The Strange Woman

Posted by on Mar 4, 2012

The Strange Woman

“The Strange Woman”

MP3 Version: “The Strange Woman” (NOTE: Technical difficulties occurred during this recording and resulted in the loss of the first few minutes of the message as well the scripture reading.)

Scripture Text: Proverbs 2:16-17

By Pastor Mike Withem
First Baptist Church
Ranson, West Virginia

Introduction:

A. I’m sure that we would all agree that INFIDELITY has reached epidemic proportions in America today.
1. I will not bore you with the statistics, but some recent surveys indicate that as many as 65% of all married men and 55% of all married women will have at least one affair during their lifetime.
2. Now secular psychologists will tell you that this is to be expected because we are all GENETICALLY inclined to cheat on our spouses.
3. In other words, it is really not our fault, it’s in our genes and we really can’t help ourselves.
4. Now this may surprise you, but there is a LITTLE bit of truth in that assessment.
5. You see, it IS our genes, which we inherited from our great great grandfather, Adam, and it’s called SIN.
6. But to say that we can’t help ourselves, especially those of us who know Christ and have the Holy Spirit living within us, is absolutely WRONG!
7. Nobody HAS to be unfaithful.
8. Nobody HAS to commit adultery.
9. Nobody HAS to cheat on their spouse.
10. It is clearly a CHOICE, a choice for which we will all answer to God, one day, when we stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ.

B. This morning, I want to answer the question, “What is behind this epidemic of infidelity in our culture today? What causes a man or a woman to violate their marriage vows by having an extramarital affair? What exactly leads to the sin of adultery in a marriage?”
1. Now before I say anything else, let me make something very clear.
2. I realize that I may very well be speaking to someone this morning who has ALREADY blown it, someone who has ALREADY committed this very destructive sin.
3. If that is, indeed the case, please believe me when I say that it is NOT my intention to lay any more guilt upon your shoulders or cause you any more pain.
4. That clearly is the Holy Spirit’s job, not mine.
5. What I do intend to do, however, is to prevent what may have happened to you, from happening to someone else.
6. (Illus.- I’m sure that you’ve heard it said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Well, that is so true, especially when you are talking about the sin of adultery.)

C. Now back to my question, “What causes a man or a woman to violate their marriage vows by having an extramarital affair? What exactly leads to the sin of adultery in a marriage?”
1. While every case is unique, in our text this morning we see at least three common causes.
2. Notice, first of all, that divorce is often caused by…

I. Flattering Words.

A. Notice again Vrs. 16 of our text, it says, “To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words;”

B. I want you to turn with me to Prov. 7:5, and I want you to read with me Solomon’s very graphic account of a young man who was lured into the grasp of a “strange woman,” beginning with Vrs. 5, “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.”

C. Notice again the words in Vrs. 21, “With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.”

D. Let me tell you how affairs often begin.
1. They often begin with FLATTERING words.
2. They often begin when someone who is a member of the opposite sex, someone other than your spouse, begins to COMPLIMENT you.
3. Now I’m not talking about JOB related compliments, such as when an employer compliments an employee for a job well done.
4. But I’m talking about compliments that are of a much more PERSONAL nature, especially compliments pertaining to one’s physical appearance.
5. (Illus.- Here’s how it usually happens. Poor Frank is already feeling unappreciated by his wife. One of his co-workers, Julie, decides that she is going to make a play for him, and so she begins by showering him with compliments. She compliments his physique, she compliments his intellect, she compliments his personality, and anything else that she can think to compliment. Frank, of course, being the male egotist that he is, eats it up, and before long actually begins to believe that he is every bit as wonderful as she makes him out to be. One thing leads to another, and before you know it, Frank has cheated on his wife.)
6. It works the other way around, as well.
7. (Illus.- Oftentimes it is the wife who is receiving compliments of a personal nature from one of her co-workers, and because she is feeling unloved or unappreciated by her husband, and because every woman wants to feel special, she allows this inappropriate behavior to continue. Well, one thing leads to another and before you know it, she ends up cheating on her husband.)
8. I’m telling you, this is how affairs often begin, with inappropriate words of flattery.

E. Let me say two things and then I will move on.
1. First of all, if you are the recipient of inappropriate words of flattery, either at work or somewhere else, you need to put a STOP to it immediately!
2. Do whatever it takes, even if you have to find a new job!
3. Listen, no job is worth putting your marriage in jeopardy!
4. But someone says, “Pastor, I enjoy the flattery! What’s wrong with letting it continue as long as I don’t let things get out of hand?”
5. Listen, you are playing with fire, and those who play with fire usually end up getting burnt!

F. The second thing that I want to say is that your wife or your husband shouldn’t have to look elsewhere for compliments or words of affirmation.
1. One of the reasons that Satan is so successful at using this technique to destroy marriages is because so many husbands and wives are NOT getting any affirmation at home!
2. When was the last time that you paid your wife or your husband a sincere compliment???

G. And so, sometimes affairs are caused by flattering words. Notice also, that sometimes they are caused by…

II. Forsaken Guides.

A. Notice again the first part of Vrs. 17 of our text, it says, “Which forsaketh the guide of her youth,”
1. Now there are two questions that we must answer here.
2. First of all, WHO is Solomon talking about when he mentions the “guide” of our “youth”?
3. Within the context of the passage, he is clearly talking about the husband or the wife of our youth.
4. Why does Solomon refer to this woman’s husband as her “guide”?
5. He did so because in God’s order of things, the husband is the head of the wife, and as her head, he is the one who guides and directs her through life.
6. Now, the second question, “WHAT does it mean to forsake the husband or the wife of our youth?
7. It simply means to turn our hearts away from them.
8. We may not actually leave them in a PHYSICAL sense, we may still be living in the same house and sleeping in the same bed, but clearly our heart is pointed away from them (in another direction).

B. Something similar to this happened to Solomon in his old age as a result of marrying all those heathen women.
1. Notice what the Bible says in 1 Kings 11:4, “For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods.”
2. Now I’m sure that Solomon was still going through the motions of worshiping God.
3. I’m sure he was still going to the temple.
4. I’m sure he was still offering the sacrifices.
5. I’m sure he was still singing the Psalms of praise.
6. Yet his heart was not in it.
7. He had drifted away from God.
8. His heart had been turned away from God.

C. This same thing sometimes happens to married couples.
1. Because of various unresolved issues, they drift apart.
2. They are still living in the same house and perhaps even sleeping in the same bed, but clearly their hearts are far far apart!
3. Like Solomon, they are just going through the motions of being married.

D. Now listen to me for just a moment, if you have allowed your heart to be turned away from the wife of your youth or the husband of your youth, you are a prime target for someone else to come along and STEAL, not only your heart, but also you!
1. This is why God’s Word admonishes husbands to “rejoice with the wife of” their “youth.”
2. Notice Solomon’s words recorded in Prov. 5:18-19, “Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.”
3. That word “rejoice” means to find both pleasure and satisfaction.
4. What Solomon is saying here is, “Keep your heart fixed upon the wife of your youth, and look ONLY to her to satisfy both your physical and emotional needs.”
5. In the very next verse Solomon asks a question, “And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?” (Prov. 5:20)
6. In other words, “Why would you forsake the wife of your youth and instead find sexual gratification in the arms of some Jezebel?”

E. But someone says, “Pastor, you don’t understand my particular situation. My wife has turned her heart away from me and she no longer satisfies my needs!”
1. That may be true, however, as we are going to see in just a moment, that does not excuse infidelity. (In fact, there is NO excuse for infidelity.)
2. What you need to do is to find out WHY your wife has turned her heart away from you and WHY she is not longer satisfying your needs, and then begin working on the problem.
3. The thing to do is to get some HELP and to FIX the problem, NOT cheat on your wife!

F. And so, sometimes affairs (infidelity) are caused by forsaken guides.
1. We see, at least, one more cause in our text.
2. Sometimes affairs are caused by…

III. Forgotten Covenants.

A. Notice again the latter part of Vrs. 17 of our text, it says, “…and forgetteth the covenant of her God.”

B. The word “covenant” here simply means a promise.
1. Now there are TWO very important promises that every married person here this morning must never forget.
2. First of all, there is the promise that you made to God soon after you were saved.
3. But someone says, “I don’t remember making God any promise right after I was saved.”
4. Well, you did, and you did it when you were baptized.
5. Notice what the Bible says in Rom. 6:3-4, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
6. Did you notice the last few words in this passage?
7. It says that “…even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
8. In other words, when you got baptized, you promised God that from that point on, your life was going to be different, that you were going to put off the “old man,” and put on the “new man.” (Eph. 4:22-24)

C. The second promise that we must never forget is the promise that we made to our spouse at the marriage altar.
1. You know, the promise that said, “…FORSAKING all others, keep thee ONLY unto him so long as you both shall live?”
2. Do you remember that promise!
3. But someone says, “Yea, I remember that promise, but I made that promise to my spouse, NOT to God.”
4. Well, you may not have made that promise TO God, but you definitely made it BEFORE Him, and so it is just as binding.

D. Why do some married people have affairs?
1. Because of forgotten covenants (promises).
2. First of all, they forget the promise that they made to God when they got baptized, the promise to “walk in newness of life.”
3. They also forget the promise that they made to their spouse when they stood at the marriage altar, the promise to “forsake all others and to keep themselves ONLY unto their spouses as long as they both shall live.”
4. Listen, I will make YOU a promise.
5. If you will not forget these promises, and if you will commit yourself to keep these promises no matter what, I promise you, you will NOT have an affair.
6. However, if you come to place in your life where, at least in your own mind, these promises are no longer binding or no longer important, your chances of having an affair will skyrocket. (In fact, I can almost guarantee you that it’s going to happen.)

Conclusion:

A. What is behind the epidemic of infidelity in our culture today? What causes a man or a woman to violate their marriage vows by having an extramarital affair? What exactly leads to the sin of adultery in a marriage?
1. According to Solomon, at least three things.
2. First of all, FLATTERING WORDS (beware of flattering words).
3. Secondly, FORSAKEN GUIDES (when we turn our hearts away from our spouses, we are easy targets for those who love to steal our hearts, as well as us).
4. Last of all, FORGOTTEN COVENANTS (remember your vows).

B. While there are a lot of causes of marital infidelity, one is NEVER justified in cheating on their spouse.
1. Perhaps I am speaking to someone who has not yet crossed this line, but you are getting very close.
2. Before you cross that line, listen to the words of Solomon recorded in Prov. 6:32-33, “But whoso committeth adultery….lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away.”
3. While every sin is destructive, there is something about the nature of this sin that makes it FAR more destructive than others.
4. God may forgive you afterwards, however, there is “a wound and” a “dishonour” that will NEVER go away, that you will carry with you all the days of your life!

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