Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel: (10) Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger; (11) And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed,Proverbs 5:9-11
What is the outcome when you give yourself over to the “strange woman”? What is the probability that will occur when a young person gives themselves over to sexual immorality? Here the father continues to talk about this idea and he gives four specific losses that are incurred.
1. A loss of honor. “Lest thou give thine honour unto others…”. The word here for honor is a word that is also translated glory, majesty, beauty, and comeliness. The idea is that you are giving the best of yourself to a person that you don’t really love for the sheer pleasure of a moment.
2. A loss of time. “and thy years unto the cruel…”. As is common in Hebrew poetry, there is a parallelism to the previous phrase about honour. The idea is that the sexually immoral young person can give the best of their years physically to those who are cruel. For example, many have experienced both a loss of honor and a loss of time in dealing with the physical consequences of sexually transmitted diseases
3. A loss of wealth. “lest strangers be filled with thy wealth, and thy labours be in the house of a stranger…”. Again, the probability that this kind of behavior will cost you financially is high. People pay a high price because of sexual infidelity. Think of words like “child support”, “alimony”, “court costs”, “lawyers’ fees”, “doctors’ fees” and the like. Not everyone will always have all of these issues, but almost no one that participates in adultery plans to pay these costs, yet many do.
4. A loss of joy. “and thou mourn the the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed…”. The physical, relational, temporal, and spiritual cost often leads to an emotional cost. Many people have dealt with the high cost of the loss of joy as a result of just a few moments of physical pleasure.
It is because of these losses that the father in this passage is warning his son.
If you find yourself thinking “this seems a little over the top. Not everyone who has a little fling has all of these problems”, I want to warn you. Everyone who has ever participated in these kinds of behaviors and suffered these kinds of losses thought some version of that idea. “That won’t happen to me.” “No one will know.” These are the kinds of lies that we tell ourselves. These are the thoughts of scoffers who often must deal with the consequences that they never thought they would see.
There is a high price to low living. We must decide to live lives of integrity now before the temptation is in front of us.
- Have you ever personally seen anyone deal with these kinds of consequences?
- Where in your life have you told yourself, “no one will find out”? Stop! Repent! Warning! It’s time for a course correction.
- There is hope and forgiveness in Jesus Christ. Find out more about how to be made right with God here.