Bible Reading Blog

Bible Reading Blog

“Sexual Purity”

Categories: Congregational Bible Reading


The Proverbs frequently emphasize the need for sexual purity. The father warns of the “forbidden woman” (Proverbs 2.16; 5.3, 20; 7.5; 22.14) who seems to have caught his son’s attention (Proverbs 5.3; 6.25). She is attractive, enticing and accessible. She encourages pleasure without discretion.

The momentum and energy of Proverbs 7 are a reminder of how sexual temptation often overtakes those who entertain it. It begins with such innocence (Proverbs 7.7) but quickly escalates with passion and gusto. The prospect of sexual fulfillment is tantalizing to this young man and he is compelled by it (Proverbs 7.21).

Hence the father’s warnings: Don’t look over there (Proverbs 4.25), stay far away (Proverbs 5.8), don’t desire her (Proverbs 6.25), don’t even walk that way! (Proverbs 7.25).

Sexual sin is alluring and often requires the blunt force of truth to combat it’s effects. The father pulls no punches when expressing the consequences: It will destroy your reputation, relationships and ultimately your life (Proverbs 5.23; 6.32-35; 7.23). As people of faith we must not only accept but promote this unpopular truth: Sexual promiscuity is foolish.

We exist in a society that has become increasing loose in terms of morality. After all, sex sells. Prudence has given way to sexual expression as the norm. In many ways even we have become numb to the shameless way our culture has presented sexual pursuits. Unfortunately, we have all seen the aftermath when biblical principles of morality are rejected; and yet there are times when pornography, sexual promiscuity and adultery still infiltrates the lives of believers.

In wisdom, we must acknowledge how this way of life ends. “…at the end of your life you groan… ‘How I hated discipline, and my heart despised reproof!... I am at the brink of utter ruin!” (Proverbs 5.11-14 paraphrased). Wisdom pleads that we practice discipline and learn from the mistakes of others.

Sexual sin is not exclusive to men but needs to be specifically addressed for us. Our nature is to pursue and conquer. This temptation caters to this craving. We must make intentional efforts to guard our hearts (Proverbs 4.23) and our eyes (Job 31.1; Psalm 119.37) as we pursue holiness.

Having said that, we must also consider these warnings in a broader context as well. Temptation is personified to communicate the danger and draw of our natural desires (Proverbs 7.10). Sin approaches and promises to fulfill our needs. Satan plays off our wants for pleasure and belonging by offering us temporal fulfillment. And so, we must be wise in whom and what we allow ourselves to find satisfaction.

There is an objective nature to wisdom. We mustn’t think our situation is so unique that God’s wisdom does not apply to us. We must practice discipline and guard our hearts, lest we too fall prey to Satan’s lies.

“The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. He dies for lack of discipline…” (Proverbs 5.22-23a)