Parental Advisory: A Biblical View of Sexuality - Proverbs 5 (Sermon)


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Parental Advisory: A Biblical Perspective on Sexuality 


WELCOME 

Hi, I am pastor Rob. It is great to share with you God’s Word. 

INTRODUCTION

Have you ever visited here? This is a picture of Mather’s Point, 8,000 feet above sea level on the Grand Canyon's South Rim, 1800 miles from here. 


If you look closely, a person is standing on that rock with his arms raised. What do you think? Would you do that? Nearly six million people visit the Grand Canyon every year. How many people do you think die every year falling? I looked it up. On average, only twelve. You have a greater chance of being struck by lightning than falling to your death at the Grand Canyon. That being the case, would you join that person on the rock? What if he offered to trade places? Would you? Would you let your kids or grandkids get on that rock for a zany picture? I get butterflies in my stomach just thinking about visiting, let alone doing something like that. 


I bring this up this morning because God’s creation is exhilarating, and the Grand Canyon is a prime example of his handiwork. He gives us freedom and joy in experiencing it. He also gives us something else that is also joyous but more deadly: it is our sexuality. We have talked about this before. Because we pastors preach directly from the Bible, we find ourselves working through Proverbs with this subject at hand for the next three weeks. Parents, I am going to be discrete but direct. I have six kids, ranging from sixteen to five, and have tried to make this message appropriate for all ages; however, feel free to censor what I say. I won’t be offended.

DIVE IN

Let’s dive in. As is our tradition, we will stand for the reading of God’s Word if we are able. Proverbs, chapter 5.

TEXT 

My son, be attentive to my wisdom; 

      incline your ear to my understanding, 

that you may keep discretion, 

      and your lips may guard knowledge. 

For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey, 

      and her speech is smoother than oil, 

but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, 

      sharp as a two-edged sword. 

Her feet go down to death; 

      her steps follow the path to Sheol; 

she does not ponder the path of life; 

      her ways wander, and she does not know it. 


And now, O sons, listen to me, 

      and do not depart from the words of my mouth. 

Keep your way far from her, 

      and do not go near the door of her house, 

lest you give your honor to others 

      and your years to the merciless, 

lest strangers take their fill of your strength, 

      and your labors go to the house of a foreigner, 

and at the end of your life you groan, 

      when your flesh and body are consumed, 

and you say, “How I hated discipline, 

      and my heart despised reproof! 

I did not listen to the voice of my teachers 

      or incline my ear to my instructors. 

I am at the brink of utter ruin 

      in the assembled congregation.” 


Drink water from your own cistern, 

      flowing water from your own well. 

Should your springs be scattered abroad, 

      streams of water in the streets? 

Let them be for yourself alone, 

      and not for strangers with you. 

Let your fountain be blessed, 

      and rejoice in the wife of your youth, 

a lovely deer, a graceful doe. 

               Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; 

      be intoxicated always in her love. 


Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman 

      and embrace the bosom of an adulteress? 

For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the LORD, 

      and he ponders all his paths. 

The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, 

      and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. 

He dies for lack of discipline, 

      and because of his great folly he is led astray. 

PRAY

Let’s pray. God, help us. Make your Word clear to us. Protect us. Shape us. Strengthen us. Mold us. Be with our children and grandchildren. Guard them against the wiles of Satan and desires of the flesh and ways of the forbidden. Do this for your great glory in Jesus’s name, we pray. AMEN. You may be seated. 

CONTEXT 

You may remember Solomon wrote most of the Proverbs. The Bible tells us he was the wisest man of all. First Kings chapter 4 tells us he authored 3,000 proverbs, of which Proverbs contains 800. His purpose he writes in chapter 1, verses 2 through 4.  

To know wisdom and instruction,

    to understand words of insight,

to receive instruction in wise dealing,

    in righteousness, justice, and equity;

to give prudence to the simple,

    knowledge and discretion to the youth. (Proverbs 1:2–4) 

He writes to impart wisdom. Last week, Solomon told us in chapter 4 that the beginning of wisdom is to get wisdom. That sounds circular. His point is wisdom is practical. It is about action, not just information. It is also spiritual, not secular. It is about fearing the Lord, living a Godward life. Solomon teaches it is more valuable than silver, gold, diamonds. He explains in chapter 5 what wisdom looks like in regards to physical intimacy. 

OUTLINE 

Breaking this passage down, I see three sections: verses 1 through 6, verses 7 through 19, and verses 20 through 23. If you are taking notes, these sections demarcate three points.   

POINT 1 - PARENTAL ADVISORY: AVOID SEXUAL IMMORALITY (Vs. 1–6)

POINT 2 - PARENTAL ADVISORY: A COST/BENEFIT ANALYSIS (Vs. 7–19)

POINT 3 - PARENTAL ADVISORY: GOD SEES IT ALL Vs. 20–23

POINT 1

Point 1, A PARENTAL ADVISORY: AVOID SEXUAL IMMORALITY (Vs. 1–6)

As we look at the first six verses, they sound familiar. 

WHAT DOES HE WRITE? 

He tells his son, 

be attentive to my wisdom; 

incline your ear to my understanding, 

When a teacher or parent wants to make a point, they repeat themselves. That is what Solomon is saying. What is his point? Get wisdom. Go get it. 

WHY? 

Why? Solomon goes on to reason. "That you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge" (5:2). 

Why get wisdom? He writes, so you have some foresight or thoughtfulness or prudence. 

WHY?

Why does that matter? Because without it, we will fall into sin. Look at verse 3. 

  For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey, 

        and her speech is smoother than oil (Proverbs 5:3).

One result of seeking wisdom is to stay away from temptation. The offer of the seducer looks sweet and sounds delightful. Yet, it is not. We are familiar with the lies, are we not? They are subtle. They use a commercial appeal; they bill themselves with entertainment, art, and freedom. Our Junk mail and popups are filled with suggestive offers. Our culture uses our natural passions to make money, to gain power, or a following. Solomon speaks to sons, but the message is also to women. It is to singles, as well as the married. It is to the young, but also the old. His message is God has designed physical intimacy for good but used badly; it leads to death. Thus he offers a warning and encouragement for us all. His message is God has designed physical intimacy for good but used badly; it leads to death. Thus he offers a warning and encouragement for us all.  

JESUS AND ADULTERY

Solomon was not the first to speak of such things. The benefits and dangers of physical intimacy fill the Old Testament. In the first books of the Bible, God gave Moses a guard rail concerning this subject. It was one of the top ten commandments: “You shall not commit adultery” (Deuteronomy 5:18 ). Jesus drilled down the heart principle in one of his famous sermons.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:27–28).  

Jesus saw at the root of adultery the heart. Friends, that means almost all of us are spiritual adulterers. This applies to all of us. Temptation begins with thoughts. Therefore, we must guard our thoughts with all vigilance (Proverbs 4:23). That was the message last week. Life and death are at stake. 

PAUL TO TIMOTHY

I think that is why Paul wrote to his young protege, Timothy, “Flee youthful passions” (2 Timothy 2:22). Are you fleeing, or are you dabbling with the dangerous? Brothers and sisters, some of you need to fly. You are tempted to commit adultery in your heart by searching for things online. You may think you would never be unfaithful, but you enjoy a secret virtual harem. It can start on accident and then lead to more and more and more. What seems like freedom is slavery. Or maybe you are discontent or not self-controlled in your mind. You need to take your thoughts captive. Or perhaps you are in a relationship you need to drop because you are tempted to give too much of your heart. At the core, these are all everyday struggles. They have been around before Solomon, during his time, and remain today. You are not alone. God is here to help (1 Corinthians 10:13). Run! Flee, avoid temptation, and don’t look back. Don’t wait. Pursue wisdom today. Don’t listen to the forbidden.  

THE WORLD WILL SAY

Why? What is the big deal? What is so bad about lust? The Devil would convince us it is:

  • Natural 

  • Biological

  • Consensual 

  • Universal

  • Controlled

  • Deserved

  • Isolated

  • Harmless

  • And Private

The lies and twists of the Devil go on and on and on. Our flesh wants to give in. But there is much more at stake than meets the eye. What is at stake? Solomon tells us in verses 4 through 6.Look at verses 4 through 6. 

In the end she is bitter as wormwood, 

       sharp as a two-edged sword. 

Her feet go down to death; 

her steps follow the path to Sheol; 

she does not ponder the path of life 

her ways wander, and she does not know it. (Proverbs 5:4–6) 

The tempted person thinks he gets honey but gets poison instead. He believes he is living it up, but he is headed towards hell. Sincerity or ignorance does not erase the danger introduced. Heed Solomon’s parental advisory. Don’t stand near the edge and slip to your death. Get away. Get far away. Get wisdom.   

POINT 2

That brings me to the second point: POINT 2 - PARENTAL WARNING: A COST/BENEFIT ANALYSIS (Vs. 7–19). Avoid Sexual Immorality and point 2, A Cost-Benefit Analysis. 


If Solomon was not clear enough, he elaborates on why this application of wisdom is so important. In verse 9 and following, I see four costs of going down the wrong path. Look at verse 9; perhaps you can see them, yourself.               

Lest you give your honor to others 

      and your years to the merciless, 

lest strangers take their fill of your strength, 

      and your labors go to the house of a foreigner, 

and at the end of your life you groan, 

      when your flesh and body are consumed, 

and you say, “How I hated discipline, 

      and my heart despised reproof! 

I did not listen to the voice of my teachers 

      or incline my ear to my instructors. 

I am at the brink of utter ruin 

      in the assembled congregation.” (Proverbs 5:9–14)

DETAILED DANGERS 

Here are the four costs I see Solomon delineate. Before I expound on them, some of you know these personally. We will talk about grace and hope and benefits soon enough. First, I want to speak to Solomon’s audience, the sons and daughters out there who have yet to go down this path and may not have seen the danger that lies ahead. 

  1. First, honor. If you give in to the forbidden, you can lose honor. Think of recent spiritual leaders who have fallen. Think of the dishonor, waste, disappointment, sorrow, pain, the agony of such waywardness. This has hurt converts, churches, ministries, and families. This sin involves a loss of honor to the sinner, and we could add a loss of honor for society and the Savior. Get wisdom. Stay away from the forbidden. 

  2. Secondly, there is the cost of retribution. Solomon speaks of the merciless. Some people are just waiting to call us Christians hypocrites and use one person’s sin to discredit us all. This could also refer to those who, when sinned against, will do everything in their power to execute justice, not mercy. Don’t unleash the wrath of the betrayed. Get wisdom. Stay away from the forbidden. 

  3. Thirdly, there is a financial cost. I have seen this again and again. People have lost thousands of dollars because of this sin. They lose money because of health care costs, legal costs, and job loss. This can have residual casualties of marriage, family, and home. Is it worth it? Absolutely not! Sometimes we need to take a good look at the long-term consequences and risks to see the goodness of God’s plan. 

  4. Fourthly, there is the cost of guilt and shame. Solomon knows this from experience. His Father committed adultery with Bathsheba. Amnon, his half-brother, sexually assaulted his half-sister, which led to Amon’s murder. We don’t know when Solomon wrote this, but later on, in his life, he fell to this very sin. He felt the despair and destruction of falling down this path. Near the end of his life, he wrote, “And I find something more bitter than death: the woman whose heart is snares and nets, and whose hands are fetters. He who pleases God escapes her, but the sinner is taken by her” (Ecclesiastes 7:26). Solomon was taken by her. He gave in and suffered the consequences. He groaned at the end of his life. He had lots of regrets. He wished he heeded God’s instruction. People who go down this path often carry guilt and shame for decades. It can haunt them. Stay on the path, away from the cliff, save yourself this burden. Avoid the forbidden. 

THE JOY OF SEX

That was the cost. What is the benefit of the path of wisdom? Christianity can get a bad wrap. It can be seen as a killjoy. But let’s keep reading and see otherwise. Look at verse 15 and following. Solomon wrote, 

Drink water from your own cistern, 

      flowing water from your own well. 

Should your springs be scattered abroad, 

      streams of water in the streets? 

Let them be for yourself alone, 

      and not for strangers with you. 

Let your fountain be blessed, 

      and rejoice in the wife of your youth, 

a lovely deer, a graceful doe. 

                  Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; 

      be intoxicated always in her love. (Proverbs 5:15–19)

Church, if you are married, have fun obeying God. Seriously. Marriage is a gift. Proverbs 18:22 says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD!” God is good and invented physical intimacy for joy. 

WIVES’ PERSPECTIVE

Wives, you may read it and think, what about me? Am I a piece of meat? This seems one-sided. Do you remember Solomon’s audience? He writes to his sons. Presumably, they will be tempted with their political power and wealth to abuse it in various ways, like many of the rich and famous. At the same time, people will use them for power and money. They will try to get into their pockets by various means, possibly even giving their women for selfish gain. This instruction was a guard rail for healthy families and the future. If we take a step back and look at the entire Scripture, the gift of intimacy goes both ways. Paul wrote, 

“The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (1 Corinthians 7:3–5)

This was and still is counter-cultural. You are not your own. You are God’s. And if you are married, you are your spouses’. This instruction goes both ways. It is a good thing. It is a comforting and stabilizing thing. God loves us and gives marriage as a benefit. It is okay to be happy. I think sometimes we get the wrong message. We don’t need to call what is good, bad. Sex is God’s invention, not the Devil’s. Let us be an example of what healthy intimacy should be like for the world, our children, and our grandchildren. Amen? 

UNCOMFORTABLE QUESTIONS 

That being said, this subject can be uncomfortable for people who are not experiencing joy. Let me answer a few concerns: 

MARRIED QUESTIONS

Q1: What if this physical intimacy is not enjoyable? 

A1: Let me encourage biblical conversation and counseling. Hurts, pain, shame, wounds, abuse, exhaustion, and stress can all get in the way. You may need to talk this out with another godly person or couple. Most people struggle with physical intimacy from time to time. The struggle is ordinary. Sadly, the Fall in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3) has impacted every area of life, including this one. Many of us know this all too well. 

AT ALL TIMES

Pastor Mike’s YouTube video on Proverbs 5 made this point. Note the word “at all times” in verse 19. We can find joy in our spouse at “all times.” That is a good thing. Intimacy begins with the heart way before it moves elsewhere. Seek to grow in rejoicing in your spouse, “At all times.”  

SINGLE

Q2: Maybe you are listening and are not married but dating. What do you do with drive? 

A2: God made physical intimacy for marriage. Be self-controlled. Wait on the physical side of things. Consider marriage. Paul writes it is better to get married than burn with lust (1 Corinthians 7:9). 

Q3: What if you have no outlet for your drive? You are not seeing anyone.  

A3: Everyone can relate at some point in life to some extent. I mean everyone. Here are five things to ponder: 

  • First, pray for the marriages in the church. Satan wants to destroy them. He will do everything in his power to that end. Think of others. Serve others. Don’t let this drive rule you. Pray for those who are married. 

  • Second, Jesus was never married yet fully, man. Being single doesn’t make you less. You are complete. However, God made you for community. Thank you for being here. We need you. You need us.

  • Third, just because you desire something doesn’t mean you have to have it. I am not trying to be trite, insensitive, or simplistic. I have plenty of desires that seem good, but God has chosen not to grant them, even this week. You can keep asking, yet he may never give you what you want. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). This lack in life could be the very thing he gives to help draw you near him. 

  • Fourth, our sexuality is not our identity. We are not our drives or desires. We are human beings, not doings. Our relationship with Jesus defines us. We are in him. That is who we are. We are his brothers and sisters, sons and daughters of the living God by faith.  

  • Fifth, at the end of the day, marriage is not ultimate. Near the end of Jesus’s earthly life, some Sadducees came to test him. They didn’t believe in the resurrection. So they brought a hypothetical dilemma to prove their point. They told the story of a man who had seven brothers. He marries and dies. His wife marries the next brother according to the culture. He dies. This goes on and on till she burns through all seven brothers. On the day of the resurrection, whose wife will she be? That was their question. Do you remember Jesus’s response? 

But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.” (Matthew 22:29–30)

Marriage is not ultimate; God is. God is ultimate. Flee immorality. Find joy in God. He is eternal and good and ultimate. 

EXERCISE OF JOY

Jesus said in John 10 that he came to give us life abundantly. Whether you are married or not, you can find joy in Jesus today. Psalm 16:11 would point us to that supernatural joy. It says that in God’s right hand are pleasures forevermore. God created pleasure, and there are many ways to that end. Here is an example. Close your eyes. Go to a euphoric experience. Perhaps it is eating chocolate, a juicy steak, lying on a towel with the warm sun at the beach or summiting the top of a mountain. Maybe it is your wedding day, the birth of your child, or trusting in Christ and discovering your sins forgiven. Hold that experience. What are you feeling? What are you seeing? What is going on in your heart? 

COMPARISON

Now, open your eyes. Do you think that heaven will be any less joyous than that? Friends, the maker of all our senses, sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell, who gives us pleasure in so many ways. He will provide us with delight in unspeakable ways forever. He tells us, No eye has seen, no ear has heard what God has prepared for those who love him (1 Corinthians 2:9). One day we will be with him and enjoy him and each other. It will never be boring, but rather exponentially enthralling, exciting, and exhilarating. Use the superior joy in God to fight the transient, poisonous honey of temptation. So we have a parental advisory to avoid sexual immorality, with a cost-benefit analysis. 

POINT 3

Verses 20 through 23 recaps things and brings us to our last point. POINT 3 - PARENTAL ADVISORY: GOD SEES IT ALL Vs. 20–23


Look at verse 20.  

            Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman 

      and embrace the bosom of an adulteress? 

            For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the LORD, 

      and he ponders all his paths. 

            The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, 

      and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. 

            He dies for lack of discipline, 

      and because of his great folly he is led astray. (Proverbs 5:20–23)


Do you see the guard rails God put up to protect you from falling to your death? He sees what is going on. You can’t pull one over on him. There is no incognito mode or time of day, or zip code that he can’t see. 

SHIPPING COMPANY LIES 

When I worked at a shipping company, the managers joked what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Yes, they can keep their private lives private, but not to God. He sees it all. Hebrews 4:13 says, “And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” That is sobering. And we can hold that reality in our minds to fight the persuasive lies of the world. I am glad he paid for my sin, but I don’t want to add any more than I already have to his payment when all that I have thought and said and done are exposed. This advice from Solomon I find helpful. Judgment is coming. Don’t add to that which you will have to give an account. 

ALREADY FALLEN?

What if you already went the wrong way? What if you took the wrong turn? Pastor Mike just came back from the Canyon and told us there are places near the cliff that you can stand and are scary. However, they do have a ridge maybe ten feet down below. If you feel guilty because of lust or are in a relationship you should be in or have some skeleton in your past, you are not beyond rescue. Jesus came for the sinner, not the righteous. God wrote the Proverbs for us to respond and change our course. Turn and get back on the right path with God. Cling to his grace. God promises us new mercy each morning. He promises that if you confess your sins, he purifies you from ALL unrighteousness, not just some (1John 1:9). Your life can be another testimony to his amazing grace.  

TRIP TO AZ

If we were to travel to Arizona tomorrow and see the vistas, the views for miles and miles would be breathtaking. God is like that. His gifts are like that. Suppose we traveled to the South Rim tomorrow and met an older couple putting flowers on the edge of Mather’s Point. They remember their lost loved one who got too close. What do you think they might say to us? “Don’t go near. Don’t fool around. Enjoy the sights but stay on the path. Keep this side of the rails; they are there for your good.” 


Brothers and sisters hear God’s warning. Heed his parental advisory that God designed physical intimacy for good but used for bad it will lead to death. He loves you and has ultimate good in store for those who love him. Let us pay attention.  


Let’s pray. 


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