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The Father’s Final Warning Against a Strange Woman
Proverbs 7:24-25 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
24 And now, O sons, listen to me,
and be attentive to the words of my mouth.
25 Let not your heart turn aside to her ways;
do not stray into her paths.
And now, O sons, listen to me: Here and is being used to close out the counsel, which is why it is rendered and now. The father, using a term of endearment, O sons, before giving his final commands, pleading for his sons to listen (שָׁמַע shama), that is pay attention and obey, never departing from his words.
And be attentive to the words of my mouth: The Hebrew verb (קָשַׁב qashab) be attentive means listening and paying close attention, giving heed (i.e., obeying), accepting the instruction as being true, and responding to it favorably. The figurative expression words of my mouth mean to pay attention to what I say, what I have taught you, and my instructions and commandments.
Let not your heart turn aside to her ways: The Hebrew (שָׂטָה satah) for turn away means that the young man is to turn away from the way or the path of this strange (i.e., wayward) woman that was referred to in 7:5, with this figurative expression, also meaning a change in behavior.
Do not stray into her paths: The Hebrew verb rendered stray (תָּעָה taah) means that this young man is not to wander from the moral beliefs and values that the father has instilled in him into a course of action that would lead him down her immoral path. Both of these commands are given to help the son remove himself from this temptation before it has begun to lead him astray to protect his figurative heart, namely his inner person, the seat of motivation. The young man has ignored his morally trained conscience at every stage, from entering the street where he knows that wayward woman will be to meet up with him where her scent can impact him, her words can move him, and her touch can conquer him.
Looking at the Christian today, he has to be able to get control over his thinking. Today, the same young man can end up on the wrong street because of entertaining immoral thoughts that enter his mind. As soon as the thought enters his mind, if the Christian conscience is trained, he should dismiss it outright and then internally rationalize just why that thinking is wrong. If he does not commit himself to this, he will fail by progressing even further toward the actions of viewing porn, masturbation, fornication, or adultery.
No true Christian should follow the literal steps of this man, but what about his thoughts. Could a person mentally begin ‘going down the street to her house by dwelling on immoral thoughts? Right then, he needs to put on the brakes! Failing to do so may result in mentally progressing to further steps such as masturbation or eventual sexual immorality.
The Apostle Paul told the Galatians, “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Gal. 5:24) This crucifixion refers to Christ in his death and resurrection, and that ‘we longer live, but Christ lives in us. The life we now live in the body, we live by faith in the Son of God, who loved us and gave Himself for us.’ (Gal. 2:20) This does not mean that we no longer have the thinking and desires that lead to sin. It means that our old personalities are no more, and we are now new people, having the ability to gain control over our thinking. – Romans 6:10-12.
Additionally, as imperfect people, we need to be vigilant about dismissing any inappropriate thinking that enters our minds before we begin to entertain and cultivate them. If one is watching a movie or television program and begins to have improper thoughts that can lead to sexual desires, they need to change the channel if at home or get up and walk out of the theater. The Christian mind must be very cautious as to what the mind takes in, especially in the age of computers, the internet, iPads, and smartphones. In addition, all Christians need to be Christlike in their conversations with others, especially non-Christians, and the opposite sex. – Matthew 5:28-30; Colossians 3:5.
For those who struggle in this area, more proactive measures are needed. Once an improper thought has been dismissed, he needs to speak to himself, rationalizing why it is wrong and what this type of thinking can do to spiritually wreck a Christian life. If he is in bed and an improper thought has entered his mind, he needs to get up and do just that, pray after that, and have a Bible handy to read before going back to bed. The prayer needs to be ardent; this cannot be lip service.