Proverbs 5:9-14

Proverbs 5:9-14 "Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel: Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger; And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed, And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me! I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly."
Buffalo NY Church
We live in a world of takers.  People take.  Creatures take.  Nature takes.  In Matthew 6:19, Jesus said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon EARTH, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal.”

We need to lock our doors, arm our security systems and secure our accounts because people take whatever they can get their hands on.  If we leave our cars unlocked, people will steal change out of our car and if we don’t protect our online bank accounts, people will wipe them clean.  If we don’t lock our homes, people will steal medicine out of our cabinets and if we’re not vigilant, people will steal phones out of our pockets.

If we don’t cover holes and seal cracks in our homes, insects and rodents will come into our homes and take our food.  If we don’t erect fences, deer and rabbits will take our crops.  If we don’t use the right weather-resistant products on our homes and machinery, rain and snow will take our investments away.  If we don’t use the right engineering when building our homes and businesses, waves, winds and earthquakes will take our structures from us.

We live in a world of takers.  Everyone wants something and it seems like everyone wants what we have.  The government wants our money.  Businesses want our money.  People want our money and our possessions.  People want our attention and our affection.  Creatures want our food and our shelter.  Nature wants our homes and our equipment.  To survive this hungry world, we need to learn to protect what we have.  To survive in this unsatisfied world, we need to learn to hold on to what we have.

Unfortunately, this is a truth that is typically learned with age.  With age comes experience and when one experiences loss at the hand of a taker, a greater appreciation for protecting possessions is gained.  I now lock my car in my driveway because someone took my change, gum and clergy badge.  Others now lock the doors of their house because someone took their jewelry.  Others now have better passwords for their online bank accounts because someone took their money.  Experience is not the ideal teacher but it is the best teacher.  For this reason, young people rarely see the need to protect what they have.  When they get money, they spend it.  When they have energy, they use it.  When they have time, they waste it.  When we are young, we think there is an endless supply of time so we don’t see the need to cherish it.  When we are young, we think there is endless supply of good health so we don’t see the need to protect it.

Because youth and inexperience fail to teach the need to protect that which is valuable, young people are prone to give away that which they’ll never get back.  An older, wiser Solomon is attempting to teach his children to protect that which is valuable and to not give it up or give it away.  But in teaching his children to hold onto that which is valuable, he didn’t counsel them to invest in expensive security systems or get a pistol permit.  He didn’t suggest complicated passwords or having a diversity of stocks and bonds.  When it comes to protecting that which is valuable, Solomon’s advice to his young children is to stay far away from the wrong person.  Solomon tells his son in particular to stay far away from the wrong woman and all young people should take careful note to stay away from the wrong crowd, in particular from the wrong romantic crowd.

Getting involved with the wrong romantic relationship can take away everything good from you.  The great danger in the wrong romantic relationship is that you will voluntarily give away that which is good.  Love always comes with sacrifice.  People will give up that which is valuable because of love.  The young man who gets romantically involved with the wrong woman will willingly give up that which is most valuable.  The young woman who gives her heart to the wrong man will give much more than her heart.  In his counsel, Solomon lists seven things that a young person will FOOLISHLY FORFEIT when entangled in the wrong romantic relationship:

1. HONOR
Verse 9a "Lest THOU GIVE thine honour unto others…"
Getting involved with the wrong romantic relationship will ruin your reputation.  You will go where they want to go and do what they want to do and as a result, lose the respect you once had with your family and friends.  Honor is not easily retained and it is certainly not easily regained.  Young people are willingly to give away their good reputation because they don’t realize how hard it is to get it back.

2. HOURS
Verse 9b "Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel."
Getting involved with the wrong romantic relationship will waste your precious time.  The godless boyfriend or girlfriend will eventually be found out to be cruel.  That “friend with benefits” will eventually be exposed as cruel and only interested in personal pleasure or personal gain.  When you eventually discover and finally admit that you’ve been in the wrong romantic relationship, you’ll have learned that you wasted years of your young life on a cruel person.  Again, the tragedy of youth is that it seems like there is an endless supply of time when there isn’t.

3. HIRE
Verse 10a "Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth..."
Getting involved with the wrong romantic relationship will spend your wealth.  Relationships can be quite expensive because dating activities are expensive.  Relationships can consume one’s wealth because genuine love leads to sacrificial gifts.  How tragic for a person to spend years in the wrong relationship and waste thousands of dollars on an investment with no return!

4. HARD-WORK
Verse 10b "Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger."
Getting involved with the wrong romantic relationship will be a waste of sweat.  Relationships take a lot of work.  Making a relationship of any kind, but especially a romantic relationship, work takes a lot of effort.  You have to do things for your boyfriend or girlfriend to prove your devotion to them and these labors will be wasted efforts when you finally realize that you’re romantically involved with the wrong person.  It is sad to see young people spend their time, money and effort on bad relationships when they could be spending them on godly relationships. It is sad to see youth wasted on wrong romantic relationships when it could be spent on far more profitable efforts, such as serving God and building their faith.

5. HAPPINESS
Verse 11a "And thou mourn at the last…"
Getting involved with the wrong romantic relationship will take your happiness.  Happiness is hard to come by in our world.  The older we get, the more of this world we experience and the harder it is to smile.  With youth comes a certain sense of simplicity and optimism.  This should not be taken for granted.  Enjoy life while it is simple and relatively easy.  Don’t waste your youthful happiness on the wrong romantic relationship.  Giving your heart to the wrong person will eventually result in you giving your happiness to that wrong person.  Sorrow always awaits the end of the wrong relationship.  There is plenty of sorrow in our world; unavoidable sorrow.  Don’t willingly forfeit happiness because she looks good or because he promises big things.

6. HEALTH
Verse 11b "And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed."
Getting involved with the wrong romantic relationship almost always leads to the willing forfeit of sound sexual health.  The wrong romantic relationships eventually become physically immoral relationships and with such relationships come health risks.  Fornication leads to STD’s, unwanted pregnancies and perpetual guilt that seems forever attached to the flesh.  Young person, giving away your virginity is the foolish forfeit of something precious.  It, like time, can never be regained.  Once it willingly given up, it can never be retrieved.  In a world of takers, it is hard enough to protect your body but in the wrong romantic relationship, a clean body is often willingly given up.

7. HOLINESS
Verses 12-14 "And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me! I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly."
Getting involved with the wrong romantic relationship will ultimately and finally result in a loss of holiness and the peace that accompanies it.  Romantic relationships with “strangers” or those who don’t know and value your God eventually come to an end.  These ungodly relationships don’t last.  When they finally come to an end or when you finally come to realize who you’re with, your spirit will be grieved.  Eventually, you will look back and see the wasted time, effort and money invested in the wrong relationship.  More importantly, you will look back and see the lost morality and the forfeited holiness.  Guilt, regret, heartbreak follow such a sobering moment.

Young person, cherish and protect the good things that God has given you.  The greatest threat to these wholesome treasures is falling in love with the wrong person. Hence, verse 8 - "Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house."

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