing it would cost him his life.”

Proverbs 7:27 “Her house is a one-way street leading straight down to the world of the dead.”


OK, how many of us know these people?  (Lots of hands raised.)  Easy to see if you are not one or the other.  Or maybe even if you are.  (And quite honestly so frustrating if you are on the outside looking in and can’t put a stop to it.) 
It’s a bit weird to hear this story today and not look at it with preconceived notions.  We’ve seen it play out in stories in movies and tv and in real life so often, it’s become a staple.  A cliche.  In spite of myself, I often find myself sympathizing with both “characters.”  
Generally the unfaithful wife has the back story of discontent.  Her husband is disinterested and like this woman’s husband, often has pursuits that keep him away from home.  She wants attention, he doesn’t give it.  So she gets bored.  And restless.  She starts to look for some excitement and runs in to a few “foolish young men”, bar hopping, also looking for excitement.
The foolish young man of choice…..well, he is just someone who has grown up with the expectation that if a woman offers sex, you have to accept it.  No wonder he followed her “right away.”  Did he think there was another option?
(Oh wait…..isn’t this a plotline of Dirty Dancing?  Throw a few bills his way, and I think so.) 

They are consenting adults, you say…..why is it a problem?

Marriage is a commitment.  Promises and arrangements vary between couples, but generally faithfulness is a major part of the equation.  Unfaithful wife didn’t want to deal with the problems in her marriage, and her “strategy for happiness” was a short term solution with lots of potential long term consequences.   She was very open in her defiance and loudly and publicly made her move. 

How could that make her marriage better?  How did it make her life better?  And if it didn’t make her marriage better or her life better, shouldn’t she stick to options that would?  But no.  She was hurt/angry and on a path of destruction.  She didn’t care who saw her, who heard her, or even who she dragged along with her.  It wasn’t about anyone except herself….and yet she was even putting herself in a position where she couldn’t win.   And it wasn’t about the guy…..any foolish young man would have done.

Speaking of the foolish young man, I get absolutely crazy over the fact that we seem to teach boys that they can’t say no to sex, that they can’t control their urges. “An ox on the way to be slaughtered”, “A fool on the way to be punished and killed with arrows”, and “a bird rushing into a trap without knowing it would cost him his life.”  Come on guys…’re smarter than that, right?????   There are so many reasons that more is not better.  In this case you have a miserable woman, who is more to be pitied than to be taken advantage of.  There is no thought of what this encounter is doing to her, even though she is initiating it.  She’s not really important to him at all.  And that is her issue.  She is not important to anyone.  Her actions perpetuate her problem, and he helps.

My first job out of college was teaching at a children’s home.  One of my responsibilities in that job was to teach sex education to both the teenaged boys and girls.  Most of the kids were already sexually active (though really knew nothing about sex or things like contraception or sexually transmitted diseases), but what is most important is that most of the kids had been sexually abused. Additional issues than average sex education doesn’t usually address.  My hope for all of them was that they change their minds about what sex was.  That it become more than recreation.  That it become more than a substitute for love.  That it become more than a weapon.  That it become more than pain.  That it become more than nothing.  Because some of them were already numb to it… teenagers.  Pleasure corrupted….and plenty of people were around to make sure it stayed that way.  A lot of the girls seemed a lot like this unfaithful wife…..and a lot of the boys seemed like the foolish young men.

I love the idea of people fusing in marriage to become one, yet also distinctly remaining two.  I believe that your spouse should not just love you but cherish you…that they should treat you as a precious gift.  You should treat them the same way.  I think a marriage that honors God is vibrant and passionate and fun.  It should bring security and not anxiety.  If your marriage is not that way, shouldn’t you try to figure out how to make it so?

There are probably always going to be unfaithful wives and foolish men, ready to do their part.  But you can do better and be better.  And have relationships that are meaningful and fulfilling and good….and are much more than “a one-way street leading straight down to the world of the dead.”

1 Comment

  1. Love your post! Wonderful. A must read for teenagers, teenagers at heart, those about to be wed and those already wed.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s