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:Proverbs 5:7-8
We read in the previous verses about the contrast between the attractiveness of the “strange woman” and the danger that participating in adulterous and illicit activity with her brings. In verses 3 through 6 we were told that her words would seem like honey and her mouth like smooth oil. Yet at the end her words are more like wormwood and swords, and her end is instability, death and hell.
Now that the framework for thinking about this kind of extra-marital sexual activity has been laid, the father, speaking to his kids, pleads for his children to listen and obey what he is about to say in verses 8 and following. Notice what he says:
(8) Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house:
Is this a biblical law saying that it is breaking God’s law just to be near a sexually promiscuous person, or to go even in their yard? If that was the intent and we were to follow it to the letter of the law we would need a background check on every neighbor before we bought a house. We would have to be very careful about going “door to door” and hanging invitations to church on people’s houses because we could be in the yard of a promiscuous person. No, this is not the intention.
The idea that the father is proposing is the idea illustrated by guardrails. Guardrails are on highways and roads simply because running into them would cause less damage than going beyond the guardrail into the ditch, ravine, or other potential hazard that lays beyond it. The father is pleading with his children to decide beforehand to not even go near the temptation that this kind of person represents because the hazards that lay beyond are too great.
In application it doesn’t mean that we cannot be nice to or have compassion for those who are sinning in this area of life. The idea is that wisdom can be found in avoiding tempting scenarios that would cause us to be tempted. We should decide before the temptation comes that we will avoid certain scenarios.
In my case, I am never alone with a woman other than my wife. I don’t go out to eat with another woman. We don’t ride in the same car. It is a guardrail. The potential risk is not worth it.
It is wise for us to think about how and where we consume media, who we meet with and why, and how we conduct relationships with others. What guardrails do you need in your life? Are there any relationships you need to change or even end?