Have 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.
- 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.
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.