The Lips of an Adulterous Man

counter 1000Have you ever felt trapped in a relationship? Have you ever felt deceived by flattery and empty promises? Maybe you’ve been with an adulterous man. Now there is a term that we don’t often used when referring to the male species, but, honestly, where did we get the idea that only women can act deceitfully in order to lure?

When I think of the adjective, adulterous, I often think of a woman engaged in prostitution, but check out the other translations for the word adulteress: the Hebrew word zür translates adulterous to also mean someone who is wicked, a stranger, a foreigner or an enemy. That gives an entirely different slant on the following passage from Proverbs 5.

I took a little liberty to change the pronouns used in the verse. So humor me for a moment because I think it might be helpful to look at the scripture from a different perspective. Often when text uses the pronoun, “he “, scripture is really referring to both the masculine and feminine. So many of us, however, have read these particular scriptures and only thought they pertained to men. If we change the gender pronouns, here’s how Proverbs 5:3–4 reads:

For the lips of the adulterous man drip honey, and his speech is smoother than oil; but in the end he is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword (Proverbs 5:3-4).

Ladies, does that sound like some men you know? There’s a lot of wisdom in this chapter for women who are attracted to toxic relationships. Men can have speech smoother than oil. Man can woo us with their words. Deceitful words. Empty promises. Flattery meant to entice us into their trap so they can control us. The problem is that although they may be deceitful we often don’t recognize it until it’s too late.

until the dagger has pierced our heart.

So listen carefully to the next few verses. I’ve included two versions of the NIV Life Application Study Bible because of the way each articulates what we jeopardize. You will see that bolded.

Now then, at my daughters, listen to me; do not turn aside from what I say. Keep to a path far from him, do not go near the door of his house, lest you give your best strength to others and your years to one who is cruel (Proverbs 5:7-9 NIV Life Application Study Bible ©1984).

Now then, my daughters, listen to me; do not turn aside from what I say. Keep to a path far from him, do not go near the door of his house, lest you lose your honor to others and your dignity to one who is cruel (Proverbs 5:7-9 NIV Life Application Study Bible ©2011).

My friend, when your gut tells you that a man is using flattery or that his motives don’t seem quite right, trust your gut! The Spirit testifies with our spirit. He warns us! Heed the warning. It’s a sign that the road is closed! Do not enter.

stop signs

  • Don’t get involved or give your heart to a man that gives you that feeling.
  • Don’t minimize his behavior.
  • Don’t make excuses for him.
  • Don’t tell yourself that you’re imagining things.
  • Don’t tell yourself that he will change.
  • Don’t tell yourself that once he falls in love with you things will get better.
  • Don’t fall for the lie that a ring or a wedding will motivate him to change.

Instead run! Run for your life. Don’t give your best strength to others or your years to one who is cruel. Save your heart for someone who will not only honor his word but honor your heart and fully cherish you for the valuable woman you are. God created you special. Only a man that honors you with his actions is worthy of your heart.

May I declare His truthMay I pray for you?

Father, I lift of my sister who is struggling today with hurts from the past and present that have wounded her heart. Heal her from the words and actions of men who were supposed to love and adore her like you do. Heal her from the shattered self-image that tells her she deserved shame, abandonment or abuse. Bring restoration and healing. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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25 Responses to The Lips of an Adulterous Man

  1. Brooke at #

    If you don’t listen to your gut and run, but instead make the excuses and marry the man, what then? What about when he says he’s genuinely trying to change, get counseling and be different? I am there. I have no desire left to be here or to give him any more chances. How can I leave when God gives us an infinite amount of chances? I have no idea what to do.

    • Christy Johnson at #

      We get ourselves into trouble by making excuses, but the situation won’t get better just by leaving…or staying and holding a grudge because you have no desire left to give him any more chances. I’d encourage you to learn how to set some healthy boundaries to ensure that you no longer tolerate unacceptable behavior and guard your heart from further offenses. To help with that, I’ll be rolling out some group coaching courses soon. Look for details in email:)

      • Thanl you for the advise , cause i think i may be going out with one , im not sure im probaly wrong , but will they use things that they have asked you about & you have said oh yes i. Love that , & because you do like it , he finds a reason why he cant , like kissing is intimate to me , any way he is scare of intimacy & dont kiss , bla bla , which i know for a fact thats a lie , but with me he dont kiss me bla bla & i love i mean i love getting suprises or presents , nit from everybody , but my guy friend made me a rock with a smiley face on it , anyway you would have thougt he brought me that rock & bla bla bla , anyway he said that bascally im this & that & he dont show effection through gifts , ok i get that statement trust me i do , but notjing like that had ever been said nothing on gift giving or lil surprisrs no conversation at all , & then my friend dies , ( got hit buy a car on a scottet , ) aby way now no he dont & never did , besides. I expect it he said , ( that just made me not want anything from him at all , ) but he be getting. Into my pickets , ( getting money from me not alot cause i dontvhave it like that , ( looking for a job a lil part time ro get me througt tjis hard patch im going threw , anyway like first part of the month o gave him 50.00 for him to get a phone card he said he eithet lost or simebody stole the money from him , anyway today he kept hinting about how he really wants a phone card , im glad im broke , cause it was so ovious what he was doing with the phone bull shit , but i was like i already gave you fifty for a phonevcard im sorry i dont have it , bla bla bla , , although he didnt leave until he got my last 20.00 & left me with no xigs & he didnt care , anyway im getting mad at myself , cause as i sit here & write , talk , remmnises this shit , im stupid , im not sure what he is , but im stupud , my better half of 30 years died unexpextly , almost 3 yrs. Ago , long story short , i lost everything & everybody in my life , so im trying to get up & move on with my life , i figure out my voulenabilty , thanks again , gpd blesz

        • Tracy at #

          It sounds like he is someone who preys on a grieving woman (you) for your money. Allow yourself time to grieve and heal. Only God can fill the void you are feeling right now from missing your friend, not any man. So stay strong in your boundaries when you say you don’t have money and he keeps asking he is not there for a relationship only your money. He’ shows you who he really is so believe it. You deserve a man who can give you all of what you need . One who respects what you say. Don’t settle for any less! Trust in God to heal your grief. A man can’t

      • Shelley at #

        It’s too late for my I’m 20 years married to this

    • Myshal at #


      I am in tears here reading your post. I feel it with every fiber of my being. I have been where you are, and it was not so long ago. It was a dark and lonely and bitter place. Everyone around you tells you that you deserve better and that you have the right to leave. Society would have you punish him with your strength and independence. My pastor was my only true counsel in this. He cried as he told me he could not counsel me to divorce my abuser, though the human nature in him wanted me to run.
      See, you already know the reasons to stay – and they are not selfish, nor are they cold and authoritative. Biblically, we are to give our spouses every chance, regardless of whether they deserve it. There is a reason for this – it lightens our mental load. When you take leaving off the table and instead focus on the truth of who God is and what He says He will do for you, it’s a whole different game.

      Look at Hosea for an example of one who God not only directed to marry, but to continue to pursue a woman who was repeatedly unfaithful. Faithfulness may not be the case in your situation (it wasn’t in mine), but it was a direct insult to her husband. It had to be so painful and humiliating to chase her over and over as she chose something other than his love. In Hosea’s case, God was using the marriage to show how He chases after us over and over, no matter how many times we insult the One who truly loves us. How He loves us not because of who we are, but because of who He is.
      Abigail is another example I clung to with all my might. Her husband was known as ill-tempered, selfish, and… Drunk. He put his own ego above the safety of his entire family and all those who lived with them. Abigail knew and remained faithful and true to God’s will, and sought to protect those around her, rather than seeking her own peace. She saved the entire group by humbling herself in her husband’s place.

      God can change lives (look no further than Saul turned Paul). Whatever the issue causing your husband’s behavior and your current pain, God is big enough. He is big enough to change your husband, and He is big enough to be all that you need if your husband never changes. Pray that God will help you remove the “what if”s from your path and replace them with “even if.” Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego chose to defy the king’s command to bow to an idol, knowing that the price was death. They knew God could take away that cost, but they chose to obey whether or not He did. It’s not up to you whether or not your husband changes. It’s up to you to find your peace in your heavenly father and walk in His will.

      One more thing… In our case, it took counseling and a 6 month separation and me learning to set healthy boundaries and stand up for myself. Learning to speak up when he hurt me, rather than letting it fester and assuming he knew what he did. My husband was an abusive alcoholic. He is now 3 years sober, learning to be loving and gentle, and recently even led his younger sister to Christ. I would never have believed any of this possible just a few short years ago. Our God is mighty. And our God loves you. Strengthen your boundaries and soften your heart. There is hope.

  2. Nancy at #

    All I’ve ever known is unhealthy relationships. From my dad to my 2 husbands. Now I’m 60 and alone. I know God has a plan for me because He loves me. I wish I had this information 30 years ago. Christy, you are so wise. Thank you for publishing this information for the young women that are searching today.
    My prayer is I don’t grow old alone.

    • Christy Johnson at #

      Nancy, forget the former things. God redeems the time. And Joel 2:25 says, “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten.”

    • Jennifer at #

      Hi Nancy! I am sorry you had to endure all that you have. I am in a similar situation (52) and was in 1 marriage that lasted 31 years. I kept giving him chances – believing it was the ‘right’ thing and continue to believe his un-kept promises of ‘change’ long after I should have. I know it is scary – but maybe knowing you are not alone and other women are experiencing this too, will be of some comfort. I am going to print out Joel 2:25 on an index card to keep near me – as a reminder. I am so glad that Christy had something from scripture to share with you – I had not found any ‘encouraging’ scripture for our scenarios, until now!

      • Christy Johnson at #

        Here are a couple more:
        And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
        Romans 8:28
        For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. Psalm 84:11
        For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. Isaiah 43:19

  3. Lisa at #

    Nancy, I am 52 and share in your sorrow. Hindsight is bittersweet! Bitter because of the pain , suffering, and yuck….but sweet because when we are tested again, we will know better! We don’t have to spend the rest of our lives with men void of Godly character! We now have the chance to learn how to have healthy relationships so that the next time we are tested, we will pass the tests! So thankful for Christy—The Lord has surely sent her to help us and so many others! May God richly bless you, comfort you, and guide you!

    • Christy Johnson at #

      The truth is that even in a relationship we can feel alone. Even in a crowded room we can feel alone. The alone feeling comes when we are oblivious to God’s presence. I was just telling another reader that when I was much younger, I hated being alone. I always felt alone, rejected and unworthy. I used to immediately turn on the TV or radio as soon as I walked into my apartment. In fact, my light switch activated it because I needed noise to drown out the alone feeling. A few years ago I was driving in my car and realized I’d been driving a lot without the radio on and love it. As I was contemplating how peaceful it was and how different it was to the way I used to be the Lord said, “It’s because you never feel alone. You always feel me right here with you.” I’m telling you it’s so true. I feel his presence so much these days that sometimes I long for times to just be alone. Such a switch!! When we intentionally pursue him, He shows up with peace and joy and confidence. Security, hope. When we invite His presence, He fills in the blank spaces. I’d venture to say, that until we learn how to embrace His presence, a relationship will never be rich enough to satisfy us.

  4. Regina Adkison at #

    Thank you so much. I appreciate these devotions and truths.
    God fill my (and others) empty places and more than that help me get rid of hurts, rejection, loneliness, fear and all the other stuff that takes up room so He can fill those places too. God fill my empty places with His love, healing, and His presence. May I (we) be receptive of Him and all He has for me (us ) knowing my (our) identity and worth in Him.

  5. Darlene at #

    So I met this guy who lives in Scotland and he swept me off my feet. And I decided I wanted to go meet him face to face and bought a ticket to go there in December. The same day I found out he was sleeping with this girl. He ended it with her. It had only gone on a week. He claims that he only did it because he thought I would never really come see him. He asked me to give him a second chance. I have also found out since then that he has a temper, but he is also epileptic and I think disabled mentally honestly and I still have strong feelings for him. Plus I don’t want to waste the money I spent on the ticket. Should I be giving him a second chance knowing that he cheated on me already? I also had a sexual conversation with a man online and I think it was mostly because I’m so hurt over this and I wanted to get back at him but I haven’t told him about it yet. I’m just in such a bad place in my head.

    • Crystal at #

      Darlene: It seems like he may not value the relationship that you have as much as you do. Your willingness to pay for a ticket overseas, no matter how successful and capable you are of paying for the ticket, may indicate to him that you are vulnerable and easy prey. Also, if you accept his cheating now, he will expect you to accept the same and maybe worse in the future. Run away!! One more thing – don’t entertain any sexual conversations unless the man shows you he wants commitment. Focus on God and He will show you who is for you.

  6. Shelly at #

    Thank you for this article and for the biblical insight. Most of us make these mistakes because we don’t want to be alone and some men see the need in us to be loved and cherished and they pretend to fill that need . They can do the right things but the character of a virtuous person is missing. They don’t add up. The difference between genuine love and simple manipulation is the motive of the action. One is selfless and solely for your benefit and the second is selfish and for their own selfish gain. Don’t get me wrong women do it as well.

    I have been hurt recently. Deeply betrayed by someone like this. All the signs were there and God spoke to me through my intuition but I so wanted to believe he loved me and would change. So I ignored all the warning signs, the lies, the inconsistencies etc.

    But what I know is that God never leaves you. He comes for you and He honors your prayers. When you can’t seem to get out of the mess in your own He comes for you and He lifts you out.

    I started to pray for God to reveal what is wrong. Thinking that it could be fixed, that He would show us how to fix us. I say us because he pretended to want to change want to fix us. But what God revealed was so devastating. I was shattered. There was no truth in this man and I was living a lie with him. He was living a double life with me.

    Yes like some of you I felt shell shocked angry and hurt. I also felt stupid for loving someone like that. And I don’t mean just the emotion and feeling of love. I mean loving by giving of yourself, time , efforts, money and your resources.

    I’m going through the healing process. And came across this blog and site because I am searching for materials to help me. Not just any material but spiritually sound material..

    I mourned for a while over this man but God has opened my eyes to see that he saved me from a toxic relationship and individual. Through articles like this. I read it and said God I will mourn no more but I will thank you. Yes I am alone but he’s teaching me to depend on Him first. He will supply my needs all of them. Including my need for genuine love and companionship.

    Do I hurt still? Yes. Do I cry still ? Yes. Am I lonely still? Yes. But all in decreasing quantities. I am being healed and one day I will be able to look back on this without hurting and crying. One day I will be able to help another going through what I have.

    What I want to say is that if you want to heal God’s way it won’t be easy. It would have been easy to hate him but I cannot. God calls me to love. I refuse to become bitter . So I chose to forgive him totally. I choose to love him as God wants me to. It’s not easy but God can and is doing it in me. I asked Him to help me.

    That being said it’s important to set boundaries and protect yourself. If it was just physical abuse it would be easy to see that you have to leave the situation. But we don’t see that what these people are doing is mental and emotional abuse , which scars just as deep or more so. The pain lasts longer. But sometimes it takes us longer to recognize we are being abused and even longer to remove ourselves from the situation. But you have to.

    Like I said God helped me by revealing the deception full blast because I wasn’t listening to the subtle warnings. Like Christy said listen, be vigilant and heed the warning signs. Save yourself from a lifetime of hurt. Run!! Don’t waste your life on someone who isn’t worth it. Remove yourself and give God the opening and opportunity to bless you with someone who is genuine.

    God bless all you hurting souls out there. Know that He is a present help and even when you feel alone you are not. He is with you and is working on your behalf. Because God genuinely loves you.

    • Y’nobe Ceasar at #

      You have no idea how much you just poured into me!! I needed to see this tonight… this was confirmation from God

      • Christy Johnson at #

        I’m so thankful! Praying that God continues to illuminate His truth to you with even more revelation!

      • Tammy at #

        I totally felt the same way!!


        Thank you!!!

        I pray that God heals you in a way that is beyond what you have ever expected!! 🙏🙏🙏♥️♥️

    • Tammy at #

      Love this Shelly! I can’t thank you enough for your words of wisdom…this has really helped me because it explains everything I have been going through!

      My biggest confusion lately is “ How Did I Miss This”
      I thank God that he always gives me the TRUTH no matter what LIES are being said to me ♥️

      I was totally sideswiped and felt like we were closer than ever after 26 years of marriage! I started feeling like something was wrong and when I dug deeper I found so much that I could never imagine! 💔
      It is beyond where I want to go because it hurts to bad!

      I am now healing “Deeply With My Jesus”
      Because I know that he’s the only one who can heal me so that I don’t become a person bitter & hateful and revengeful!

      Thank you so much for your post !! 🤗🤗

  7. Lenise at #

    Thank you Christy for this. I was involved with someone who started out as charming, was a man of God, grew up in the Church and very spiritual. While in the beginning I had my guards up (as any woman would/should) overtime our “friendship” developed and I genuinely took a liking to this man. As soon as things got serious or rather I started to show more feelings/emotions, he started to back off and I couldn’t understand why as he once shared with me that he was “claiming me, and how safe it was for me to feel/believe again – I got you”. Nevertheless, actions started to no longer back up those words. He’d go weeks on end without communication – only to then tell me that he was emotionally unavailable. At that point, I took a step back – but he kept in touch saying how he missed me, was thinking about me, etc. Eventually we reconnected again and things seemed to be fine, until he disappeared again – this time 3 months – no communication, responses to calls or texts. At the top of this year is when I heard from him via text – wishing me a happy new year and praying that all was well with me. He then called and asked if we could talk. We did – and that is when he acknowledged and apologized for his actions, understood how it wasn’t fair to me, then asked if I would allow him to reengage with me so that he could show his commitment. At that moment, I respected him for taking some accountability and speaking his truth. I care form him and felt it was sincere and genuine – wanting for us to move forward and make things work. Without of course me first sharing how hard the silence a/k/a “going dark/ghosting” was for me, reminding him that he once told me he was emotionally unavailable, and because of that I had that wall built back up – that we should take things one day at a time. I shared with him how important it is that actions speak louder than words – to which he agreed or rather seemed to understand. Thereafter, things were fine – and then, the pandemic hit. I thought this would be a time where we’d be able to connect and “engage” more with each other. Instead, he started to slowly but surely fall back into his old ways…where, I became the person always initiating (one-sided) things or conversation, checking in to see i f he were okay, etc. Well, May 2nd is the last that I heard from him. He sent a text that said “hope you are well”. I responded as I normally would, but no response. I began to worry – but could see that he was clearly okay via social media. I’ve asked that he call me, I even sent some encouraging words/scripture during these challenging times, followed by a card I stuck in the mail letting him know that I miss him. To date, no response and I’ve not heard from him – and it hurts so, not knowing or understanding why. Especially for someone who asked that I allow him to reengage with me to show his commitment…What makes it even harder is because he is as I stated earlier a man of God, so to treat someone this way I just can’t wrap my head around and really struggle with forgiving, letting go of the hurt and at some point moving on. Never in my life have I experienced what I now know or believe to be narcissism and emotional abuse. During this time I’ve read so many devotionals, articles, etc. to help – but sometimes I feel like I’m not getting anywhere in terms of healing. I cry every day and think about him all the time – to a point where all of this (pain) I’ve endured – whether he knows it or not has changed me so. I am no longer the person I used to be and I hate it…

  8. Shelly at #

    I am torn. I am married to a man and it we are going to be open and honest he is my fourth husband because I was so mentally, physically and emotionally abused most of my life. I never felt loved or even liked so I thought I was supposed to fix everyone. I struggle with kjowing if I am doing the right thing. My husband is a covet narcissist. I was married to a overt narcissist so I know what they looked like, but I didn’t know there were different kinds. So, my husband says he is not having an affair but I see people on his facebook that he was looking up and the girl is “supposedly” his best friends girlfriend, but he failed to tell me he was going fishing with her and his friend and led me to believe they were going fishing with his friend’s dad. He never once mentioned her when I called and kept it silient until I got home with groceries and we were taking the groceries out. I then called when I was out of town and again the girl shows up at our house with his best friend and my husband had told me he could not remember her name but when she walked in he said her name instantly and introduced her and he said he had me on speaker phone, I asked him about it and he said she said it first but I know he was lying and I confronted him on it and he said I was crazy. I contacted an attorney and they said they were not able to help me because there was a conflict and I called him on it. He said he did not file but then he called and said I called and that they had my voice on recorder because they transcribe everything and that whoever called was very ugly and mean to the lady, which I know he was lying the whole time.

    My problem is he has never been physical but he is mental and emotional, he does nothing for me, he does not help me with anything, we have a farm and when I was gone he did feed the dogs and give them medicine but that was because he knew he would look bad if he didn’t. He is nice sometimes and brings me a hamburger but he says I talk down to him and accuse him of having an affair but he has never denied he likes the girl and he has said he is not having an affair and that he never has but the truth is when his ex – wife left him for a year he started dating and bringing the woman over to have sex but he was still married so that was an affair, but he does not see it it that way. He says he was saved at age 7 but he does not follow anything about the Lord, so I don’t know what to do anymore, I try very hard to listen to the Lord and wait for what I need to do but I feel like I am not hearing anything. I feel like the Lord told me to apologize and make things right not for him but for me and to let the Lord handle him and for me to just leave him a lone and let the chips fall where they may. I’m just waiting. I just need some direction. Thanks to all who put their information on here for good reference. I know God is in control.

    • Christy Johnson at #

      I’m so sorry for the abusive relationships that you’ve endured. No one deserves to be treated with contempt. You are God’s daughter and dearly loved and I’m glad you’re seeking the Lord for healing and recovery.

      It can be very confusing when your gut reaction and spiritual discernment tells you one thing but you have no solid proof. That’s when you really need a word from the Lord. Mind if I ask you for clarification? What do you think the Lord mean when he said to apologize and make things right not for him, but for you? Does an apology mean that you are to forgive, or does an apology mean that you’re admitting you’re wrong?

      When partners lie, the deception destroys trust. Even withholding facts and not giving full disclosure is deceitful and manipulative. To confront what you observe is not wrong in itself, unless the manner in which you confront has made you lose self-control. It suspect that God wants you to forgive, so that you can be free of the sting of bitterness. Once we are free from offenses, clarity and direction become much more clear.

      I hope you can find a way to forgive, so that you can be free from the bonds of bitterness and free to enjoy God’s presence, direction and peace.

  9. Serene at #

    This has been sooo helpful to read and honestly validating cause growing up in a very christian conservative household left me thinking, how in he world did i get here. Unfortunately , I was with a narcissist for almost 3 years whilst studying and I’m only just starting to feel like myself again with Gods help. I’ m struggling with some depression at the moment from it though and so am happy to get all the spiritual guidance and help i can.

    • Christy Johnson at #

      I’m so glad it helped! Yes, sometimes the spiritual principles we’ve learned can make us vulnerable to abuse. We misinterpret “turn the other cheek”, submit, etc.

      I’m sorry that you are struggling with some depression. I pray it continues to lift as your recovery strengthens.

      Your comment made me think about this article. It talks about what “turning the other cheek” actually means is super eye-opening.

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