Proverbs 5:1-2

Proverbs 5:1-4 "My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding: That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge. For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil:  But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword."
Christian Church West Seneca NY
Because Solomon’s target audience in the Book of Proverbs is youth, it shouldn’t surprise anyone to find him addressing peer pressure often and early.  Right out of the gate in chapter one, he dealt with enticing “sinners.”  In chapter two, he exposed the dangers of both “the evil man” and “the strange woman.”  In chapter four, he continued to warn his audience of “the wicked,” specifically of the path of “evil men.”  Here in chapter five, Solomon will get even more detailed and more direct about peer pressure.  This chapter isn’t Solomon’s first nor will it be his last to deal with a young man’s greatest challenge in life – the peer pressure that comes in the attractive form and frame of a woman.  While this challenge isn’t reserved only for the young man, it is harder the younger a man is.

For those of us who have the luxury of knowing the whole story of Solomon, it is easy to see his hypocrisy wherever he deals with dangerous relationships.  Thanks to 1 Kings 11, we know that Solomon had one thousand legal romantic relationships that eventually turned his heart away from God and towards other gods.  For that historical reason, it would be reasonable to disregard his counsel in this and in other chapters but it wouldn’t be wise.  In many ways, Solomon’s romantic history and tendency actual gives him greater credibility.  Just because he didn’t have the strength to resist certain women doesn’t mean he didn’t intimately know the dangers of certain women.  Be careful to disregard the insight of an addict just because they lack the strength to escape their addiction.  Whatever the addiction, an addict knows more about the nature of that addiction than a non-addict will ever know.  Although he failed to implement his own counsel, Solomon knew more about women than most of us ever will.  Although he lacked the strength to resist certain women, he did not lack insight about women.  By experience and by tendency, Solomon knew what he was writing about better than any other.

A man drawn to women and romantic relationships knew that his young son’s greatest challenge soon awaited him. A man excessively experienced with romance knew how dangerous one good-looking and good-sounding woman could be to his son and to all the youth of his kingdom.  The first thing Solomon points out in this “strange woman” is her lips, which he says “drop as an honeycomb.”  He goes on to say that her “mouth is smoother than oil.” Consistent with what he has already pointed out in chapter 2 and with what he has yet to point out in chapters 6 and 7, he identifies an evil woman’s greatest weapon – her words.  In each of the previously mentioned chapters, Solomon identifies and warns of an evil woman’s flattery.  LOOKS are what is used to attract people but WORDS are what are used to manipulate people.  As a general rule, a woman will get a man’s ATTENTION with her LOOKS but she will get his AFFECTION with her WORDS.  A woman will get a man’s affection by either flattering words (exaggerated or false praise) or by friendly words.  The vile woman of Proverbs gains affection through flattery in order to get her way.  In contrast, the virtuous woman of Proverbs gains affection through kind words in order to grow her marriage. Proverbs 31:26, “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”  Undoubtedly, Solomon had extensive experience with both types of women.  Without question, he understood what made men tick and what made women tock.  

Solomon described the words of this “strange woman” as being sweet as honeycomb and smooth as oil.  She would have the ability to say things that sounded good to the ear and ultimately that felt good to the ego.  A woman can earn the affection of a man through her words because a man loves the woman who makes him feel good.  Because men long for respect more than anything else, a woman who consistently and passionately strokes the ego of a man through flattery will capture his heart.  When she has his heart, she will get what she wants from him.  This was the case with a “strange woman” by the name of Delilah.  Delilah used her LOOKS to attract Samson but she ultimately used her WORDS to get Samson’s affection.  It was her LOOKS that got Solomon’s eyes but it was her WORDS that got Solomon’s heart.  Scripture tells us that “she pressed him daily with her WORDS, and urged him” (Judges 16:6).  Samson would eventually tell her all his heart and in the process, lose his life.  She didn’t use her body to get fifty-five hundred pieces of silver – she used her words to obtain that jackpot.  The more Delilah moved her lips, the closer she got to Samson moving his.  She spoke seductively in order to get Samson to speak foolishly.  He would eventually say something that would cost him his life.  For Samson, Delilah’s beginning was sweet as honey and smooth as oil but her end was bitter as wormwood and sharp as a two-edged sword.

The well-known story of Samson and Delilah is the perfect illustration of Solomon’s teaching in Proverbs 5.  It is the story of a woman’s irresistible words leading to a man’s irreversible words.  His lips failed to keep knowledge because he couldn’t resist the sweet smooth words of her lips.  Without discretion, a young person will eventually say something they shouldn’t to the wrong person. Without wisdom, a young person will eventually give in to the flattery and manipulation of an evil soul.  Without these virtues, a young person will eventually commit to something they shouldn’t.

Parents, take note of this father’s approach to his son’s greatest challenge in life.  When dealing with the threat of an evil relationship, this father didn’t emphasize the physical temptations.  Instead, he emphasized the verbal temptations.  While there are certainly physical and sexual temptations to be concerned with, the greater concern is with verbal temptations.  While physical boundaries are essential to a godly relationship, the greatest weapon to combat bad relationships is not physical – it is spiritual.  2 Corinthians 10:3-4, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;).”  As our children approach an age of dating or courting, they need discernment more than they need parental guidelines and restrictions.  As our young people approach romance, they need wisdom more than they need physical boundaries.  Understand that a man can capture the heart of a young lady without ever being in the same room.  A woman can seize the heart of a man without ever touching him.  Looks get attention but words get affection.  Sweet words aren’t always sincere words.  Smooth words aren’t always true words.

Young person, attend unto the wisdom of your godly parents so you can discern whether or not the words you’re hearing are sincere.  Bow your ear to the understanding of Scripture so you can know whether or not what you’re hearing is flattery or friendly.  The danger of listening to the wrong person could come at a major cost.  Far too many have let their lips say, “I do” only to live the rest of their lives with regret, sorrow and heartbreak because they lacked the discernment early in life.  Looks will get your attention but words will get your affection so give more thought to someone’s words than their looks.  

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