“Now then, my sons, listen to me;
pay attention to what I say.
Do not let your heart turn to her ways [of the adulterous woman]
or stray into her paths.
Many are the victims she has brought down;
her slain are a mighty throng.
Her house is a highway to the grave,
leading down to the chambers of death.” (Proverbs 7:24-27)
Another Friday night. Single. I had no prospects in sight, no one I was even mildly interested in. I was going to be single forever.
At church every weekend, I prayed that I would find a husband. With my friends, who all seemed to be married and having children, I felt out of place, my single status always in the front of my mind. I spent hours on dating websites and first dates – often, these activities took the place of more meaningful pursuits.
In short, marriage – and the pursuit thereof – became my God. I devoted more time to thinking and pursuing it than I did to pursuing God.
Adultery doesn’t always look like you think.
For myself when I was single, and for other Christian singles, all of the admonishments against adultery went right over my head – after all, I wasn’t even married and had no husband to betray! Solomon, the ostensible writer of Proverbs, was also an unlikely person to spend so much time warning against adultery. He, for one, didn’t have a problem with adultery because he simply married every woman that he wanted to sleep with. Easy for him to warn against it!
But throughout the Old Testament, the Israelites often were led astray into following other gods through intermarriage and cult prostitutes. We, too, by pursuing those outside the faith can be led astray into following other beliefs.
Further, by devoting the majority of our time and attention to something other than God, we can turn that thing into an idol. Marriage, money, work, success, fame – all of these can be the adulterous woman, pulling us off the path to God and sidelining us with a siren’s call.
But where’s the line?
I wanted to be married, and being the Type A person that I am, that meant that I had to take action. I wanted no regrets, never to wonder if I could have done something more.
But at what point does pursuing marriage turn from a worthy goal to adultery against God?
Join the conversation! What do you think? What else struck you from Proverbs 7?