Calvary Road Baptist Church

“ADVICE TO A SINGLE MAN ABOUT MARRIAGE”

Proposition #4

Recognize the potential for danger when dealing with women.”

Proverbs

We live in a time of social and economic upheaval and confusion. We live in a time when game playing and toying with people has generally replaced openness and honesty. We live in a time when the ground rules for interpersonal relationships are in such a state of flux that most people question the advantages of openness and honesty with others. There can obviously be latitude in the way people interact, and in the way single adults make rational decisions about marriage. This is seen in the variety found in different cultural approaches to courtship and marriage. However, unless caution is exercised in whatever approach one takes, and unless there are some kind of cultural ground rules for selecting a mate for life, both men and women can easily end up being victims of a cruel hoax instead of being happily married. This series of messages offering advice to a single man about marriage is intended to provide single and never before married men with some reasonable tools to employ for their safety with respect to the institution of marriage, since anyone who has a great deal of experience at such things is hardly a person anyone should want to marry.

The first proposition I advanced is, “Tending to eternity is more important than tending to matters of marriage.” It is more important for a man to settle the question of his eternal destiny than it is to settle the question of whom he will marry. After all, eternity is much longer than the longest marriage.

The second proposition, “Consider marriage only if you need to consider marriage,” argues that it is hardly fair to marry someone if your attitude toward marriage is take it or leave it. What a terrible situation a woman finds herself in who is married to a man who has no particular physical interest in her, and who has no concern or appreciation for the temptations that someone with a strong physical drive faces when legitimate needs are not met.

The third proposition, “Recognize the wisdom of planning for marriage,” really needs no supporting proof. Who would argue that important events and serious relationships require careful planning to ensure safety and success? Yet there are many who enter marriage on a whim, not so much revealing their own stupidity as revealing that they do not hold marriage in high esteem as an institution worthy of protecting at all costs.

This evening we turn to the fourth proposition: “Recognize the potential for danger when dealing with women.”

Let no one deny the danger to women of evil men, the danger to women of men who are simpletons, or the danger to everyone of alcohol and drugs. However, we are not dealing with those issues this evening, but with the danger and possibility of terrible catastrophe God’s Word shows us a man faces when he deals with the opposite sex.

Three main points, to drive home a point with the sheer volume of warnings contained in the Bible, that there is the potential for danger whenever a man deals with a woman.

 Let Me Begin By Setting Before You A CONSIDERATION OF THE WARNINGS OF WISDOM

 Turn to the wisdom book of Proverbs, as I read the warnings found in this portion of God’s Word:

 Proverbs 2.10-22:

 10     When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul;

11     Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:

12     To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things;

13     Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness;

14     Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked;

15     Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths:

16     To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words;

17     Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God.

18     For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead.

19     None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.

20     That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.

21     For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it.

22     But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.

 Solomon wants to spare his son from the influences of a strange woman, by which is meant an immoral woman.

 Proverbs 5.1-14:

 1      My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding:

2      That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge.

3      For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil:

4      But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword.

5      Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.

6      Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.

7      Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth.

8      Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house:

9      Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel:

10     Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger;

11     And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed,

12     And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof;

13     And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!

14     I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly.

 Here is the second passage which warns the young man of the flattering words a woman can speak.

 Proverbs 5.20-23:

 20     And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?

21     For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.

22     His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.

23     He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.

 There is no feeling sorry for a man taken in by a strange woman. After all, they were his own iniquities that she used to bind him.

 Proverbs 6.20-35:

 20     My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

21     Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.

22     When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.

23     For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:

24     To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.

25     Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.

26     For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.

27     Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?

28     Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?

29     So he that goeth in to his neighbour’s wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.

30     Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry;

31     But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house.

32     But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.

33     A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away.

34     For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.

35     He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts.

 Proverbs 7.1-27:

 1      My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.

2      Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.

3      Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.

4      Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:

5      That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.

6      For at the window of my house I looked through my casement,

7      And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,

8      Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house,

9      In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night:

10     And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.

11     (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house:

12     Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.)

13     So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him,

14     I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows.

15     Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.

16     I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt.

17     I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.

18     Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.

19     For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey:

20     He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.

21     With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.

22     He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;

23     Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.

24     Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth.

25     Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths.

26     For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.

27     Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.

 This woman is loud and stubborn, but still very dangerous to a man.

 Proverbs 9.13-18:

 13     A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.

14     For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city,

15     To call passengers who go right on their ways:

16     Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,

17     Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.

18     But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.

 We are now warned that even the woman who is simple and ignorant poses a danger. Though she is not clever, she can be dangerous for a man.

 Proverbs 21.19:

 It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.”

 It is not only sexual sins that can spell catastrophe for a man with a woman. Here we are told that it is better to live alone than with an argumentative and angry woman.

 Proverbs 22.14:

 “The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein.”

 Once again, we have a warning about the enticing words of an immoral woman. How flattering she can be, and how sincere she sounds when telling her story. An unsuspecting man just falls in to the pit dug by her words. What does it mean to be abhorred of the LORD? It refers to God’s anger. A man who is taken in by such a woman is giving evidence that God is angry with him, presumably for ignoring God’s numerous warnings against such women.

 Proverbs 23.26-35:

 26     My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.

27     For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit.

28     She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men.

29     Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?

30     They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.

31     Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.

32     At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.

33     Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.

34     Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.

35     They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.

 Two things in this passage I want to point out to you: First, notice the brutal description of the immoral woman in this passage. Such a woman is compared to a predator lying in wait for its prey. Notice, also, the correlation between such women and liquor. There are those who commit sexual sins but do not drink, and there are drinkers who do not commit sexual sins, though the tendency is for the two sins to go hand in hand.

 Proverbs 27.15:

 “A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.”

 Again, there are other ways to end up in misery than by seduction. A contentious woman ends up being like the proverbial Chinese water torture.

 Proverbs 30.20-23:

 20     Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.

21     For three things the earth is disquieted, and for four which it cannot bear:

22     For a servant when he reigneth; and a fool when he is filled with meat;

23     For an odious woman when she is married; and an handmaid that is heir to her mistress.

 We know what an adulterous woman is, but what is an odious woman, verse 23? An odious woman is simply a woman who is hateful. How miserable is the man who is married to a hateful woman.

 Proverbs 31.1-9:

 1      The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.

2      What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows?

3      Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.

4      It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:

5      Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.

6      Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.

7      Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.

8      Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.

9      Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.

 Hitherto, we have read inspired warnings to sons by their fathers. This, however, is an inspired warning to a son by his mother. My own opinion is that this is Bathsheba warning Solomon about the danger of women and the danger of drink. Who would know better than she the danger a woman can pose to man, his reputation, and life’s work? Look at verse 3, where the warning is against women who take from a man the initiative to lead, a great danger in our day when so many men marry mother figures they want to take care of them. Study this passage carefully, and you will conclude that a woman can have the same effect on a man’s judgment that drink can have on his judgment, causing him to forget the law and pervert judgment.

 Now, A CONSIDERATION OF THE WITNESS TO WOMEN

 We have read many warnings in Proverbs about the danger posed by seductive women, by contentious women, by hateful women, by simple women, and by women who would usurp leadership. Even good women exhibit one or more of these characteristics occasionally, even when such characteristics are not normally a part of her personality. Now, please, consider the Biblical record of a woman’s danger to a man.

·        In the Garden of Eden, Eve sinned and then tempted Adam, and he sinned.[1]

·        Sarah tempted Abraham by urging him to sire a child by Hagar, and he did.[2]

·        Lot’s wife and daughters were anything but an encouragement to do right, with the wife looking back and being turned into a pillar of salt and his own daughters seducing him.[3]

·        Rebekah found her husband favoring Esau, so she favored Jacob, and was both disloyal to her husband and successful in promoting her son to dishonor and disobey his father.[4]

·        Rachel and Leah both conspired to conceal from Jacob their father’s plan to marry Leah to Jacob when he thought he was marrying Rachel.[5]

·        Tamar seduced her father in law, Judah, by pretending to be a prostitute.[6]

·        Potiphar’s wife attempted to seduce Joseph and at the same time betrayed her husband.[7]

·        Zipporah opposed Moses’ circumcision of his two sons, which almost cost Moses his life.[8]

·        Miriam sought to undermine her brother Moses’ authority by murmuring against him for marrying an Ethiopian woman, a black woman.[9]

·        Delilah seduced Samson to discover the secret of his strength, and then betrayed him.[10]

·        Michal, King Saul’s daughter, was given to David to marry because her father knew she would be a snare to David.[11]

·        Bathsheba was so stunningly beautiful that David could not resist her, so he took her into his bed. However, she should have resisted to her death, as called for in the Law of Moses.[12] Instead, David took his loyal soldier’s wife, impregnated her, and then murdered to conceal his adultery, bringing untold tragedy to his household.

·        Finally, consider that Jezebel not only enticed her weak husband Ahab to commit great sins as the king of Israel, and promoted idolatry throughout the kingdom, but she also frightened Elijah into fleeing for his life when she threatened him.[13]

 Finally, Let Us CONSIDER THE WAY OF WISDOM

 What can we learn from this overwhelming amount of Biblical evidence concerning a man’s dealings with women?

Can we not agree that the Word of God both warns and witnesses to the reality that when men have dealings with men there is an incredible potential for danger? There is the danger of seduction by a woman, the danger of abdicating leadership to a woman, the danger of finding yourself trapped in a miserable marriage with a woman, a danger of your judgment being perverted by a woman, and that is just for starters.

We also noted that these dangers can arise from women who are simple, as well as from women of great subtlety. Thus, a woman can be dangerous to a man by just being a woman, whether or not she has any designs. This arises not only from a woman’s capacity for deception and self-deception, but also resulting from a man’s capacity for self-deception.

Along the way, we were told that it is better to dwell in the corner of the roof top, or better to dwell in the wilderness, than being linked to the wrong kind of woman. As one man put it, “There are worse things than being alone.” To this, the book of Proverbs would agree, though few single men have the wisdom to believe this truth.

 

Is it as this point in a sermon that I usually offer advice or make application of the spiritual truth we have uncovered and shed light on. However, I will forgo that tonight, only pointing out to you men that no matter the danger posed by women, the responsibility for your conduct is yours and yours alone. That said, there is only one thing I want you to remember when you leave this place tonight. However, it is so important a truth that if nothing else is accomplished, it is worth it to leave you with it.

Recognize the potential for danger when dealing with women.” Some of you might think the risk is worth the potential danger for the rewards that are involved. However, those are thoughts that only the young, the inexperienced, or the completely foolish could think.

The wise woman will realize that by virtue of her being a woman she is potentially dangerous to every man she knows. Men get incredibly stupid around women, al the while convincing themselves that they are in control of the situation. Therefore, if she is wise, if she loves God, and if she values her reputation and her virtue, a woman will be very, very careful to avoid posing any kind of threat to a man, particular a man she genuinely respects and cares for. As we have seen, the woman who abandons caution in this regard is a strange woman, one who is willing to deviate from the norm of respectability and propriety. Such a woman is no good for any man.

The wise man, on the other hand, will realize that by virtue of him being a man is he susceptible to enticement, to seduction, to subversion, and to profoundly unwise decision making with respect to women. This makes women very dangerous to a man.

Do not think I am a woman hater. Anyone who knows me knows better than that. It is just that the combination of a man and a woman is always a potentially lethal mix as a direct result of the Fall. What Eve did to Adam, and what Adam did in response to Eve, almost any woman can do to almost any man, and almost any man can do in response to almost any woman.

Thus, caution must be our guide, men, in our dealings with the opposite sex.



[1] Genesis 3.6

[2] Genesis 16.1-4

[3] Genesis 19.26-38

[4] Genesis 27

[5] Genesis 29.15-25

[6] Genesis 38

[7] Genesis 39.7-18

[8] Exodus 4.24-26

[9] Numbers 12.1

[10] Judges 16

[11] 1 Samuel 18.21

[12] Deuteronomy 22.22-27

[13] 1 Kings 18.4, 13, 19; 19.2; 21.25



Would you like to contact Dr. Waldrip about this sermon? Please contact him by clicking on the link below. Please do not change the subject within your email message. Thank you.

pastor@calvaryroadbaptist.org