The Proverbs have a good bit to say about sexual sin.
My son, keep my words
and store up my commands within you.
Keep my commands and you will live;
guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.
Bind them on your fingers;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
and to insight, “You are my relative.”
They will keep you from the adulterous woman,
from the wayward woman with her seductive words.
We get admonitions like the one that starts Chapter 7 in other places — namely, Chapters 5, 6, 9 and 22. Then of course there is praise for the woman of noble character in Prov. 31.
In Chapter 7, the author makes a connection made elsewhere in scripture when he links following God’s commands to the state of your heart. In Psalm 119:32, the psalmist says: “I run in the path of your commands for you have enlarged my heart.” The literal translation of the verse reads: “I run in the path of your commands for you have set my heart free.”
Following God’s commands flows from a heart that has been set free. Avoiding the adultery discussed in Prov. 7 flows from a heart on which God’s commands have been written.
But of course, God’s commands can’t be written on a heart that is still in bondage, or worse yet, a heart that has been killed.
This is why our hearts must be set free.
Seduction works because what is being offered to us looks like freedom.
Throughout Proverbs, we are given contrasts to show us what is wisdom versus what is folly. These contrasts are visual lessons that we can refer to and remember that folly and adultery — and other things — lead to death.
For example, in Prov. 7 the author describes a scene in which a young man “who has no sense” goes down the street of an adulterous woman and winds up destroyed.
Proverbs 7 concludes this way:
Now then, my sons, listen to me;
pay attention to what I say.
Do not let your heart turn to her ways
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.
Verse 25 tells us, again, that it’s about the heart.
For many years i was convinced, in my heart, that everyone — including God — was trying to rip me off. The world at large was out to take things from me, i thought.
In the language of Proverbs 7, what was written on my heart was a command that was from me, not from God. The command was: “It’s up to me to make my life work, and i will have to orchestrate some pleasure for myself along the way.”
And so i orchestrated my own pleasure by throwing myself into pornography and lustful fantasy. Although i never acted out with another person, i was an adulterer.
Just about anything can be written on our hearts. This is why the Psalmist understood that the key to it all was having one’s heart set free by God Himself. In the course of my healing journey, God has brought incredible freedom to my heart.
Once i renounced what i had written on my heart, repenting of it and receiving His cleansing for it, i found that — deeper than my own commands written there — were things God wrote in my heart when He originally knit me together in my mother’s womb.
He created me in His Image, and He put eternity in my heart. The things i had written on my heart were broken responses to my sin and the sin done to me over the years.
Living with a heart that’s been set free is the way to avoid the seduction of the adulterous woman, whatever form she may take. This is true because a heart set free knows how and where to find the life that is truly life (1 Timothy 6:19).